COSTA MESA : Reinstatement of Motel Permit Denied

The owner of the Coastal Inn was before city officials again Monday, this time asking the Planning Commission to reinstate his permit to operate the motel, which has drawn complaints from neighbors.

Officials denied the request by Suresh B. Sheth, who had hoped to have his permit reinstated because he is trying to sell the property. Officials rejected the application on the grounds that there is an overabundance of motels in the city.

Sheth's permit was revoked by the Planning Commission in January after neighbors complained of late-night noise and alleged that drug deals were taking place on the property.

Sheth could not be reached for comment.

The city has made a priority of upgrading the motels in Costa Mesa because officials believe many of them have become havens for drug dealing and prostitution.

The Coastal Inn had become a thorn in the city's side.

Police conducted a raid on the motel's residents in 1994, taking into custody more than a dozen people suspected of drug, weapons and other violations.

In addition, Sheth had racked up more than 1,000 code violations from city building inspectors for problems such as rodent infestation, faulty electrical systems and poor plumbing. Sheth also owes the city $46,000 in back taxes.

"Several [planning commissioners] seemed to be concerned because his name was attached to the application, and based on the history, they did not think he would live up to his word," Planning Manager Perry Valantine said.

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