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City Council denies appeal for South LA motel operation


Cite a string of police investigations

The City Council has denied an appeal for the continued use of a South L.A. motel located in an area known for sex trafficking–citing ongoing issues involving police investigations into injuries, missing persons and death.

Without discussion, the council voted 14-0 to deny the appeal, shutting down the New Bay Motel at 8301 S. Figueroa St. in the Eighth Council District.

The council’s move follows an April revocation of use notice issued by the city Planning Department, which found the motel to be a nuisance to the community. It also followed an Oct. 17 decision by the council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee to deny an appeal of the revocation. The council vote formalized the PLUM committee’s decision.

“It’s time that the city enforce laws in the Figueroa Corridor as they do in other parts of L.A.,’’ Eighth District Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, chair of the PLUM committee, said in a statement following the committee’s unanimous October decision.

“I’m grateful to the organizers and my colleagues for stepping up to make the Figueroa Corridor safe for families and children.’’

The motel is located near Figueroa and 83rd streets, some 300 feet from a school.

Police reported 39 investigations and 109 calls for service at the motel between December 2019 and July 2022, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Calls for service ranged from battery, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, overdoses, rape, domestic violence, shots fired, child abuse, attempted murder and kidnapping, the LAPD said.

Frank Weiser, an attorney representing motel owners Bhavin and Hiralkumar Patel, told the five-panel PLUM committee that the problem was not the motel, but rather the streets.

“Nothing has changed since a year ago, two years ago, five years ago or 10 years ago in the area,’’ Weiser said. “The police could easily clean up the area by not allowing loitering on the streets.’’

Weiser also said the alleged crimes did not occur at the motel, and should not be considered as part of the appeal process.

Harris-Dawson’s October statement noted that an “overwhelming’’ number of community members showed up at the PLUM meeting to support denial of the appeal.