Butte County

The Motel with the Jet-Black Swimming Pool


In the 9 years prior to our appointment, local code enforcement tried to work with the owners of this motel to fix the 203 separate violations of state housing law onsite. There was a complete lack of maintenance of the property, demonstrated by the jet-black water in the swimming pool. The conditions at the motel were so severe that they actually sparked a fire. The fire caused considerable damage to a neighboring property, where it burned out and destroyed a business that had been operating at that location for over 35 years. This case is evidence of the significant danger that violations of municipal and state health and safety laws pose to the surrounding community.



Ending a 9-Year Saga of Neglect


The first step to rehabilitating this property was to provide relocation assistance to those living onsite. Although the property was a motel, there were individuals who had arranged long-term stays and did not have alternative housing options. Our office provided them with the funds to move to safer housing, and helped to coordinate their moves. We then cleaned out and secured the property. We came to find that there was not enough equity in the property for us to renovate it. It seemed that the most efficient solution to ensure that the unsafe conditions would be abated in the near future, and assure that the property would be well maintained in the years to come, was to find a dedicated buyer with the financial wherewithal and personal dedication to complete the remediation work. We arranged a sale of the property to a local buyer, who bought the motel with the intention of restoring the structure and converting it to housing. Our supervision will remain in place until the new buyer completes the remediation.