At first glance, the acrimonious fight over the fate of St. Paul's embattled Travel Inn motel would seem to be drawing to a close. Current owner Jay Patel's license is in jeopardy, due to a steady barrage of neighborhood complaints about the clientele and number of police calls--242 in a recent 15-month period, ranking it second only, among the city's motels, to the Twins Motor Inn. The city's licensing department has recommended denying Patel a license to operate. On October 14, the St. Paul City Council deadlocked on the issue 3-3--council member Jay Benanav was absent--amid testimony from motel residents who vouched for it as a needed form of hard-to-come-by transitional housing. Even council member Chris Coleman, who voted against denying the license, isn't much of a fan of the property: He offered a resolution for a 60-day license with the aim of giving residents time to find new quarters, rather than one meant to save the property. Owner Patel doesn't want the property any more than does the neighborhood. He... More >>>