Toms River Council to vote on buying troubled motel
TOMS RIVER — A vote is scheduled over whether to close an Ocean County motel which has been the scene of 750 police calls over the past two years, and take the property by eminent domain.
The vote on a proposed ordinance by the Toms River Township Council would decide whether or not the township should take the property at the corner of Washington Street and Water Street, according to township spokeswoman Stacy Proebstle.
"There were so many problems with this particular place and the amount of phone calls we've had over the years for drug related and crime related issues," Proebstle said.
The hotel was cited by police in November during the introduction of an ordinance designed to cut back on hotels and motels in Toms River considered to be "havens for illegal activity," according to assistant township attorney Anthony Merlino
If the ordinance is approved it's not clear what the township would do with the property. The two story hotel would likely be torn down and Huddy Park, which is located across the street from the motel, expanded.
According to state tax records the Red Carpet land is valued at $1.31 million and the building $2.43 million. The owner, 2 Water Street LLC, paid $91,425 in property taxes. According to njparcels.com, the property changed hands in December 2015 for $2.25 million
Under the ordinance approved by township officials in November, hotel and motel operators are required to get proper identification from individuals booking rooms. The renter’s information must be recorded electronically in the hotel’s registry, along with their phone number, license plate number, and vehicle make and model.
The name and address of every guest must be written legibly as well. The registry would also note the time of the booking and the number of the rooms booked.
Guests are prohibited from staying for fewer than 12 hours or more than 90 days.
The ordinance states law enforcement can inspect hotels and motels at any time to ensure the registry requirements are being followed.
Fifteen people were arrested on drug charges during a raid at the Red Carpet Inn on West Water Street in early October. The next month, the township filed a public nuisance complaint that, if sustained in court, could shutter the property for up to a year.
The hotel was previously a Red Roof Inn and then the TR Hotel before joining the Red Carpet Inn chain.
Dino Flammia contributed to this report