Anne Arundel County Bills Target Problem Hotels

Community complaints of drugs, crime, prostitution, infestations and poor upkeep are pushing Anne Arundel County lawmakers to introduce bills that would give the county authority to close problem hotels.

The bills, introduced by County Executive Steve Schuh and Councilman Andrew Pruski, would respectively give the county authority to suspend or revoke hotel licenses and allow stronger zoning enforcement.

As reported in The Capital Gazette:

The county executive’s bill will target “repeat offenders,” McEvoy said.If passed, health officers would have “right of entry” into hotel units for inspection, with “reasonable notice,” the bill says. If a hotel does not comply with the county code, a health officer will charge an $80 fee for every additional inspection.

The legislation states if violations are not corrected, a hotel can be suspended, and new guests may not be admitted. If violations are still not corrected within 30 days, the hotel’s license can be revoked, and cannot be reinstated.

Pruski said his bill will push hotels to obey zoning rules, like fixing a broken fence that drew complaints from nearby residents.

“The intent of this bill is to allow the county, with courts consent, to go onto a property and abate any zoning violations and recoup the costs via a lien on the property,” Pruski said.

For more information read the full article in The Capital Gazette.