Northland News

Trial delayed for Red Carpet Inn


The trial to have the Red Carpet Inn on East Dublin-Granville Road declared a public nuisance has been delayed.

Columbus police officer Scott Clinger, the liaison to one of the precincts serving the Northland area, provided the update at the March 4 Northland Community Council meeting.

City officials were granted a temporary restraining order against the motel, 1289 E. Dublin-Granville Road, on Jan. 22, closing the establishment and forcing guests to find other accommodations. The request came in the wake of a reported 358 police calls to the place in 2013.

The trial was scheduled to start March 4. No firm date has been set for the rescheduled trial, Clinger told NCC representatives.

Meanwhile, Clinger and fellow liaison officer Larry Geis said they continue to investigate other problem motels in the area while working closely with owners and managers trying to run their businesses properly.

Some motel operators are "trying to do the right thing," Clinger said.

"We work with them pretty well," he added.

"There are some good hotels," Geis said, but added that others are "problem children."

Ongoing problems with motels in various parts of the city, some of which are being used more as inexpensive apartment buildings and have become havens for drug sales and prostitutes, have prompted the city to look into additional ways to regulate troublesome establishments.

Columbus officials are studying how Chula Vista, Calif., is reducing drug deals and prostitution by regulating crime-ridden and dilapidated hotels.

In Ohio, regulation of hotels and motels falls under the auspices of the State Fire Marshal's Office. Chula Vista has an ordinance that allows officials to deny hotels and motels annual permits if they decide there have been too many police runs or drug- and prostitution-related arrests.

"There's obviously a flaw in the system currently that allows ... crime to run through our neighborhood," NCC President Emmanuel V. Remy said.

Mark Ferenchik of The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this story.