RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Motels along Midlothian Turnpike are raising safety concerns in Richmond’s Southside. The district’s city councilman says he’s received multiple complaints from residents and is ready to make some changes.
Councilman Michael Jones (9th District) compiled a list of the many code violations at different motels along Midlothian Turnpike. Things range from dingy signs to dirty buildings and debris.
The City of Richmond has given motel owners multiple chances to fix up their properties.
“A lot of issues,” Councilman Jones said. “Cleanliness of properties, cleanliness on the inside, signs, well-lit properties, it’s not happening, got crime going on inside of them, individuals that are in there trafficking drugs, you got human trafficking going on in there.”
In May, a 17-month old toddler died after being sexually assaulted at the Colony House Motor Lodge and a man was shot at Motel 6 last month.
“We don’t want to do that, that’s never the goal, to impede someone’s business,” Jones told 8News, “but when they’re impacting neighborhoods, when they’re impacting safety, when allow a lot of the things to go on at these motels to go on and they know about it, that’s inexcusable.”
Motel owners recently met with Richmond Police to address the crime in the area. Motel 6 owner Matthew Patel admits managers, like himself, have to be more careful with who they allow inside. Jones says the motel owners need to step up.
“They know they have individuals in here that are up to no good,” said Jones. “They must step forward and do the right thing.”
The City of Richmond says if the motels don’t make the required changes, the next step will be to serve notices of violation.