Downtown Needles, CA: To demolition or not to demolition; what did the Needles City Attorney say?

Downtown Needles, CA- To demolition or not to demolition; what did the Needles City Attorney say- Picture- Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Downtown Needles, CA: To demolition or not to demolition; what did the Needles City Attorney say?

To demolition or not to demolition; that is the question that seem to have came up during a Needles City Council Meeting held on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 when the Needles City Attorney responded to a comment regarding the Overland Hotel and the demolish the structure saying that there has not been a vote to demolition the old and abandoned Overland Hotel.

It all started during Public Appearance, Ruth Musser Lopez commented about the Overland Hotel and how disappointed she with members of the Needles City Council for taking that vote in Executive Session.

The vote in Executive Session was regarding the Overland Hotel and to authorize legal counsel to seek a count order admitting the receiver to demolish the structure located on the 700 block of West Broadway in Downtown Needles, California was taken during Needles City Council Meeting back on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013.

Ruth Musser Lopez hoped that members of the Needles City Council have some vision, from here on out, about demolishing properties along Route 66 and informed members of the Needles City Council that there is funding out there for these kinds of properties and for reuse historic structures.

After Public Appearance, Needles City Attorney John Pinkney spoke to clarify what was commented by Ruth Musser Lopez regarding the Overland Hotel.

“There is actually is not, has not been a vote to demolition the Overland. So the Council has not voted to do that,” said Needles City Attorney John Pinkney adding, “The vote that was taken by the Council, that was properly agendize pursuing to the Brown Act and was properly reported out pursuing to the Brown Act, was that the council authorize the attorney to seek a court order allowing the receiver, which was appointed by the court, giving that receiver the authority to tear it down; should that decision later be made. There has not been a decision made by the Council to demolish the Overland Motel. And I also wanted to pointed out that because there is receivership in place currently, the hotel is for sale and if there is a group interested in rehabbing the property, they are free to purchases from the receiver and revitalize the property.”

Just to make sure, let go back to that vote in Executive Session during a Needles City Council Meeting back on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013; which was also the last Needles City Council Meeting of the year 2013:

Member of the Needles City Council had in front of them 2 agenda items, Agenda Item A and Agenda Item B, both related to the old and abandoned Overland Hotel and after an hour of discussion, member of the Needles City Council walked out of the next door room and sat down to have Needles City Attorney John Pinkney report on what happen inside Executive Session.

Regarding Agenda Item A;

“The City Council met in executive session to pursuing to California Government Code 54956.9(a) – Conference with Legal Counsel Existing Litigation – City of Needles vs. Keith Enterprises, L.C.C. Case Number CIVNS1100085 and the reportable action was the Council voted unanimously to authorize legal counsel to seek a count order admitting the receiver; term receiver, to demolish the structure at 710 through 712 West Broadway, also known as the Overland and request an extension of the receivership to allow time to pursue demolition of the structures. On item B, pursuing to California Government Code 54956.8 – Conference with Real Property negotiator – 710-712 West Broadway – Agency Negotiator – Needles City Manager Rick Daniels – Under Negotiation: Whether to purchase property through San Bernardino County tax sale and price and terms – Negotiating Parties: County of San Bernardino through tax sale and the reportable action, again unanimously, was to with… a letter was sent out to the County to initiate a Chapter 8 purchase of the Overland, and the decision this evening was to authorize the City Manager and staff to withdraw the request to initiate a Chapter 8 purchase of the Overland,” said Needles City Attorney John Pinkney.

As for Agenda Item B;

“On item B, pursuing to California Government Code 54956.8 – Conference with Real Property negotiator – 710-712 West Broadway – Agency Negotiator – Needles City Manager Rick Daniels – Under Negotiation: Whether to purchase property through San Bernardino County tax sale and price and terms – Negotiating Parties: County of San Bernardino through tax sale and the reportable action, again unanimously, was to with… a letter was sent out to the County to initiate a Chapter 8 purchase of the Overland, and the decision this evening was to authorize the City Manager and staff to withdraw the request to initiate a Chapter 8 purchase of the Overland,” said Needles City Attorney John Pinkney.

Between Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 and Tuesday, January 14th, 2014, ZachNews has asked the City of Needles if there has been any updates regarding the Overland Hotel and has been given or informed of nothing further then what was discussed during the Needles City Council Meeting of Tuesday, December 10th, 2013.

The old and abandoned Overland Hotel, located on the 700 block of West Broadway between D Street and E Street in Downtown Needles, California, used to be a buzzing hotel stop for tourists driving along the historic and world famous Route 66 and even was next door to a dinner place serving great breakfast according to several local residents.

But the property would change over the years and became a low income apartment building.

The property would later grew into a health and safety issue with many complaints by the residents and nobody fixing the problems such as no running water and unsafe electrical wiring.

After years and years of complaints of health and safety issues, the Overland Hotel closed in August 2011 which residents were told to move out within hours to other low income properties or motel with some residents leaving some of their belongings behind because they were out of town.

Since the closure, the property has becoming a big eyesore along the West Broadway in Downtown Needles, California and many in the community wants this eyesore to be taken down.

The property sat abandon, collecting dust and trash, and a hangout place for vandals to break windows not boarded up, tagging up property walls, and reports of drugs use inside the rooms.

The City of Needles had mixed feelings on what should be done to the property with some members of the Needles City Council dreaming for the property to become student housing for the near by Palo Verde College Needles Center or for affordable housing for the community.

But all those dreams would go nowhere and the property grow to being a bigger eyesore as well as a fire hazard.

In September 2013, a fire was put out by the San Bernardino County Fire Department after the smelling smoke coming from the property area which is just down the street from San Bernardino County Fire Department Station #31 which is located at 633 Front Street near D Street in Downtown Needles, California.

The very quick actions of the San Bernardino County Fire Department kept the fire to just a near by palm tree which stands along an alleyway behind the old and abandoned Overland Hotel.

After over 3 years of sitting doing nothing, many hope the property will finally be knocked down and be cleared of an eyesore that many drive by as they tour along the historic and world famous Route 66 highway.

Lately, the San Bernardino County Fire Department has been using the Overland Hotel property to run tests which they have also discovered at least 3 people sleeping inside the old and abandoned Overland Hotel.

The debate to save the property and store the property or knock down the whole building down has been talked about for years and until something is finally done to the property, this once buzzing hotel stop will remain as it has been for the last 3 years as the old and abandoned Overland Hotel.

** You can watch the video from this news story at the following ZachNews on YouTube website address: **

– Needles City Council: 12-10-2013: Executive Session: Regarding Old Overland Motel.

http://youtu.be/tppZsSAN09w

**** Community Comments: ****

– What do you think should the City of Needles do to the old Overland Hotel?

**** Please write in your comments in the comment section on this news story. ****

** Thank You For Your Comments and For Participating. **

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