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Gardena City Council OKs Building of 40-Unit Motel

February 25, 1988|ADRIANNE GOODMAN | Times Staff Writer

Construction of a 40-unit motel has been unanimously approved by the Gardena City Council despite concerns about prostitution and an overabundance of motels in south Gardena.

Councilman James Cragin asked if the motel, to be built at 16427 S. Western Ave., would attract prostitution to the area. But Kirk Downing, a spokesman for the Longridge Corp., the Monterey Park-based developer of the project, said the motel "will be of a higher standard than similar ones in the city" and would improve the neighborhood.

City Clerk May Doi said Gardena has had problems with prostitution in an unincorporated strip of Los Angeles County that extends into the city along Rosecrans Avenue, from Crenshaw Boulevard to Western Avenue. The unincorporated area is about a mile from the motel site.

Expected Protest Fades

Before the meeting, Doi said she expected protests from residents living near the motel site, but none spoke at the hearing.

The only opposition came from Fred Williams, manager of the Gardena Towers and Plaza Apartments and Motel. Williams, who said he also was speaking on behalf of the Gardena Terrace Inn, the Dynasty Inn, the Redondo Beach Inn and the E-Z Motel, said the area near the intersection of Western Avenue and Redondo Beach Boulevard is already overcrowded with motels.

"We want to delay (the council's decision) for one month to have time for our attorney to adequately study the plan," Williams said. "We feel Gardena is becoming quite saturated with hotels."

Occupancy Rate 60%

Williams said the average occupancy rate for the five motels he represents is 60% and the motel owners are concerned that increased competition would drive the occupancy rate even lower.

City Manager Kenneth Landau told the council his staff is continuing to work on a proposal to annex the unincorporated county strip in an effort to control crime in the area. City Council members believe the crime problem stems from bars and motels in the strip.

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