A new ordinance is being introduced into the Battle Creek City Commission that would lay out a strict set of rules for hotels, motels, or other similar accommodations to follow.

The ordinance being introduced at the Commission meeting Tuesday would introduce an entirely new chapter to the City Code, designed to combat perceived “problem hotels and motels”. The ordinance covers many things, and first requires a Permit for the operation of these types of businesses.

Inspections will be required, and an application can be denied or revoked for a variety of reasons; those include failure to address problems like mold, vermin, electrical issues, or faulty fire protection systems, a “pattern or practice of guest conduct which…interferes with the health, safety and welfare of the properties in the area”, and a so-called “Calls-For-Service-Ratio” exceeding 10 percent over 12 months.

A “Calls-For-Service-Ratio” is defined as the number of police and fire calls divided by the number of rooms in the hotel. For example, if a hotel had 100 rooms and had more than 10 calls in one year, the hotel would be in violation and could be declared a nuisance.

Another aspect of the ordinance is meant to stop long term occupancy of a hotel room; a business will be required to provide information on those staying in a unit for more than 90 days to the city, and units being rented that long will need to have a City approved kitchenette. As well, any room being occupied for more than 90 days will legally be considered a “residence” and would therefore be open to inspection by the city under those laws.

The City Attorney’s office says this ordinance is required because the Michigan State Legislature repealed most of the statewide hotel and motel regulations in 2000, leaving municipalities to sort out these issues themselves. It is being proposed as the City of Battle Creek faces several issues with low-cost motels, including declaring the Econolodge on Capital Ave. a nuisance and ordering it to be closed.

To read the entire language of the proposed addition to City Code, click here.