The Duarte City Council will consider modifying an ordinance that limits motel occupancy to a maximum of 14 days. Officials agreed to consider extending the maximum occupancy to 30 days in the wake of a stormy battle with the city's motel owners, who contend that guests should be able to stay as long as they want. The city claimed when it enacted the ordinance two years ago that some of the city's nine motels were being used as permanent dwellings, creating health and safety hazards.
In December the city filed a criminal suit charging the Filly Motel with violating the ordinance. The suit was dismissed on the grounds there was insufficient evidence to convict the owner. But because that suit did not address the question of the constitutionality of the ordinance, the city staff met with Philip Lanzafame, an attorney representing six motel owners, to discuss a compromise.
Under the proposal, which will be considered at Tuesday's meeting, limits on motel occupancy would be extended to a maximum of 30 consecutive days. The modified ordinance also would provide for more detailed reporting by the motel owners and identify the maximum occupancy per unit.