Glen Ellyn considers hotel licensing rules

 
 
Updated 9/3/2013 6:28 PM
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  • Glen Ellyn officials have proposed a license fee for two hotels located in town, including the America's Best Inn/Budgetel Inn & Suites at 675 Roosevelt Road.

      Glen Ellyn officials have proposed a license fee for two hotels located in town, including the America's Best Inn/Budgetel Inn & Suites at 675 Roosevelt Road. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Glen Ellyn may regulate its two hotels in the same manner that it does other businesses, by imposing a licensing fee to cover annual inspections.

Village code currently includes licensing rules for some 30 types of businesses, but it wasn't until earlier this year that officials began giving serious consideration to hotels. Such a move, they say, would enable the village to crack down on any code violations and occasional crime.

The proposed regulations would not only require annual inspections of each hotel room, but also limit the amount of time for extended-stay guests.

Village trustees will vote on the proposed ordinance next Monday.

The village's planning and development department staff researched hotel regulations of about 25 municipalities as they developed proposed licensing regulations for hotels in Glen Ellyn.

Staci Hulseberg, the village's director of planning and development, said the rules are intended to improve or maintain minimum health and safety requirements.

"What we're looking for is to provide high quality properties in the village of Glen Ellyn," Hulseberg said.

The new rules would affect the two hotel facilities within Glen Ellyn: Crowne Plaza, a four-story, 120-room hotel at 1250 Roosevelt Road, and America's Best Inn/Budgetel Inn & Suites, a complex of five, 2-story buildings with 120 rooms at 675 Roosevelt Road.

The village planning and development department has received a "significant" number of complaint calls from guests at Budgetel, including bedbug infestations, unsanitary conditions, and water and heat problems, Hulseberg and Building and Zoning Official Joe Kvapil wrote in a village report.

The police department has also received a number of calls about "nuisances and illegal activities" there, officials said.

The rules would allow those in extended stay units to remain in their rooms for up to one year in any two-year period, while those in so-called transient units would be allowed to stay for a maximum of 30 days in any 6-month period.

"There are a percentage of units that are very long extended stay," Hulseberg said. "Since it seems to be transitioning more towards an apartment complex, which it's not zoned for, that's one of the reasons we're looking at the hotel regulations."

The village is proposing an annual $1,500 license fee for each hotel that officials say would help pay for the cost of yearly inspections of hotel common areas and rooms.

Hulseberg said the fee isn't intended to be a revenue generator; a consultant has estimated it would cost $4,300 annually to inspect Budgetel and $3,000 to inspect Crowne Plaza.

A hotel license would be issued after inspections have been completed and violations are brought into compliance. If a hotel is found to have no violations, it can be exempted from inspections the following year.

Village officials say they have been meeting with owners of the two hotels since April and have made requested changes to the draft ordinance that were "practical."

Kam Sheth, owner and general manager of America's Best Inn/Budgetel Inn & Suites, has asked the village to consider additional changes before the ordinance is considered by the village board: the inspection fee to be $1,000 or less instead of $1,500; the passing level of inspections to be 80 percent instead of 100 percent; the maximum length of transient unit stay to be 60 days in a 6-month period instead of 30 days in order to accommodate construction workers; and a grace period of six months before initial inspections to make improvements to the property.

Hulseberg said village staff would meet with Sheth and might be able to incorporate some, but not all, of the requested changes.

Linda Nagle, general counsel for F&F Realty, the property manager of Crowne Plaza, said almost all of their company's concerns have been addressed.

"Glen Ellyn being a great place to stay -- that's good for us too," she said. "We're very supportive and appreciate the opportunity to give our input."

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