This is no surprise, but the final Site Plan approval for turning the Warrington into a boutique hotel will be signed this week by the Zoning Board of Adjustment Engineer, Secretary, and by the Board Chairman. As you may recall from our October, 2016 article (see link below,) the process of final approval had been held up pending consideration of a variety of issues.
Our concerns last October included the need for an easement to connect the Lake Avenue structure with the utilities on Seaview Avenue. There are two small cottages which are interposed between the Warrington and Seaview Avenue.
According to Kristie Armour, the Zoning Officer for the ZBA, in an interview today, it was found that there was a pre-existing easement which would cover this matter. But the tax map has shown no such easement.
Also, the new project encroaches on CMA property, but Ms. Armour tells us that the CMA wrote a letter to give permission. However, normally, such a letter would be useless unless the CMA property were newly subdivided to show that the Warrington owner now owns that encroached property.
There were other matters as well, but we have no information about these concerns including the bizarre suggestion by the Home Owners Assoc. to turn part of Lake Avenue into a two-way street near Founders’ Park in order to create new parking. New parking should never crowd out a historic location.
Another irregularity is that the Warrington is on a land-locked lot–not fronting on a street; Lake Avenue is not a street. This should be illegal now as it pertains to the new project.
Other violations include failure to follow New Jersey state RSIS parking standards whereas this project should have been required to provide on-site parking.
The Warrington originally received final ZBA approval in 2015. In June 2016, the ZBA Engineer found that a Developers Agreement was needed. In September 2016, the Developers Agreement was passed. But there were still loose ends, and now we hear that the matter is finalized.
The only way that this project could be blocked now is with an appeal to the governing body or a law suit brought by the citizens to the Superior Court. There is a 45 day opportunity to sue, and then it will be a “done-deal.”
But the Home Groaners have shown no interest in this project or any other important land-use issues in town including the condoization of the Grove. How do the residents of Sea View Avenue feel about this situation?
So there will be project approval this week even though the application is riddled with land-use law violations.
SUTTON FOSTER: From Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein. If you think that land use policies in Ocean Grove are hopelessly corrupted, do something silly and have a roll in the hay.