Warren mulls ordinance calling for stepped up hotel inspections – Macomb Daily
Warren Mayor James Fouts has proposed an amendment to the city’s rental ordinance that would require regular inspections of hotels and motels.
(MACOMB DAILY FILE PHOTO)
Mayor James Fouts is proposing an amendment to Warren’s rental ordinance that calls for additional inspections of hotels and motels.
“This ordinance will help put an end to drugs and human trafficking, bedbugs, cockroaches, transient residents, poor maintenance, and lack of security in the establishments,” Fouts said. “It would mean that out-of- town people visiting Warren could expect quality comfortable and safe places to stay.”
The Warren City Council gave the ordinance a first read at its Aug. 15 meeting and unanimously voted to request records from the 2023 inspections, which are done in March according to the city’s code of ordinances, and to schedule a committee of the whole meeting to discuss how the new proposed ordinance differs from what is already in place with regard to city inspections of hotels and motels.
A second reading of the proposed ordinance is expected to be scheduled after the committee of the whole meeting is held. As of Aug. 24, no committee of the whole meeting had been set.
During the City Council’s Aug. 15 meeting, Council Secretary Mindy Moore expressed concern that the mayor’s proposed amendment duplicates existing city ordinances governing hotel and motel inspections, an opinion echoed by Jeffrey Schroder, council’s attorney.
“In 1997, Warren City Council passed a hotel and motel inspection ordinance and does exactly what is being proposed,” said Schroder. “ Every hotel and motel in the city is already required to have a license and to get it you have to have an annual inspection.”
Warren City Attorney Ethan Vinson disagreed and said the amendment greatly enhances the city’s ability to ensure hotels and motels are clean and safe.
“There is a requirement for an inspection when a hotel or motel is getting state licensing, but currently, there is nothing that gives the city the authority to go back and do subsequent inspections,” Vinson said. “This is something that is needed and the city’s building department supports this proposed ordinance 100%.”
Fouts said he receives frequent complaints from residents and visitors to the city alleging conditions in some hotels and motels are “unsavory and unclean.”
“This ordinance would allow city inspectors to go into rooms and into the kitchen area and not just into the main common areas,” said Fouts. “They would be able to inspect any time there is a complaint, which was not part of the original ordinance.”
Fouts said a four-person task force would be created to specifically address hotel and motel inspections.