PIttsfield Board Authorizes Nuisance Lawsuits Against Crime-Ridden Hotels, Blighted Properties

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 01/29/2019 - 20:23
The Pittsfield Township board authorized its attorney to file a nuisance lawsuit against the owners of several properties and businesses, including this Motel 6. The hotel generated 750 calls for service to the Pittsfield Township police between 2012-18.

Following years of discourse between property owners and township officials, Pittsfield Township’s Board of Trustees authorized its attorney to file four nuisance abatement lawsuits.

The approved authorization, introduced to the board by supervisor Mandy Grewal, was unanimously agreed upon during Wednesday’s trustees meeting. The four properties in question includes a Motel 6 hotel at 3764 S. State St., a Days Inn at 2380 Carpenter Road, a single-family home at 1480 Regents Park Drive and a single-family home at 5875 Michigan Avenue.

Township attorney Andrew Fink III told the board police had responded to calls from both hotel sites for years, saying officers often responded to cases that ranged from narcotics and violent crimes, to prostitution and other sex crimes. Between 2012 and 2018, township officials have received more than 750 calls for service regarding each hotel, according to the meeting’s agenda. The agenda also states that 2018 was a four-year high in calls for both hotels. Township Fink said nuisance abatement lawsuits filed by a township were typically reserved for extreme cases.

“With this, we’d be pulling out the biggest stick that we have,” Fink said.

According to the meeting’s agenda, township staff have dealt with nuisance cases for both single-family houses since 2007. The agenda item states that both properties remain in violation of the township’s blight ordinance and have remained uninhabitable for years. Asbestos predates the Michigan Avenue house’s 2017 arson incident, with debris and household goods spread throughout the property’s yard. The Regents Park house has remained in an unfinished state for the last six years and has received multiple tickets for zone ordinance violations.

Antonio Sanchez's picture
Antonio Sanchez
Antonio Sanchez is an experienced journalist who covered city and county government for the Rio Rancho Observer in New Mexico.