Springfield Aldermen sent a strong message they want the owners of the maligned Bel-Aire Motel slapped with chronic nuisance violations, but the mayor’s administration isn’t reciprocating.
“It is our corporation counsel’s legal opinion as to how the ordinance works, based on a long history of the ordinance here in the city of Springfield and the way it’s been worked in other communities,” Mayor Mike Houston said after Wednesday’s meeting.
The measure passed with no discussion.
Houston says the chronic nuisance ordiance must be applied to each room, not the property as a whole. He says no judge would evict everyone in the complex because of one problem room.
Aldermen spent a good deal of time during last week’s committee of the whole trying to argue that the chronic nuisance ordinance can be applied to property owners based on how it’s written.
There are more than 1,000 violations at the complex, many of which are scheduled for administrative court hearings later this month.
Despite unanimous passage of the resolution, it’s non-binding. The mayor says it’s unlikely chronic nuisance proceedings will begin.