Chicopee hotels in violation of zoning ordinance

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 22News I-Team has discovered, three hotels in Chicopee have to upgrade their facilities or move the homeless families living in them out.

The City of Chicopee notified the Quality Inn, Days Inn and Econolodge that they’re in violation of city zoning ordinances. In Chicopee, hotels that have people staying over more than 30 days are classified as a lodging house and require a sprinkler system.

Chicopee’s Fire Chief Stephen Burkott told the I-Team it becomes a fire hazard when people start living in these facilities for an extended period of time.

“Normally with boarding houses or lodging houses, people tend to bring equipment into their rooms, hot plates, microwaves, devices not intended to be used in that type of facility,” Burkott said.

The hotels had 30 days to decide if they’ll add the sprinklers or remove the families. The 30 day period ends this week.

In response to the incident, Matthew Sheaff, Department of Housing and Community Development Spokesperson said, “The health and safety of the families in our emergency shelter program is always our top priority. DHCD is aware of the situation in Chicopee and is working with local and state officials to resolve the matter.”

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