Police take aim at motel known for drugs, prostitution and violence

Police take aim at motel known for drugs, prostitution and violence
Photo courtesy of the Seattle Police Department.
SEATTLE -- Seattle police are taking drastic measures to get a notorious Georgetown motel to shape up or ship out.

The department announced Friday it had declared the Airlane Motel a Chronic Nuisance Property, which means the motel's owners have to agree to a host of corrective measures or risk losing their business license.

Police say the motel has long been a hotbed of crime that neighbors have begrudgingly had to put up with.

"(It's) not a typical motel. It doesn't have a pool, continental breakfast or Wifi. But it does have its own drug dealers, prostitutes, and plenty of violent crime," police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said in a Friday statement.

Last year alone, the department received complaints about robbery, rape and domestic violence at the motel. In June, police say a man strangled his pregnant girlfriend in one of Airlane's rooms.

Issues like that, as well as the 46 911 calls made from the motel, led to the department taking the rare step of declaring the property a chronic nuisance.

In order for the motel to get back in the city's good graces, its owners will have to address a list of police demands.

The department wants the owners to install new security cameras, better secure the building, hire security guards, kick out trespassers and make sure guests aren't using drugs or engaging in prostitution.

Department officials say their goal is to address complaints from neighbors while also allowing the property owners to resolve the problems on their own.

"We do not take Chronic Nuisance complaints lightly," Lt. Hayes said in a news release. "It's a serious thing for us, but we want to use Nuisance Property Correction Agreements as a last resort."

SPD has scheduled a meeting later this month with the owners of the Airlane to address the ongoing issues.