City Says Aurora Motel Is “Chronic Public Nuisance,” Seeks to Fine Owners

For the very first time, the Seattle Police Department is using the city’s new Chronic Public Nuisance ordinance in an attempt to for the owners of a troubled Aurora motel to clean up their act.

Yesterday, the city served Jill and Dean Inman—owners of several Aurora motels, including the recently shuttered Italia and Isabella, and Fremont Motel—with a notice that the Fremont motel had become a “chronic public nuisance.”

Under the Chronic Nuisance Property ordinance, which went into effect on January 1st, SPD can go after property owners if police are called to the property a minimum of three times in a 60 day period.

Police say that in the last 60 days, officers have dealt with six drug related incidents and one assault at the Fremont motel, and are now taking the Inmans to court.

If the city gets its way, judge can impose a $500 a day penalty on the Inmans if they don’t find a way to keep drug users and dealers away from the Fremont Motel.

“Everyone is hoping to send a message that allowing your property to be a chronic nuisance property…will not be tolerated, says city prosecutor Ed McKenna, who’s has lead the city’s charge against the Inmans and their troubled motels.

According to McKenna—who’s currently running for municipal court judge—the city could soon be targeting other businesses.

“Establishments that derive excessive amounts of police resources are likely” to be targeted, he says. “It’s unlikely this will be the last.”