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VAN NUYS : Partial Motel Victory on Security Issues

A Los Angeles City Council committee Tuesday reduced security conditions against the owners of three Van Nuys motels targeted by the city as magnets for crime and recommended that they should not be made to reimburse the city for being investigated.

But the victory by the Cinema, El Cortez and Town House motels was only partial, as Planning and Land Use Management Committee members Laura Chick and Hal Bernson recommended against allowing the motels to rent rooms more than once a day.

In March, the three motels were among five along Sepulveda Boulevard that were labeled public nuisances by city zoning officials.

As a result, the motel owners were ordered to hire 24-hour security, reimburse the city more than $4,000 for the cost of the city probe and impose nearly two dozen other conditions to prevent loitering by prostitutes and drug dealers.

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Two other motels--the Chateau and Bali Hi--did not appeal the findings, but on Tuesday, city officials said Chick and Bernson agreed that the security could be negotiated with Los Angeles police officials.

Instead of 24-hour on-call security, the motels can implement eight- to 12-hour security, said Associate Zoning Administrator Dan Green.

“There will be some flexibility there,” Green said.

The City Council must still vote on whether to accept the committee’s recommendations on the motel conditions or whether to implement other conditions. The issue is expected to come before the council on Sept. 13, Green said.

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