Skepticism At City’s Victory Claim Over Birthing Hotel

Activists in Chino Hills opposed to the operation of Chinese maternity hotels there have expressed doubt that a court-ordered settlement with regard to one of the birthing centers obtained by the city short of a trial earlier this month will effectively close down the facility.
Hai Yong Wu and Yi Wang had been operating an illegal birthing hotel out of what was originally a seven-bedroom home located at 5250 Woodglen Drive in Chino Hills throughout much of 2012. After it became known that Wu and Wang were housing pregnant women from China in the final stages of their pregnancy at the home in the upscale neighborhood so that their children could be credited with U.S. Citizenship, a wave of protest brought scrutiny and confirmation the house was being advertised as “Los Angeles Hermas Hotel,” touted as pre-birth and post-birth resting quarters for Chinese women.
The city of Chino sent code enforcement personnel to the premises, who found that the home, originally built in 1974 with seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, had been altered to feature 17 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms, many of which were not built to code. The inspectors documented no fewer than 18 code violations and then used citations generated on the basis of those to force operations there to cease, at least temporarily.
It was subsequently revealed that at least two other similar establishments had set up operation in Chino Hills. Those two were also temporarily forced to cease operations.
As part of a follow-up effort to prevent the Woodglen Drive home from reopening as a maternity hotel, the city had city attorney Mark Hensley seek an injunction barring Wu and Wang from operating the facility. A pre-injunction hearing was scheduled for February 19. Before that hearing took place however, Hensley succeeded in obtaining a stipulated agreement whereby nine of the building code violations were acknowledged and a correction plan was put into place. Under the terms of that agreement, which was confirmed as a court-ordered settlement issued by West Valley Superior Court Judge Keith Davis on February 11, Wang was dismissed as a party and Wu is required to remedy sewer line discharge violations, cover exposed electrical wires on the premises, outfit the single entrance bedrooms with emergency exits, provide ventilation, correct illegal construction of add-on rooms in the house, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms, and ensure clearance of flammable materials.
Hensley also reported the stipulated agreement contained a provision that the property cannot be used for commercial purposes, effectively shuttering the house as a birthing facility.
The city hailed the judgment as a victory in the battle to rid the city of maternity hotels.
Several Chino Hills residents, including members of the Not In Chino Hills organization that hastily formed late last year to oppose the maternity hospitals, expressed skepticism at the city’s confident pronouncement.
The Not In Chino Hills website states “[The] city of Chino Hills enter[ed] into an agreement with Mr. Wu, but there are no restrictions. Mr Wu can keep his 17 rooms and 17 bathrooms! [The] city filed a ex parte motion [and] vacated the February 19th hearing to enter [into] this agreement. Because Mr. Wu’s 17 rooms are within the building code, as long as they meet the sewage capacity, he does not need to put the house back to its original form – 7 bedrooms and 6 baths.”
Several Chino Hills residents have said they are concerned Wu will get around the ban on birthing activity by bringing the home up to code and operating as a subsidized or charity guest or vacation home.

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