PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — An old Ramada Inn sits unused and unmaintained on Washington Street in Petersburg. The city sued the building owners in May over multiple building code violations and won their case on Wednesday.
City of Petersburg v. Virginia Hotel Development, LLC; Christopher Harrison; and C.A. Harrison Companies, LLC, was heard by Judge Kenneth Blalock in the Petersburg General District Court. The judge ruled in the city’s favor stating that the defense failed to comply with the court’s order to submit a ground of defense for the case.
Going forward, the defendants will be required to fix the building code violations at the old Ramada Inn within six months. According to a release from the city, by June 8, 2022 the building must no longer have any exterior building code violations. The owners of the former hotel will also have to pay court costs and an additional $3,000 plus interest.
“This is a favorable step toward bringing this property into compliance and removing the dangers associated with the old Ramada eyesore that has plagued the City for some time,” said Anthony Williams, Petersburg City Attorney.
Just a little over a month after the owners must abate the violations, Virginia Hotel Development and the city will return to court on July 13, 2022. This time it will be a part of city efforts to declare the entire building as an “unsafe structure” and a “nuisance.”
Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham said the city will use all legal means to reduce the burden and danger to Petersburg residents caused by the “dilapidated building.”
According to the City of Petersburg, the defendants’ legal team plans to appeal the case to the Petersburg Circuit Court.