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WALNUT PARK : Motel Is Denied Operating Permit

The Town and Country Motel has been denied its permit to operate after community residents told county planning officials that the property has been a den of drugs and prostitution.

The 15-unit motel at 7623 Pacific Blvd., which has been operating at the site since 1946, in recent years became a blighted business that attracted crime and damaged property values nearby, residents said.

“The neighborhood is fed up with this operation and we want it closed down,” Ron Barton, chairman of the Walnut Park Community Assn. board, told the five-member County Regional Planning Commission on Wednesday.

A sting operation last year by the Sheriff’s Department resulted in 54 arrests for solicitation and prostitution, said Detective Patrick Tapia. “Everyone at the station knows the Town and Country is a good place to go for a quick arrest,” he said.

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But Scott Lin, the son of owners Jen Yen and Hui Huei Lin, said that prostitutes may be a problem in the neighborhood but his family’s business should not be punished.

“This is a social problem,” Lin said. “There are five bars within a half-mile of the motel. How do we know that when a man checks in, that he is going to sneak out and get a prostitute?”

Katy Lin, the owners’ daughter, said her father has tried to force pimps and prostitutes to move from the motel’s high-traffic corner.

The Lin family said they have not decided whether to appeal the planning commission decision to the Board of Supervisors.

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