Streetsboro leaders still trying to tear down local motel

by Mike Lesko | Reporter Published:

Streetsboro -- The city still has its eyes on tearing down what some people consider an eyesore -- the Palms Motel, which now is vacant, according to Law Director David Maistros.

"We're trying to get it [torn] down," Maistros told City Council Aug. 11. "We have torn down the [motel] sign for failing to meet the [zoning] code."

The motel was shut down by city leaders in June 2010, and the city has been trying to get the building torn down since 2012. The motel is located at 9686 Route 14.

"I've had extensive discussions with Council about the owner of that [motel]," Maistros said at the Aug. 11 meeting. "The owner[ship] has changed hands a number of times in the last couple years. In my opinion, they've been exchanging hands of the title of the property in order to try to stay one step ahead of us."

Kent's Jitendra Kapasi was listed as the owner in 2010. Now, the owner is listed as Trupti Kapasi, according to Portage County property tax records. No phone number was available for either Kapasi, and no attorney's name was available.

Maistros said the "owner of that property owns a number of other properties, so he does have legal counsel engaged, and we're working our way to get it knocked down."

Resident Pete Buczkowski told town leaders Aug. 11 the motel is "an eyesore" and wondered when it would be torn down.

Maistros answered, "I can only hope to get it done as soon as we get it done."

"We are negotiating to have one of two things done," Maistros said. "Either they pay to take it down or we take it down and put a lien on their taxes."

Maistros said the building "cannot be opened in its condition, obviously."

"It's already a vacant building," he said. "They're not using it for any function. We monitor it to make sure nobody is living in there. We've had our safety forces in there."

In June 2010, city officials shut off the water at the motel and asked the handful of residents to leave, saying they were closing the motel following an order issued by Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas Teodosio giving the motel 14 days to connect to the city's sanitary sewer system or "cease operation." The gas also was shut off by the city, and the motel had more than 70 fire code violations, fire officials said.

In March 2010, the Portage County Drug Task Force arrested eight people at the motel on various drug charges.

Former Mayor Art Scott said in 2010 that the building has been a source of problems for at least the previous 12 years, but he remembers it as a "hot spot" in the 1960s in its early years.

"Three mayors I know of have tried to shut it down," Scott said at the time.

According to Streetsboro officials, the building was constructed in 1950.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9439

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