The Zoning Board of Adjustment will meet in February regarding the Laingdon Hotel (1875). Some Grovers have alerted us (see quotes below) to this future agenda item which suggests another sneak zoning attack in the Grove. It seems that “Sprout Health” wants to take over the hotel and close it to the public. They want a “use variance.”
Note that the Laingdon went up for sale in 2014 for $2.9 million.I recall that the owner of the Manchester Hotel said that hotels were not good investments any longer in OG, and he was aiming for condominiums before his hotel burned to the ground in 2010.
The Internet site for Sprout says, “The Sprout Health Group is a healthcare management company that owns and operates drug and alcohol rehab. centers and medical detox. facilities across the United States.”
Here is the Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda item in question:
ZB16/19 – Sprout Health, LLC – Block 114, Lot 12 – 8 Ocean Avenue – Applicant has submitted an application for Use Variance to utilize an existing 18 guest room hotel, open to the general public as a 17 guest room hotel, not open to the general public. Applicant is represented by Jennifer S. Krimko, Esq. Notice was not provided for this meeting date. Ms. Krimko has requested this matter be adjourned to the February 2017 meeting date and proper notice will be provided for the new hearing date.
Comments have been rolling into Blogfinger about this, even before we post it. The Laingdon will become a big story in the Grove if it is what we think it is:
From Grover Larry: “It would appear that The Laingdon Hotel at 8 Ocean is attempting to change use from a hotel to a drug and rehab center run by “Sprout Health Group.”
The agenda refers to the applicant which is usually the owner. Has Hans Kretschman sold the hotel? Has “Sprout” purchased it? Something is going on here, Paul. Just thought you would find this of interest after all the commotion about Mary’s Place.”
From Rosemary Salow: ” Please note the application from “Sprout Health” regarding 8 Ocean Ave. I believe this is the Laingdon Inn bed and breakfast, Sprout Health operates drug and alcohol rehab facilities. So if I’m reading this correctly, what is being proposed is that a bed and breakfast be converted into an alcohol and drug rehab facility. Can you shed any light on this?
From Kevin Chambers: “For a change of use a hotel owner must prove that the hotel use is no longer viable. For the last 40 years every hotel owner that has converted to condos has proved that argument. Then why do we still have hotels in our zoning?”
From Penny: “I just saw the ZBA agenda item about turning the beautiful historical (1875) Laingdon Hotel into a rehab center. I am horrified . What is happening to our quaint Victorian town? One huge building after another which is supposed to “fit in” but won’t if this request is granted.”
From Helen: “Did you see in the agenda for the Zoning Board that a Health Company owner of 8 Ocean Ave wants to change it. Another Mary’s Place??”
From Harold: “From company’s name “Health Growth” could be a residential spa….
facility to get well, or perhaps a house of ill-repute??”
Is this deja vu all over again? Can we ever forget the sleight of hand that allowed Mary’s Place to receive a special zoning dispensation as a “community shelter ?” Has the Mary’s Place fiasco become a precedent-setter in the Grove?
Will our historic town become a shopping mall for healthcare facilities? Will the ZBA allow another mutilation of existing zoning to happen again–this time at a historic site on Ocean Avenue resulting in more congestion and threats to our lifestyle—especially near the North End? Will this become the last straw that begins a down-hill slide threatening our historic designation and our home values?
This should be addressed by the Home Groaners now before the ZBA goes rogue and forgets whom it represents. But, unfortunately, the HOA has already forgotten whom it represents. After all, the HOA is urging implementation of that miserable North End Redevelopment Plan.
Well, don’t get too excited till we all go to that ZBA meeting in February when this proposal is going to be formally presented and we get all the facts. An ad hoc committee independent of the HOA should form now to provide trusted vigilance for all Ocean Grove residents and home owners. We have to find out who’s naughty and who’s nice. Ho, Ho. Ho!
Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger (originally posted on Dec. 3, 2016 but moved to January 2017 in view of new interest in the subject–see latest comment on Jan 2..)