City of Eureka to close Blue Heron Lodge
EUREKA- A Eureka motel will soon have to close its doors, as the City sites several violations.
In 2013, the Eureka City Council adopted the motel ordinance, which mandates that each hotel needs to apply for lodging permits, in addition to building permits.
"The council viewed it as a real priority to ensure that these properties are being maintained in an effective manner,” said Brian Gerving, the Chief Building Official for the City of Eureka.
But city officials confirm the owners of Blue Heron Lodge on Broadway never applied for those permits. Now, the city will execute a warrant on February 4th to shut down the Blue Heron.
"The fact that they haven't obtained the lodging permit is the primary reason that it's being closed, but it also happens to be the hotel with the highest call for service room ratio in the city," Gerving said.
"Many of them are crime and disorder type of complaints, complaints of drug dealing I know, that's been one of the chronic problems and issues at that particular motel, we've had various disturbances, I think there's been some theft related calls," said Captain Steve Watson with the Eureka Police Department.
The City cites building code violations, as well, something some Blue Heron residents say they’ve noticed.
"There's a lot of roaches. There was a lie said to the courts about a lot of things being repaired that were never repaired," said Richard Bray, who has lived at the Blue Heron Lodge for the last nine years.
The Blue Heron owner, Floyd Squires, says he did not receive a warning that the establishment was in danger of being shut down.
"No phone call to us, no other contact other than to bring 30 people onto our property and allege that we're violating some city law," said Squires.
"We had phone contact with the property owners. They stated their intent not to attain a lodging permit, and again, in mid November, is when administrative citations were first issued," said Gerving.
Now, the City is connecting residents with various county services in preparation for the closure, but Richard Bray is still concerned his family will not find a new home.
"We're on a limited income, we're both on SSI, my wife's an invalid, got diagnosed with cancer and we're supposed to vacate this place by February 4th and where are we going to go?" Bray said.
City officials confirm the blue heron is the only motel in eureka which has failed to apply for lodging permits.