Ferndale Makes Deal with 8 Wood Motel, Motorama Case Continues

Ferndale Makes Deal with 8 Wood Motel, Motorama Case Continues

(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 31, 2017)

Ferndale, MI – The City of Ferndale has cut a deal with the owner of 8 Wood Motel and is going through the courts in the case over Motorma Motel in regard to the business licenses being denied last year.

Both motels had histories of crime including violence and narcotics, as well as repeated medical calls for overdoses and even death.  The Oakland County Times (then called Oakland County 115 News) used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request a history of police reports from the Motorama which were published in a three-part series in Dec. 2015.

On Feb. 8, 2016 The City of Ferndale declined renewing the business license of the Motorama based on a review of police calls to the property and inspections by the fire department and the building department.  They did the same for 8 Wood on March 14, 2016.

Each year from 2013-2015 Motorama had over 100 calls for service, with 2015 reaching over 160, said Police Chief Timothy Collins during the hearing. He also noted that motel management would not call to report petty crime or when trouble was brewing, only when it couldn’t be controlled. He described the problems as human trafficking, drug abuse, drug sales, threats, overdose and deaths.

The 8 Wood had 17 police reports for 2015 according to Attorney Rich Patterson who represented owner Kim Patel. Patel has owned 8 Wood for 22 years.

Both businesses have remained open during the legal proceedings.

City Manager April Lynch described both cases in response to questions from Oakland County Times:

8 Wood Settlement

“Concerning the 8 Wood matter.

The 8 Wood and the City had several meetings where 8 Wood’s management committed to immediately correct all outstanding code violations with an inspection by the City’s building official. It additionally committed to new rules, policies and procedures regarding the operation and management of the motel, including:

No illegal activity

No drugs;

No prostitution;

No rental to persons under twenty-one years of age;

No loitering (with signage noting no loitering);

No more than two registered guests in rooms;

Only registered guest and one registered visitor in rooms;

All vehicles at the property must be registered;

Assigned parking spot for each registered guest;

No electric appliances (heaters, hot plates or irons) in rooms;

No cooking shall be allowed in rooms;

Valid government identification required for registration;

Motel staff will inspect vehicles on the property every hour to make sure no unassigned vehicles on property;

Guest evicted for violating motel rules will be placed on a  list and not be permitted to rent room for one year;

Motel will maintain video surveillance of area outside of all rooms on 24 hour basis and within the lobby office (and will post signage alerting guests of video surveillance) and shall provide access to permit the video system to be reviewed by the City’s police department, as requested;

A guest registry will be maintained by the motel for a year with access to the registry available to the police department for inspection, as requested.

“Based on these representations and conditions presented by 8 Wood’s management, the City and 8 Wood resolved the litigation with a dismissal with prejudice as to the litigation and no costs or fees to either party. The City issued its public lodging license for the balance of 2017. If there are violations of the commitments made the City may bring an action for breach of the parties’ agreement and may conduct a hearing under the City’s ordinance and regulations. Applications for future public lodging licenses will be reviewed consistent with the City’s ordinances and regulations.”

Motorama Case

“As you know the lawsuit initiated by KRISHNA KRUPA, INC. (owner of the Motorama motel) against the City of Ferndale in the Oakland County Circuit Court is still pending and, based on the advice of legal counsel, I am not really able to comment substantively about the matter.

“However, from a procedural standpoint, I can indicate the City filed a motion for summary disposition on the City’s counter-complaint requesting the Court find in the City’s favor that the motel was being operated as a public nuisance  in violation of MCL §600.3801 and that there was no genuine issue of material fact that there was competent, material and substantial evidence on the record that the City of Ferndale reasonably, as authorized at law, denied Krishna Krupa, Inc.’s public lodging license . The Oakland
County Circuit Court denied that motion. The City filed an application for leave to appeal that decision with the Michigan Court of Appeals which the Court of Appeals has recently granted. The appeal is now pending with the Court of Appeals. The matter will be scheduled for oral arguments after appeal briefs are filed with the Court of Appeals. It is not likely to be scheduled for oral arguments for several months,” Lynch said.

The State of Michigan Court of Appeals granted the leave for appeal on July 28.

Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter is hopeful that conditions at 8 Wood will improve.  “The owner of 8 Wood has agreed to strict requirements that, if followed, should result in full compliance with our building codes and a better business in our community. Future inspections will determine if that is indeed taking place,” he said.

Coulter declined to comment on Motorama as it is still in the court system.

Previous stories for 8 Wood:

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/05/10/another-death-comes-to-light-as-8-wood-appeal-process-moves-forward/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/03/14/ferndale-denies-business-license-renewal-to-8-wood-motel/

Previous stories for Motorama:

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/05/05/motorama-decision-delayed/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/03/01/ferndale-councilmembers-minds-unchanged-after-motorama-appeal/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/02/18/recent-arrest-and-insight-into-story-affirm-motorama-concerns/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/02/09/ferndale-denies-motorama-motel-business-license-renewal/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2016/02/04/ferndale-council-to-vote-monday-on-motorama-motels-license/

To read the police report summaries for Motorama, go to:

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2015/12/19/crime-at-the-motorama-part-three/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2015/12/14/crime-at-the-motorama-part-two/

http://oaklandcounty115.com/2015/11/29/crime-at-the-motorama-motel-part-one/.

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