Mar 1, 2016 2:56 PM by News Staff
Construction crews began demolishing the Hilltop Lodge in Redding Monday after its owners refused to bring the building up to code.
Building owners racked up almost $6,000 in penalties for not bringing the motel up to code so instead of paying that fine they decided to have the motel demolished.
Room by room, Axner excavating crews are tearing down the windows, balconies, ceilings and floors of the lodge.
Jim Wright, an Official in Redding’s City planning Department said the Hilltop Lodge had mountain of issues that needed to be fixed if it were to remain open.
"There were code enforcement issues with the property, as far as substandard structural conditions," he said.
Substandard conditions, like unstable structures and bed bugs that were plaguing the motel.
Code enforcement officers first inspected the lodge in 2015.
"We issued a compliance order which started stipulating timelines in which they had to abate the problem," Wright said. "When that didn't follow through we took them to an administrative hearing."
Lodge owners were faced with penalties of up to $6,000 after the City of Redding reached out to them multiple times with an order to bring the lodge up to code but received no answer.
Darlene cox, who owns a consignment store across the street said over the last few years she's witnessed heavy transient and drug activity at the motel. She welcomes the change of scenery in her neighborhood.
"I’m really excited," she said "It's a long time overdue"
Cox hopes the demolition sends a message to criminals and transients that they're no longer welcome on Hilltop Drive.
"I think it's just going to be a nice cleanup for this area of Hilltop," she said.
Owners of the lodge property could not be reached comment.
Redding officials said the owners have obtained a conditional permit to build a holiday inn express to replace the hilltop lodge.