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Urban Motels

August 07, 1994

Motel owners are not the criminals! "Erasing the Grimy Side of Motel Life" (July 24) depicts "big city" motels as sleazy, dirty "magnets for crime." Because of the inability of the police to control crime in our city, the "good" (as well as the "bad") motels are now being cited by the city and are required to hire expensive security guards, put up restrictive walls and gates, put up bold signs all over prohibiting prostitution, and get the license numbers, photo ID, full name, address, make and year of vehicle registration of all persons entering the motel. These are only four of the 27 conditions imposed against the motel owners. Who would want to stay in a place surrounded by these walls, graphic signs, and security guards? Sounds more like a prison than a pleasant vacation stay!

What your article doesn't report is that the city disregarded and omitted from the public record a portion of its own zoning analyst's report which specifically refers to these motels as the "victims." Most of these motel owners are Asian and are clearly being unlawfully discriminated against.

Most of these motel owners are honorable men and women who take great pride in their motels. They do not allow their properties to "run rampant with drugs and prostitution"! Whenever they call the police for assistance, the police ignore them, and each phone call is used against them as further proof that they are the cause of the crime.

ALBERT CHIU, Vice President

Greater Los Angeles Hotel/Motel Assn.

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