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ballot measure in Los Angeles that

would have required hotels in the

city to house the homeless along

with paying guests has been officially

withdrawn from consideration. However,

the Los Angeles City Council also passed

an ordinance to replace the ballot measure

that some local hoteliers also protest.

The ballot measure, sponsored by

Unite Here Local 11 hospitality workers

union, would have required hotels to

house homeless voucher holders with

regular guests, spurring protests by

AAHOA, the American Hotel & Lodging

Association and others. On Dec. 5, Unite

Here agreed to withdraw that ballot

measure, which was going to go before

voters in March.

At the same meeting, the council

approved the Responsible Hotel Ordinance

to replace the ballot measure and that

would allow hotels to voluntarily make

vacant rooms available for interim housing

for the homeless. It also would require

developers of new hotel properties to obtain

a conditional use permit through a public

review of the proposed development’s

impact on the existing housing supply

and to replace any housing that would

be demolished or otherwise lost in the


Also, hotel developers and owners of

existing hotels, as well as owners of short-

term rental properties, would be required

to obtain a police permit that would screen

owners and operators of those properties

for prior criminal activity or any history of

creating a public nuisance. The ordinance is

now awaiting the signature of Los Angeles

Mayor Karen Bass.

Several hoteliers and short-term rental

property owners attended the meeting in

early November during which the new

ordinance was introduced and took issue

during public comments, particularly with

requirement for a police permit. Ray Patel,

president of the Northeast Los Angeles

Hotel Owners Association, was among


“I am not happy with the new ordinance,”

Patel said. “The association will continue to

fight the new ordinance which imposes a

police hotel permit section.”

The protest continues

AHLA and AAHOA both praised the

withdrawal of the Unite Here ballot


“[The] vote by the council removes

Unite Here’s ridiculous homeless-in-hotels

proposal from the ballot, and the union’s

consent to this vote makes clear that its

irresponsible demand was just a bargaining

chip, rather than a serious attempt to

address the homelessness crisis gripping

L.A.,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA president

and CEO.

AAHOA said in its statement the

voluntary housing component of the new

ordinance is an improvement over the

previous ballot measure. At the same time,

the association said it also thinks some

changes should be made to the police

permitting section of the ordinance are


The police permitting requirement also

would lead to uncertainty for hoteliers

because they will not know each year if

they will receive the permit or not, AAHOA

said. Banks might avoid renewing hotel

loans and demand immediate full payment

of loans from hoteliers and hoteliers may

be discouraged from investing in their

properties due to the uncertainty.

“This section imposes an onerous

process that, among other things, could

potentially lead to the denial of a hotel

permit for up to five years with no rights to

appeal if a hotel is ‘found’ by an unspecified

adjudicator to have violated any federal,

state, or local employment laws,” AAHOA

said. “It also generally references prohibited

activities that are broadly worded and

nonspecific and might arise because of

unruly guests’ activities that a hotel owner

has worked hard to prevent.”

AAHOA is asking that the Los Angeles

Planning and Land Use Management

Committee consider the impact the police

hotel permit on the local hotels, especially

the limited-service hotels owned by

minority and immigrant hoteliers.

Paul Krekorian, L.A. Council president

responded to concerns about the police

permit requirement during the first meeting

in November. Specifically, he addressed his

response to short-term rental hosts who

were concerned that police would inspect

their properties.

“The draft ordinance that's before us

today would already provide for automatic

acceptance of an application for the police

permit. All you have to do is apply and

unless there is opposition presented by

someone that application will automatically

be approved,” Krekorian said.

L.A. homelessness ballot measure

withdrawn, new ordinance passed

AAHOA, local hoteliers opposed to new permit’s requirement of a police permit for hotels

The Los Angeles City Council accepted the withdrawal of a ballot measure proposed by hospitality

labor union Unite Here Local 11 that would have required hotels in the city to house the homeless

alongside paying guests. AAHOA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association protested the ballot

measure, and AAHOA remains concerned about a requirement in the city’s new Responsible Hotel

Ordinance that requires hotels to receive a permit from the police department to operate.

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