City of Taunton suing Clarion Hotel owners over unpaid migrant housing fees



The city of Taunton has filed suit against the owners of the Clarion Hotel for unpaid fees after the hotel was operating over occupancy since the property began housing migrants for the state.

Robert Pirozzi, the Building Commissioner and Zoning Enforcement Officer for the City of Taunton is listed as the Plaintiff on behalf of the city in court documents filed on Febuary 20th in Superior Court. Multiple defendants are listed on the civil action documents including 700 Taunton LLC. The hotel is located at 700 Myles Standish Blvd, inside the Industrial Park.

The city contends that in May of 2023, Pirozzi was made aware that the hotel had been operating “greatly above it occupancy limits” as a result of the State entering into a contract for migrant families in need of emergency housing.

On May 26th, Pirozzi issued a fine of $100 for being over occupancy and the following day, issued another fine of $500 for what the city deemed “continued violation of the occupancy permit.”

Court documents reveal that between May 28th and September 28th of 2023, the hotel maintained occupancy levels above its permit for a total of 116 days with the city assessing fees in total of $114,600.00.

Pirozzi and the city of Taunton said that the hotel made no effort to reduce its occupancy but that it did attempt to have its occupancy permit increased.

Not only did the hotel fail to dispute the fines, they did not contact city law department about the issue. They also did not pay any of the fines.

Speaking with Taunton Mayor Shaunna O’Connell’s office today, Chief of Staff Ligia Madeira shared the following statement:

“The hotel was fined $114,600 from May 26, 2023 to September 18, 2023. City officials contacted the hotel to inform them city records indicated they were overcapacity and not in compliance with safety code regulations. The city requested the hotel file updated documentation to prove compliance. Due to the fact that the request was not responded to for months, fines were assessed. No fines have been paid to date. The issue of the nonpayment of fines is now pending in Superior Court.”

When asked how many individuals are currently on site, the Mayor’s office is not quite sure.

“Our office does not have the current numbers of individuals on site. Numbers we have received during the time the hotel has been occupied have been up to 445 people.”

The hotel is the only hotel in the city of Taunton and the Mayor says it has made an impact on the city.

“We lost the only hotel available in our city, which is located in our Industrial park. It has impacted business travel to our area.”

The Clarion Hotel is one of more than a dozen properties that have entered into agreements with the state to house more than 20,000 migrants that have made their way to Massachusetts since last spring.

Read the complete court filing below:

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