MODESTO -- Renovations continue at a central Modesto hotel that was the subject of a recent city order threatening to condemn the property.
In early September, owners of the Modesto Inn on Needham Street were given 30 days to finish repairs on fire-damaged rooms and make other improvements to correct unsafe conditions. City officials threatened to impose $1,000-per-day fines if the owners did not fix code violations such as exposed wiring, stairway hazards and a cockroach infestation and make the 60-room building safer for tenants.
Since then, workers have been renovating many of the rooms and recently filled in a trash-strewn swimming pool. City inspectors will determine if the repairs are adequate.
The Board of Building Appeals is scheduled to consider a modification of the order Oct. 25. Although the 30-day time frame expired a week ago, the code enforcement process allowed the owners 60 days.
Modesto's chief building official, Will Crew, said he could not discuss how well the owners are complying with the order because it's a pending code enforcement action. Modesto Inn Manager Anand Patel and the owners of the site did not return phone messages from The Bee.
Officials had suggested that Patel hire private security and implement policies to curb drug dealing and other behavioral issues in the building.
Modesto police said last month that, over a yearlong period, officers responded to 180 calls to the hotel or vicinity, with the incidents including fights, assaults with deadly weapons, sex crimes, drug violations and public drunkenness.
In May, a fire destroyed four of the hotel rooms and displaced 25 tenants. Most of the hotel residents have paid monthly rent for the rooms, which were not adequately equipped with electrical outlets, fire alarms or telephone service, officials said.
City Councilman Dave Lopez said the code enforcement process will determine whether the owners have improved conditions. If the violations are not corrected, the city could declare the hotel a dangerous structure, condemn the property and order the building to be vacated.
"I am still concerned with neighborhood safety and the safety of people who live" in the building, Lopez said.
Two residents living on Virginia Avenue, near the hotel, told the Board of Building Appeals last month they were concerned about burglaries and violent crime in their neighborhood.
Gloria Carson said this month that every time she leaves her home, she's afraid someone will break in. In February, her son was stabbed seven times during an assault in front of the home.
The Board of Building Appeals will meet at 4 p.m. Oct. 25 in conference room 3555 of Tenth Street Place, at 1010 10th St.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2321.