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Attorney for motel owner says Colonie is treating him unfairly

COLONIE-- An attorney for Alex Patel, the man who owns two motels on Central Avenue in the Town of Colonie, says the town is locking him out of his businesses and will not let him make the necessary repairs to reopen them.

Attorney John Dowd says Mr. Patel tried on several occasions, since September of 2013, to get the town of Colonie to approve renovations he was making on the Skylane Motel. It wasn't until December of 2013 when the town officials first showed up to the motel to hand out hundreds of fines and shut down the property, Dowd said.

"When we told (them) we intended to make the repairs the town and the Town attorney's office was very clear it is going to be very difficult because we are going to force you to get a special use permit." Dowd said.

According to Dowd Mr. Patel, and the contractors he hired, have not been allowed in the Skylane Motel since it was closed several weeks ago. Patel wants to make repairs to the property but the town has threatened to arrest him if he does, Dowd said.

"Is the intention of the town to really correct the violations and make them safe or is the intent of the town to make sure come Hell or high water my clients not operating that motel from now on." Dowd questioned.

Colonie Town Attorney, Michael Maggiulli, said Wednesday repairs to the Skylane Motel can not be made without a proper permit. No work can be done on any town property without a permit, Maggiulli added.

Mr. Patel has done significant work without ever applying for a permit, something that is against town law, Maggiulli said.

"We have absolutely no evidence what so ever that Mr. Patel ever filed for a building permit for any type of work on either the Skylane Motel or the Blu-Bell Motel prior to the time we executed our search warrant on December 7th." Maggiulli stated.

The Blu-Bell Motel, the other property owned by Alex Patel, is scheduled to close February 18th, said Maggiulli.

For the Skylane Motel, Mr. Patel faces hundreds of violations that equal about $750,000 in fines. The Town of Colonie will hand out similar sanctions to Patel over the Blu-Bell Motel, Maggiulli stated.

The two sides are scheduled to meet in court in April.