The city of Greenwood filed a notice to forcibly close a troubled hotel near the city’s Main Street Interstate 65 interchange.
The Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites, 1117 E. Main St., was served a notice by city officials on Friday announcing the city’s intent to revoke the hotel’s certificate of occupancy, and ordering the property to be vacated in 10 days. Officials cited the owner’s failure to bring the property into compliance with both city ordinance and state law as the reason behind the vacation order.
The notice was delivered in person to the hotel at 10:40 a.m. Friday. The owner was not present at the time, but the notice was served to a front desk employee, said Kenneth Seal, building commissioner.
It was also posted at the property, and a copy was sent via certified mail, he said.
Concerns about the hotel have been mounting over the last several months, as police calls continued to increase at the hotel. The concerns reached a tipping point last month following news that the hotel’s manager died of an accidental overdose on the property.
During a June 24, 2021 inspection, officials from the Johnson County Health Department and the Greenwood Fire Department found a total of 188 violations, while only 32 rooms were listed as “satisfactory” throughout the entire hotel. Violations consisted of cockroaches and bedbugs, extensive damage to walls, plumbing and electrical issues, mold, water damage and more, according to copy of the notice obtained by the Daily Journal.
Officials communicated with the owner, who received a permit on Nov. 1, 2021 to repair or replace many of the items required to regain full compliance. However, during a follow-up inspection on Sept. 14 of this year, it was found that minimal progress was made to bring the property into compliance.
In fact, officials say conditions were worse.
“… In many areas it appears several violations have gotten substantially worse,” Seal wrote in the notice.
Some of the affected rooms were closed, however, officials say the closure of a room with health or life safety issues without “correctly addressing” the problem, does not alleviate the problem, the notice says.
“In many cases, the presence of these violations cannot be contained to just the affected room,” Seal wrote. “Mold and roaches migrate to those areas that support environments for them to thrive, rooms without operating smoke detectors will provide no warning of a fire or smoke event and excessive leaks from the roof of plumbing affect rooms below.”
This follow-up inspection was a multi-agency inspection involving the health department, fire department, Greenwood Police Department, and Greenwood Code Enforcement.
Seal then cited two sections of the Indiana Code regarding unsafe buildings and the rescission of orders, and two sections of the Greenwood Municipal Code pertaining to nuisance, vacation and unsafe buildings. The citations were used as justification to be found in violation of the law and ordinance.
All people currently occupying the property have been ordered off the property within 10 days, or by Oct. 10. Access will continue to be allowed for the owner of the property or those authorized to make required repairs or inspections, the notice says.
“This business is not suitable for habitation or occupancy of its designed use by the citizens of the city of Greenwood or its visitors,” Seal wrote.
If the owners would like to appeal the vacation order, they can do so in writing within 10 days and request a hearing before the city’s Advisory Plan Commission, the notice says.
“(They) will be able to remain occupied until then, at which time I hope they revoke (the license) completely,” Mayor Mark Myers told the Daily Journal.