LONG BEACH : Landlord Fined $11,000 for Code Violations

A Long Beach man and a company owned by his family have been fined more than $11,000 for criminal slum violations.

Robert Frontiera, 34, pleaded no contest to five fire, health, and building and safety code violations at the Frontier Hotel, a 430-room building for low-income people and welfare recipients on West 5th Street in Los Angeles. Zuma Corp., the company that owns the hotel, was charged with 10 violations.

Los Angeles Municipal Judge Thomas L. Willhite also placed Frontiera on two years' probation.

Charges were filed in March after several inspections of the hotel by the city's Slum Housing Task Force between September and December, 1993. Violations included lack of heat, broken and missing smoke detectors, broken fire doors, exposed live electrical wiring, defective electrical and plumbing fixtures, and accumulations of trash.

Frontiera said he has spent $200,000 on repairs and expects to spend another $100,000 before the city's demands are met.

Tenants have already demolished some of the repairs, he added. "Two months ago, we put in new showers. On the 12th floor alone, three (shower heads) are already broken off," he said.

Deputy City Atty. Janet Jackson, who handled the case, said the Frontier Hotel owners are not slumlords. She said the city understands that some violations are caused by tenants. But owners of low-income housing must be prepared to invest money to keep the housing up to code.

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