The City of Tulsa is cracking down on the high-crime motels at 11th and Garnett, flexing its muscle with the chronic nuisance property ordinance passed in July 2018.
City code enforcement issued a notice to the owners of the Travelodge, Garnett Inn and Oak Tree Inn earlier this month requiring them to follow an action plan.
“The chronic nuisance property allows us to combine code violations, crime violations and fire violations so all three properties qualified for that process,” Brant Pitchford with Tulsa City Code Enforcement explained.
Part of the requirement requires that each property have 24/7 security until further notice. The Travelodge was the only property willing to step up and make things better, according to the city.
“We posted their notice and within a day they contacted us. We had three meetings in about a two-week period with us, police and fire to lay out their plan, and they’re not exercising that plan.”
The city says the owners of the Garnett Inn and Oak Tree Inn appealed the notice.
“We understood they wanted to exercise their rights to appeal in front of the council if they need to or feel like it. It also lets them get on the record if they want to go to district court, they have the option to do that,” Pitchford said.
According to numbers released only to News On 6 from the city:
Since July 2018, seven felony arrests and 16 city charges have been made at the Garnett Inn. Tulsa fire also issued 13 fire code violations on the property and three criminal citations to the owner. Twice TFD posted to vacate due to fire code violations on the property.
In that same time frame, Tulsa police made 13 felony arrests and 49 city charges at the Oak Tree Inn, including eight state charges. TFD issued 13 fire code violations, three criminal citations to the owner. Twice TFD posted to vacate due to fire code violations.
In comparison to the Travelodge, the city says the owners of the Garnett Inn and Oak Tree Inn were forced into an agreement to remedy the issues on their property instead of voluntarily doing it.
“My clients, both hoteliers, are working with the city of Tulsa to resolve the dispute with the city of Tulsa to everyone’s satisfaction,” Attorney John Eagleton, who is representing the owners of the Garnett Inn and Oak Tree Inn, told News On 6 by phone.
The city says the owners at the Garnett Inn and Oak Tree Inn have been violating the terms of the agreement by only offering “sporadic security” instead of the agreed upon 24/7 coverage. Their attorney refused to comment when pressed for answers on that allegation.
“I am not prepared to confirm or deny any of the negotiations at this time or any agreement at this time,” Eagleton said.
“I have no comment on the recent past or the current. I will tell you my clients are doing everything in their power to put the city’s concerns at ease."
It was announced earlier this month that the Oak Tree Inn will be auctioned off on April 24th at 10 a.m. While the auction is open to the public - News On 6 has been told we are not allowed inside the building for the auction.
We did contact the company out of Oklahoma City that has been hired to conduct the auction, and they told us that they’re confident that the Oak Tree Inn will change hands on the day the auction is held but it’s unclear if it will still operate as a lower income motel.
The Brookshire Motel at 11th and Garnett is up for sale. The Route 66 Commission tells us that the owner is asking for $400,000 for the property.
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