On Wednesday during an emergency called meeting, the East Ridge Housing Commission suspended the operation of the Waverly Motel due to numerous code and fire safety violations.
“(The Waverly) has been neglected for a long time,” Housing Commission Chairman Jim Winters said to Rashan Patel, the general manager of the motel. “I think it’s a health hazard. You need to stop, regroup, get your ducks in a row and bring this place back up to code.”
On Tuesday morning, a police officer was driving through the parking lot of the Waverly and observed a suspicious vehicle. Officer David Myrick said he approached the vehicle and while talking to the man saw a known drug dealer come out of room 121 where a prostitute stays. The drug dealer had methamphetamine and paraphernalia on him.
Another officer, who said she saw a used syringe on the sidewalk in front of one room, made a second arrest in another room of the motel and noticed as many as five or six people inside. The police then called East Ridge code enforcement officers to the scene.
Code officials said they inspected 19 of the 20 units at the motel and found numerous code violations including heating and cooling, plumbing, electrical, pest infestation, and unsanitary conditions. The city’s fire marshal said there were only three working smoke detectors in the entire motel. In addition there were issues with fire extinguishers.
Roshan Patel, the general manager of the Waverly, offered little in the way to rationalize the condition of the motel. His attorney, Rob Carden, of Spears, Moore, Rebman and Williams, admitted to past violations and said his client would do everything in his power to bring the motel back into compliance with city codes.
The board voted unanimously to suspend the operation of the motel, which includes evicting all of its clients. The board ordered the owners of the motel, a corporate entity according to Carden, to appear before the housing commission on Monday, May 13 to give an update on progress being made to address deficiencies.
Housing Commission member Earl Wilson characterized the Waverly as a “public nuisance.” He said that since Jan. 1, 2019 there have been nearly 100 calls to 911 dispatchers from the location.
“East Ridge is trying to move forward,” Wilson said. “This (non-compliance with codes) needs to stop.”
After the housing commission ordered the Waverly closed, a woman approached from the audience and told Chairman Winters that she was “impressed” with the action.
“I’ve lived in the neighborhood since 1981 and (the Waverly) has been awful the entire time,” said the woman who did not want to give her name. “I live off social security and can’t afford to move away.”
Click on the link below to see a video of the entire housing commission meeting: