H-SANTA MARIA

Dec 18, 2013 2:57 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Santa Maria motel with troubled history closes its doors

A motel with a troubled history has shut down in Santa Maria. Some long term tenants of the Budget Inn now have no where to go. The city of Santa Maria said on Tuesday that it did not know why the owner chose to shut down the motel that is on Broadway and Bunny Avenue. No one from the motel could be reached on Tuesday. The city said it did not ask or enforce the motel to close, however city code enforcement had been looking into issues with the exterior part of the building. "They have no place to go, they have no money, they can't get any help," said Barbara Oliveira, a resident of Santa Maria who lives across the street from the Budget Inn. Oliveira said she was upset for the long-time tenants who call the Budget Inn home. The Budget Inn operates as a motel, but also rents out rooms by the week for permanent housing. Oliveira said, "Some of the residents here, they are senior citizens, they are disabled, there are several of them that have to use electric wheelchairs, there's at least one in here that is on 24 hour oxygen." Mark van de Kamp, a spokesperson for the city of Santa Maria, said that the Code Compliance department had contacted the Budget Inn earlier this year about violations involving the building's exterior. He said, "They (Code Enforcement) contacted the owner of the property to arrange a consensual inspection of the premises." But, before a meeting could be arranged, the owner decided to close, said van de Kamp. "We did not infer in anyway or ask that the property be closed at all. That was the property owner's decision," said van de Kamp. He also added, "We assume, hopefully correctly, that the property will be closed for a short time while repairs are effectuated. So far a permit has not been pulled for repairs, but that could change as soon as tomorrow." The Budget Inn has had its string of incidents over the years. In 2011, some renters complained of deplorable living conditions, and at that time, Code Compliance officers told KSBY they had investigated the Budget Inn 14 times for violations since 1993. Also in 2011, a man was stabbed at the motel, and in June of this year, another man was stabbed there. Just a few months ago in October, Santa Maria Police said there was a gang-related shooting where a man was shot in the foot. The city said it's directed tenants to stay at the Good Samaritan Shelter or with friends.

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