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City Officials Look To Local Regulation To Curb Problem Motels-Hotels

Former Motel One on the city's east side had more than 500 police runs in about 5 years.
Mandie Trimble
/
WOSU
Former Motel One on the city's east side had more than 500 police runs in about 5 years.

It’s a long process to close problem hotels and motels. Columbus officials think they’ve found a way that could help ward off these havens for criminal activity:  permits.

The city, in the past, has counted on a nuisance ordinance and the state Fire Marshal’s office to help close problem motels and hotels. That process, in some cases, could take years.

City Councilman Zach Klein wants to require hotel and motel owners to get an annual permit from the city. Yearly reviews, he said, would look for criminal activity, such as prostitution, drugs, gang violence. 

“If those are present in high volumes, in high numbers, and police are expending significant resources on these hotels/motels, then they could lose their license," Klein said. 

Hotel and motel owners have a chance to address the problems, and they later could appeal their case to county court.  

The legislation goes before city council in the next few weeks. It would take effect in January.