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Maternity hotel ordinance not necessary, planning department says

October 28, 2013|By Cindy Chang
  • Demonstrators protest against a Chino Hills maternity hotel earlier this year.
Demonstrators protest against a Chino Hills maternity hotel earlier this… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

An ordinance targeting maternity hotels is not necessary, since the facilities are illegal under existing law, the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning said in a report.

Since February, a task force convened by the county Board of Supervisors has shut down 18 suspected hotels, all in Rowland Heights or Hacienda Heights. Pregnant women from China and Taiwan stay at the hotels so they can give birth to children who are U.S. citizens.

Nearly all the hotels were in single-family residential zones, where boarding houses already are banned, according to the report released Friday.

Supervisor Don Knabe, who had pushed for a hotel-specific ordinance, said the task force has been effective, proving that current law addresses the problem.

“Looking at the results from the task force, this is an enforcement issue rather than a zoning issue,” Knabe spokesman Andrew Veis said in an email. "Therefore, we don’t believe a new ordinance would be necessary."

A maternity hotel in Chino Hills that annoyed neighbors with the frequent comings and goings of its guests and staff prompted a flurry of complaints about hotels in other areas.  The soon-to-be mothers live at the hotels for several months before giving birth and returning to Asia.

The task force has received complaints about 97 alleged maternity hotels, finding that 28 of the complaints were legitimate. Maternity hotels continue to operate at 10 of the locations, and efforts to close them will continue, the report said.

The county Department of Public Works and the state Department of Public Health have issued citations at some locations, according to the report.


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Twitter: @cindychangLA

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