CHINO HILLS - The property owner of an alleged maternity hotel operation has entered into an agreement with the city to bring the controversial home up to city code.

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Keith D. Davis issued a judgment against homeowner Hai Yong Wu and Los Angeles Hermes, Inc. in the matter regarding the property at 15250 Woodglen Drive.

"The defendant, Hai Yong Wu, has agreed to take a series of steps to bring the property back into compliance with local codes in the next 210 days," City Attorney Mark Hensley said.

"The property cannot be occupied until the corrections are made."

Chino Hills officials sought a temporary restraining order on Dec. 27 against the owners of the house where it is alleged wealthy women from China came to give birth so their children could be American citizens.

The court order - which had been continued Jan. 17 - prevents operators of Los Angeles Hermas Inc., Wu and Yi Wang, from occupying the property, performing any construction work at the house without first obtaining a permit from the city or operating it as a hotel in violation of the city Municipal Code.

Wu and Wang had been ordered to appear in court on Jan. 17 to show cause for why a preliminary injunction should not be granted to Chino Hills to bar them from the Woodglen Drive property pending a trial. But neither owner nor their lawyers appeared in court.

The judgment issued this week was a result of the city and the property owner's attorney working together and agreeing that the matter needed to be corrected, city officials said.

"This is a much more efficient and timely way to dispose of something. Even though we had a lot of evidence, we would save a lot of money on legal expenses by doing it this way," Hensley said.

However, Wang has since been dismissed from the case because there were no home record titles with his name attached to it, Hensley said.

If the owner does not comply with the agreement, city officials said they would be back in court demonstrating they didn't comply.

A public nuisance complaint filed Dec. 7 with the court alleged a maternity hotel was being operated in the 7,964-square-foot house in violation of several code enforcement laws, including illegally converting the seven bedroom and six 1/2-bathroom house into a 17-bedroom maternity hotel operation.

The inspection also revealed each room was furnished as a hotel room, with matching bedding and furniture, monogrammed towels and a portable hot water kettle.

Each room had its own key, thermostat and bathrobe, the complaint reads.

Through a court-ordered inspection in November, city officials discovered that the residence has been used to house as many as 30 Chinese women to have their children born on American soil.

"There is going to be a fair amount of time and expense to get this up to code," Hensley said.

"In the end, I don't know how many bedrooms there will be, but however many there are in the end they have to comply with building code."

City officials said the house is vacant and may not be occupied until permits and code issues are fixed.

"They make not operate a business either," city spokeswoman Denise Cattern said.

Residents near the house have spoken out against the alleged maternity hotel by starting a grassroot group.

Last week, Los Angeles County supervisors passed a motion, which was introduced by Supervisor Don Knabe, to form a task force to look at ways to better regulate these so-called "maternity hotels."

Locally, San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt will be asking county staffers at their Feb. 26 meeting to evaluate the situation and see what actions can be taken.

"With Los Angeles County taking action on this issue, we are concerned that some `maternity hotels' may be pushed into our county," Ovitt's spokesman Brian Johnz said.

"These makeshift hotels pose a threat to the health and safety of our community ... Supervisor Ovitt wants to ensure that the safety and quality of life for our residents is protected."

Many have said maternity hotels are exploiting the 14th Amendment. The amendment declared "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."


Reach Canan via email, call her at 909-987-6397 ext. 425, or find her on Twitter @ChinoValleyNow.