SANTA ANA — The city took a stand this week with legal action against irresponsible property owners after ascertaining that the California Lodge motel became a hub for crime over the past several years.
The city authorized the City’s Attorney’s Office to initiate action under the Drug Den Abatement Act, which allows cities to seek a court order to hold property owners accountable and require that they take all steps necessary to eliminate controlled substance-related nuisance conditions on the property.
Alma Flores, City of Santa Ana’s Communications Manager, announced that the hotel “has been a hub for narcotic-related criminal activity, including drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, drug use/overdose, and the sale of illegal narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.”
The Santa Ana PD received over 400 calls for service during this past year. Police reports confirmed that the property located at 2909 Bristol Street was being used to “unlawfully sell, store, keep, or give away controlled substances.”
Police Chief David Valentin said the California Lodge “has operated in a manner that perpetuates drug-related crimes and is a known gathering site of a documented Santa Ana criminal street gang, which has been connected to gun possession arrests. The time has come to put a stop to the illegal activity.”
Flores continued, “The lawsuit authorized by the City Council is a result of a multi-departmental (Code Enforcement, the City Attorney’s Office and the Santa Ana Police Department) effort to protect residents and business owners and improve the quality of life for the residents of Santa Ana.”
Council member Sal Tinajero, who represents Ward 6 where the motel is located, asserted, “The business owners and residents of the City of Santa Ana should not have to endure the impacts of criminal activity in nearby motel properties. Protecting the quality of life and safety of our neighborhoods is of utmost importance and I am glad we are standing up against irresponsible property owners.”