City letter begins process of declaring motel a ‘public nuisance’
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Sept. 14, 2022) – The city is now going after the motel that helped inspire legislation holding business owners and landlords accountable for criminal activities on their properties.
The city started targeting the former OYO Motel on Bluebell Drive Southwest in late 2020 for dozens of property code violations. Council followed up by passing an ordinance last year giving the city the ability to declare such properties a nuisance and recoup the cost for police and firefighters to respond to criminal complaints at those locations.
Mayor Joel Day informed council this week that the process has begun for the motel, which is now a Days Inn.
“The city’s fire inspector has served a Notice of Initiation of Nuisance Declaration Process letter to the owners,” Day said.
He says police and firefighters have gone to that property at least 51 times over the past 12 months for drug, criminal activity, and other complaints. The owners must now take corrective actions listed by the fire inspector.
“The notice states that if additional nuisance activities or any additional felony occurs over the next year on the property, or within a thousand feet of the property, the motel will be declared a ‘Nuisance Property,’ and the owners would be responsible for the cost of the response of all Safety Force Personnel,” he said.
The owners do have the ability to contest the notice through the city’s Housing Board of Appeals.