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San Diego City Attorney: pay up C Street Inn owners

By Jafet Serrato,


SAN DIEGO – The owners of C Street Inn are being ordered to pay $332,000 for not relocating its tenants when it was unsafe to stay there, according to the San Diego city attorney.

The owners of the hotel, Jack Shah Rafiq and Jax Properties LLC, did not pay to relocate the people and correct its code violations, said San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliot.

Downtown hotel with ‘deplorable’ conditions vacated by city

Some of those code violations included:

  • a non-functioning fire alarm system
  • fire escape routes leading to locked exits
  • broken fire doors
  • missing emergency lighting, exit signs, and smoke detectors
  • non-permitted modifications to the sprinkler system
  • uncovered electrical boxes, including one installed in a shower area
  • dilapidated stairs and stairs without required guardrails
  • expired fire extinguishers
  • mold and rodent infestations
  • openings in fire-safe walls that would speed the spread of flames, and
  • numerous non-permitted modifications to the building and its water supply lines.

Due to the owners’ refusal to fix the situation, the city had to relocate the 66 tenants and provide them with temporary housing, Elliot said. The money order is for reimbursement of the city’s efforts.

Prosecutors say the inn has been on the city’s radar since 2011 because several inspections have been conducted there by fire officials and code enforcement investigators.

Rafiq and Jax Properties LLC are also being ordered to pay a $10,000 penalty for failing to timely pay relocation benefits and $11,022 in administrative costs, prosecutors said.

When the tenants were relocated, they each qualified for $4,720 in relocation costs.

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