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Hurricane Hotel

The neighborhood association wanted to let residents know about our involvement with the Nuisance Abatement process.    

Over the past years, there have been a number of incidents at the Hurricane (located at 2621 N Ocean) a hotel that is located just across the street from the neighborhood’s main entrance at 27th Street.   These incidents have included numerous code violations, suspected drug activity, as well as a series of activities that concerned the board and neighbors.  Last year, board members Joe Amorosino and John Torregrosa lead the effort to address the situation, leading to the Hurricane’s inclusion in the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Nuisance Abatement process.   We received significant support from the city police, including our Security Officer Darren Ogden. 

This abatement process and the hotel were recently featured on CBS4 - Miami Story

More details about the process are available on the City Page about nuisance abatement.  

We are asking that any concerned residents attend the meeting to reflect our concern for the ongoing safety issues at the Hurricane and how they affect our neighborhood.   The board will be considering what additional actions may be taken to address the ongoing problems at the Hurricane.  

To provide background, below is a summary of the original findings associated with the Hurricane Hotel.  

Nuisance Abatement Board Regular Meeting
October 13, 2011


 Notice of Evidentiary Hearing
Det. Maniates stated the property owner, Ghulam Usman, had received notice of this
meeting on 9/21/11 and the manager had received notice on 9/20/11; both were in
attendance.
Det. Maniates announced that from 1/1/11 to 10/7/11 there had been 47 calls for service
to the property, four of which were nuisance related. On 6/29, 7/6, 8/12 and 8/31/11
purchases of crack cocaine had been made using a confidential informant. Det.
Maniates had visited the property with Code Enforcement and Building Department
representatives and spoken with the manager, who acknowledged receipt of the
nuisance abatement warning letters, complaints and notice of hearing and confirmed
the owner had received the paperwork.
Det. Maniates presented photos of the property and read the Police recommendations:
1. The owner will file a No Trespass Affidavit with the Fort Lauderdale Police
Department and post No Trespassing signs on property within fourteen (14) days
and thereafter enforce trespassing laws.

2. The owner will clearly display, within ten (10) days and for the duration of
jurisdiction, a sign measuring 16”x20” stating that the property is under the
jurisdiction of the Nuisance Abatement Board and is being monitored by the Fort
Lauderdale Police Department. Placement will be directed by the detective.
3. The owner will install and maintain additional exterior lighting on the front, rear and
sides of the building (according to all City of Fort Lauderdale Code requirements)
within (30) days. Placement will be directed by the detective.
4. The owner will repair all fencing surrounding the property (according to all City of
Fort Lauderdale Code requirements) within (60) days and maintain the fencing in
good order.
5. The owner will install and maintain a minimum of three (3) exterior and (1) interior
(at the reception desk) video cameras that can be monitored by the clerk while at
the counter, (according to all Code requirements) within sixty (60) days and make
video available to the Police Department during all business hours.
6. The owner will maintain the property free of debris and trash.
7. The investigative costs total a dollar amount of $3,147.09. The owner(s) is
assessed 50% of this amount, which equals $1,573.55 costs to be paid prior to the
November 10, 2011 Nuisance Abatement Board meeting, if no meeting occurs in
November then prior to the next scheduled Nuisance Abatement Board meeting.
The Board will waive the remaining balance $1,573.55 of the investigative costs if
the owner complies with the Board Order within the specified time frame(s). If the
owner fails to comply within the specified time frame(s), the remaining 50%
$1573.55 of the investigative costs will be assessed.
8. If any staff is arrested on the property for illegal narcotics transactions or
possession of any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, then the remaining balance
of the investigative costs, which total $1573.55 will immediately be assessed
9. If any of the above listed items are not complied with within the time frame set
forth, a fine in the amount of $250.00, per day, per item, not to exceed $250.00 per
day, will be imposed for each day of non-compliance.
10. The owner(s) of the property will appear before the Nuisance Abatement Board at
the November 10, 2011 Nuisance Abatement meeting (or if no meeting occurs in
November, then at the next Nuisance Abatement Board meeting) for a status
hearing.
11. The Nuisance Abatement Board will retain jurisdiction over the property for a
period of (1) year, from the date of this order.
Mr. Walker said the owner stipulated to all facts and agreed to all Police Department
recommendations. He asked the Board to declare the property a nuisance. The owner
had agreed to erect all trespass signs within 7 days, and Mr. Walker revised this
recommendation.
Mr. Usman agreed something must be done and said he would do whatever was
needed to resolve the issues. He apologized to the neighbors.
Mr. Jim Ellison, neighbor, was pleased the owner intended to clean up the property. He
said his biggest concern was the clientele in the hotel and the drug offenses and
prostitution that occurred there. Mr. Walker wished to add a recommendation that the
manager photocopy the license of everyone staying in the hotel.
Mr. John Torregrossa said he was in charge of the security program for his
neighborhood, which hired off-duty Fort Lauderdale Police to patrol. He wanted to get
the property up to code, and to remove the unwanted clientele.
Mr. Martin Bilowich, neighbor, said the property was an embarrassment. He said the
owner had a responsibility to be a good citizen in the neighborhood.
Chair Saunders asked about the rates at the hotel. Mr. Usman said they were fairly low,
and remarked that most clients were working class people who rented by the week. Mr.
Walker asked if there was anything in the lease agreement stating someone could be
evicted for any law violation. Mr. Usman said he had such an agreement but he had not
brought it with him.
Mr. Usman stated the rate was $30 per day for a regular room and $50 per day for an
efficiency. Mr. Jadoonanan Ramdhan, manager, stated he had been the manager for
almost three months and he recognized the problem. He said he had raised the rates to
$45 - $50 per day. Mr. Ramdham had also had clients removed when he felt they were
undesirable. He stated the weekly rate was $225 to $275.
Aside from the amendment to post the trespassing signs within 7 days, Mr. Walker said
they would add the provision that drivers licenses and license plate numbers would be
collected from all clients.
Chair Saunders wanted the security cameras to be accessible to the Police Department
via the Internet, but Mr. Walker said there was a technical issue with this. Det. Maniates
said he would look into it.
Mr. Schulze said the manager must keep tabs on who was actually occupying the
rooms, and Mr. Usman said he would add the requirement that no guests would be
allowed without the permission of the manager. Mr. Schulze advised Mr. Usman not to
allow anyone to occupy a room who had not provided identification.
Mr. Gatanio wanted a nuisance abatement sign posted on each of the three buildings,
not just at the front desk. Mr. Usman did not object to this additional recommendation.
Motion made by Mr. Hoover, seconded by Mr. Gatanio, to declare the property a
nuisance, and to accept the recommendations, including the following amendments:
reducing the time frame for recommendation #1 to 7 days; the posting of a nuisance
abatement sign on each of the three buildings; photocopying the legal identification of
all occupants, recording license plate numbers of all cars and recording the names of all
room occupants. In a roll call vote, motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Walker informed the Board that Mr. Usman would be out of the country on
November 10 but would send a representative to the meeting.
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