City Moves Against Sunset Blvd. Motel on Ocean Park Charging That Owners Know It’s a Hotbed for Drug Dealers

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To hear the city tell it, the legal action it’s now taking against Pavilions Motel (2338, Ocean Park Blvd.) is, if anything, long overdue. In a press release announcing that it is seeking an immediate stop to drug activities and rehabilitation of the project and a year-long closure of the motel; the city bluntly states that the motel is “notorious for drug sales, fights and other problems that mar the quality of life for the surrounding community.”

“The Pavilions Motel has had an outsized impact on the community and on the deployment of police resources for years,” said SMPD Chief of Police Ramon Batista. 

“The Santa Monica Police Department is pleased to collaborate with the City Attorney’s Office in developing long-term solutions to this problem and this lawsuit is a critical step in that process.” 

Over the past year, the SMPD has executed a pair of search warrants which recovered quantities of suspected methamphetamine and fentanyl consistent with drug sales, as well as baggies, scales and weapons. Anecdotally, neighbors have complained about seeing drug deals at the motel and compared it to a fast food take-out window where cars would stop, people would get out, purchase drugs through a window, get back in the car and leave.

The complaint also alleges that fights, loud noises and even a large fire that required the SMFD to put it out earlier this year are allowed by management’s inaction.

This is not the first time the city has sought a temporary closure of this motel. The Pavilions Motel has been part of enforcement efforts in the past, including a joint code enforcement and police operation in

 2007 that resulted in a temporary closure of the motel and arrests of several people, including owner Saeed Farzam.  

While the city is not alleging that the owners and managers of Pavilions Motel, Saeed Farzam and Goharshad Farzam, have actively engaged in drug sales; the city alleges “they have violated the state Drug Abatement Act, state public nuisance laws and Santa Monica public nuisance law, by maintaining the Pavilions Motel as a place notorious for drug sales, fights and other problems that mar the quality of life for the surrounding community.”

“Property owners are responsible for ensuring that their properties are not a nuisance or a danger to the neighborhood, and the city will hold them accountable when they fail to do so,” said City Attorney Douglas Sloan.  

The People of the State of California and the City of Santa Monica v. Saeed Farzam, Goharshad Farzam, and Pavilions Motel, Inc, 24SMCV02305 has been assigned to Department 207 in the Beverly Hills Courthouse. Read the complaint here.

Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

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