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Low-Cost Motels Cause Concern For Spring Residents

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Low-cost motels such as this Palace Inn which recently opened in the intersection of Louetta Road and Carrot Street have caused concern for nearby residents fearing that the budget lodging establishments will attract crime.

Spring, Texas – March 8, 2019: With new low-cost hotels and motels coming to Spring, residents are expressing concerns regarding possible increased crime and the negative impact these establishments may have on home values. However, law enforcement officials and real estate experts say the negative effects of such businesses are not predetermined and can vary greatly depending on how businesses are managed and maintained.

Low-cost hotels and motels in Spring are visited by law enforcement regularly according to data provided by the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office. In 2018, the Motel 6 located at 19606 Cypresswood Court had more than 300 incidences with law enforcement visiting the property, according to data provided by the Constable’s Office.

Residents like Ashley Duran who live near budget hotels are concerned about a possible rise in crime, including drug use, prostitution, and general vagrancy. Since the Palace Inn located near the intersection of Louetta Road and Carrot Street opened last month, Duran said she has seen more police presence in the area and that has caused concern. Public safety and maintaining nearby neighborhoods’ reputations for safety are concerns as well, Duran said.

“Anytime you put a hotel like that in, it will definitely drive down the value and affect the safety of our children as well,” Duran said.

However, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said via email that the budget point of a hotel is not necessarily a driving factor for crime. Motel policies, location and other factors can affect how much crime is associated with commercial lodging, he said. Data for other low-cost hotels in the Spring area show less than 50 calls during 2018, showing the variance in crime rates between lodging establishments.

“Each motel is different and there is no distinction of scale pertaining to payment. Crime will fluctuate depending on the situation and circumstances,” Herman said.

Herman said hotel management can be proactive in preventing their properties from becoming problems for their neighbors. Prompt reporting of any problems to law enforcement so that issues can be addressed is key to preventing a problem from happening, he said. This includes issues such as prostitution.

“Human trafficking is always a concern to law enforcement and again each situation and environment is different on the cases we work,” Herman said.

Low-cost motels can have a negative impact on property values though, said Christi Borden, a realtor with Better Homes and Garden Gary Greene via email. While residents may have a “not in my backyard” attitude about one of these businesses coming into their neighborhood, their concerns may be valid or unwarranted depending on the proximity of the business and how well the business is maintained, she said.

Similar to trends a few years ago of Walmart Neighborhood Market stores going into Houston suburbs, the impact of a hotel on property values will vary, Borden said.

“If it backs to a community, any commercial development will have some degree of negative impact on values of homes that are directly adjacent to and divided only by fence ,” Borden said.

Residents remain concerned about how the new Palace Inn location will affect the community though.

“To bring something like that to our area near the schools, that brings a big disadvantage to all of us.

Spring Happenings reached out to Palace Inn management for comment on this story but did not receive a response prior to publication.

Low-Cost Motel Crime Statistics:

(Calls for service made between January 01, 2018 and February 12, 2019.)

LowCostHotelC4Calls

R. Hans Miller joined the Spring Happenings team in March 2019. R. Hans has been a writer for more than 20 years and a journalist for the last five years. He has a bachelors degree in journalism from Texas State University where he graduated with honors. R. Hans lives in Katy with his wife, Brandee, their two cats, and one dog.

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