TOMS RIVER — An Ocean County motel that its neighbor says has been deteriorating for a long time has been shut down.

Toms River Township Code Enforcement and social services were at the Parkway Motel on Route 166 near Route 37 on Friday afternoon, according to Toms River police, who did not disclose the reason for their visit. Yellow stickers were applied to the windows condemning the hotel, according to eyewitness accounts by Ocean County Scanner News.

A spokeswoman for the township said she was preparing a statement about the events at the Parkway Motel.

Larry Schuster, owner of Schuster's Car Wash next door to the Parkway Motel, said he felt bad for the owner and said conditions had been deteriorating for a long time.

"It was a long time coming," Schuster said.

He said he is confident that the county and the township will provide the adults and children staying at the Parkway a better place to live.

"We're all struggling over here with this Route 166 project," Schuster said of a lengthy road project that has blocked access to several of the businesses during construction. He said the motel had changed its longtime name of "Americana Hotel" within the past 6 months.

Residents outside the Parkway Motel (Ocean County Scanner News)

Toms River shut down the Red Carpet Inn at the other end of Route 166 in 2018 over "quality of life" issues after police responded to 750 incidents between 2015 and 2017, many involving drugs, weapons and thefts.

It prompted the township to enact a a "quality of life" ordinance designed to eliminate such properties. Police cited the hotel as an example of a nuisance property that endangered the public and was a haven for illegal activity, according to assistant township attorney Anthony Merlino at the time.

The township completed its purchase of the Red Carpet for $3.3 million in October and plans to eventually tear it down.

Vin Ebenau contributed to this report

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