York ME finds 4 other hotels operating without commercial license
YORK, Maine – After decades of monitoring in the city’s enforcement system was revealed in July, an internal review of all businesses in the city found that four other local hotels were operating without a business license issued by the city, some for over a year. decade.
The Inn at Ridge Road, Sands by the Sea, Sunrise Motel and Cutty Sark Motel were all currently operating without a local business license, city officials said.
It’s unclear whether these four hotels have ever been licensed, but somehow they fell off the city’s radar, according to York deputy manager Kathryn Lagasse. The companies have been contacted and are working with the city to bring themselves into compliance, Lagasse said.
In addition, the Nevada Motel was operating without a business license issued by the city – possibly for all of its seven decades of operation – but it was not included in the list because the company closed this year, according to City Manager Steve Burns.
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Paul de la Pena of Nevada Motel said he and his father had always been licensed through the state health department, and then received a letter from the city two years ago saying the license would expire.
âI had no idea what they were talking about,â he said. “I had never received any information requiring me to be licensed by the city. I still don’t know when they started requiring a municipal license.”
Spokesmen for the other four hotels could not be reached immediately on Tuesday for comment.
In addition to a business license issued by the city, hotels in York must also have a state accommodation license or a restaurant and accommodation license, according to the York Business Licensing Order.
Lagasse said she had retrieved a list of state licenses from Scott Davis, a local state health inspector. The state list was also out of date, she said, so Davis will follow companies that don’t have a state license.
According to Maine Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Robert Long, the five hotels newly identified by York officials as not having business licenses issued by the city currently have their licenses issued by the State.
Council member thanks city officials
The review came after Selectmen’s board member Kinley Gregg called for action in a July 12 meeting, when business owner Adele Iannaco said he was unaware that ‘he had to have a commercial license to run his hotels, The Inn Between the Beaches and The Villager. Motel. Iannaco inherited the businesses and managed them for over 20 years.
Iannaco’s business licenses were conditionally approved at the July 12 meeting.
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Gregg said she appreciated the fact that city officials compiled this additional information and “were clear on finding more unlicensed businesses” in York.
âThe reason I was on it like a dog on a bone wasn’t so much that I wanted numbers,â Gregg said. âI really want someone to take responsibility for the fact that no one looked up and said, ‘Hey, they don’t’ license. “
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The absence of a permit means that a required inspection would not be carried out because the city would not be notified of an upcoming permit renewal. If the hotel needs a liquor license, they would get it through the state, and if they have food, they would also need a food license.
âRestaurants will generally want a liquor license, and the enforcement of liquor laws in the state is just fantastic,â Burns said. “They’re on their game. If you don’t need alcohol, the state isn’t as great, and neither are we, apparently.”
Some improvements needed
Lagasse, who presented the information at a board meeting on Monday, September 27, said the overall business licensing process was effective but could be improved.
âThere are a few areas where we can improve this process,â she said.
There are more than 130 licensed companies in town, Lagasse said.
All the paperwork for the licensing system is done by the assistant general manager, Diane Janetos, and there is no automated system, Lagasse said. Lagasse recommended to the board of directors to adopt a formal follow-up correspondence protocol for companies that do not respond to a license renewal request.
The solution doesn’t have to be complex; it could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, Burns said.
In addition, Lagasse recommended that the city establish a non-compliance fee. If city officials do not hear from a business before their permit expires, the city will send the fire department to do an inspection to determine if the business is still open. she said, noting that some business owners don’t. realize that they need to renew themselves.
Identify additional gaps
Two other deficiencies identified in the review process relate to landfills and food trucks.
The city is required by the state to have a license for the dumps; however, the city’s zoning does not allow dumping grounds. Even so, a few grandfathered properties in the city could be seen as dumping grounds, which will require further scrutiny, Lagasse said.
She also recommended that the Business Licensing Ordinance be amended to include food trucks.
âWe don’t currently have them in our commercial license, and I and the Code Office agree that they probably should be,â she said.
The board has said it agrees with Lagasse’s recommendations and would like more information on late fees, dumps and food trucks, which will be added to the next agenda. board meeting, October 18.
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The discussion opened a wider conversation about the effectiveness of the inspection and authorization system as a whole.
“Is it necessary to go there every year?” Could we come up with a two-year cycle, and maybe try to start scaling some of them for efficiency? Asked board member Mike Estes.
Burns said if it’s up to him, the process would force a company to renew its license every three years and skip annual inspections, but that’s not an option.
âIt’s crazy, but the state’s statutes require a year,â he said. “The state is really adamant about this.”
New commercial licenses
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board approved licenses for two new companies. A new restaurant called Bangkok Beach Bistro is approved for 519 US Route 1, with a maximum of 29 seats. And a new medical marijuana facility called Tree Buds is approved for 19 White Birch Lane.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated Tuesday, September 28, with additional information from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.