Code violations at Charlotte hotel prompt leaders to make changes

Code violations at Charlotte hotel prompt leaders to make changes

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A West Charlotte hotel that has had a history of code violations for its poor living conditions could have big changes in its future. City and county leaders are discussing options to improve or eliminate the Airport Parkway Inn on Wilkinson Boulevard.

However, current tenants at the hotel are worried about where the changes will leave them.

Yumerie Delacruz started staying at the Airport Parkway Inn about a month ago. She walked WBTV through some of the property to show what type of living conditions they were in.

"There's mold, there's roaches, the ceilings are off-the-wall," Delacruz said.

A check of Charlotte's code enforcement history shows at least a dozen complaints and records on the property within the last few weeks.

The Airport Parkway Inn and its condition are on the radar of city and county leaders. In an email sent by Councilwoman Julie Eiselt to other council members, she questions what can be done to clean-up the property.

"The situation at this hotel is truly sickening. From a city standpoint, the fact that we cannot do anything about it except continue to issue citations is not an acceptable answer," Eiselt wrote in the email.

According to Eiselt, the city has issued citations to the hotel in the past, but it has not improved the hotel long-term. She told WBTV she is waiting to hear back from the city attorney about what else can be done.

"Mr. Hagaman; If nothing can be done under the current ordinance to close this business, what legal remedy is available in a change to the ordinance? We see this in other situations where home and business owners do not seem to be fazed by citations, knowing nothing more punitive will happen. Perhaps if the owner of the Airport Parkway Inn and Suites had thought he would be shut down, it would have been cleaned up a log time ago. And, we would not have to continually expend scarce Code Enforcement resources, when in fact nothing changes," Eiselt wrote.

Residents at the Airport Parkway Inn showed a letter from the city that was taped to their door. The note, signed by Code Enforcement Inspector Tim Myers, requested the permission to inspect the property.

"In order to gain access to the property, your cooperation is requested. If violations are identified, you will be notified in writing. An Administrative Hearing will be scheduled to discuss all issues pertinent to the inspection of the property," the letter read.

Following that notice, Delacruz says she paid her September rent. Then another resident, Brittany Webb, saw a letter in the front office of the hotel about residents vacating the property.

"It is with regret that due to unforeseen circumstances that we have had to come to the decision to close the doors on this property temporarily for renovation," the letter read. "With this decision, which comes after grave consideration we are now forced to give all tenants a 10 day notice to vacate the premises. Any monies paid for September will be refunded."

Delacruz and Webb say they have not received their refund and have nowhere else to go.

"Now that we know that the city is coming out, yeah that's a big relief for us, but in the meanwhile, what do we do about our money and what do we do about our kids and what do we do about our situation," Delacruz said.

WBTV tried to reach management at the Airport Parkway Inn on Sunday but did not receive a response.

Councilwoman Eiselt said she was not aware of the management at the Inn telling its residents to vacate, but she is concerned about their future.

"First and foremost we want to know what will happen to those people, you know they are not choosing to live in a bug infested room, they're doing it because they don't have anywhere else to go," Eiselt said. "So you know we don't want to cause any further hardship on them, but yet you know you've got to make sure those people are not living in those kinds of conditions."

As Eiselt waits for a response to her questions, she also noted that this is likely an issue that would need to involve the county, health department and possibly the state. Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles also weighed in on the issue.

"I would also like to know if there are other hotels operating as apartments in this same situation. And do we have federal funding for relocation of the people living there? Is the county working with code to assist with relocation? To assist the families?" Lyles questioned in response to Eiselt's email.

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