Posts Tagged ‘Hotel Warrington use variance’

Warrington 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


By Jack Bredin, reporter and researcher at Blogfinger.net

The Warrington Hotel’s lot was “landlocked” as a result of an improper subdivision.

Hotel guests could not enter or exit the building without crossing over private property. Neighbors would report seeing faces looking in their side yard windows at all hours of the day and night.

Later, the former hotel had become a “flop-house” and was finally shut down by the State in June, 2012.

It would become an empty derelict building. If the Township’s elected and  appointed officials, who are all pledged to serve and protect the citizens, had been doing their jobs in the first place, the old Warrington building would have been demolished years before the fire and replaced by a single family house.

So what would inspire the owner to redevelop the old empty boarding house into a boutique hotel on a lot that was illegally subdivided, undersized, and not fronted on a street?

In 2017 a site plan was prepared and approved by Neptune Twp. to restore the Warrington into a 21 unit hotel with no onsite parking, and hotel guests and workers who would enter and exit across a non-existent pedestrian easement.

Perhaps it was the incorrect and misleading advice the Township Planner reported while under oath to the Planning Board that “Lake Avenue is an existing roadway.” That opinion was nonsense. Lake Avenue has always been a lot privately owned by the Camp Meeting Association.

The Planning Board should have dismissed the application because the property was still landlocked.  The Board approved the use variance and the Board’s resolution did not require the applicant to provide and pay for a road necessary for its development.

Unfortunately, this misinformation worked its way into the North End Redevelopment Plan where the entire plan depends on Lake Avenue being a municipal street.

The North End Plan also states “Neptune Township will limit its use of eminent domain to instances where there is a clear public purpose such as roadway improvements….”

And while we are connecting dots, the Warrington property is located on Lake Avenue a half block from the North End Redevelopment.  And, the fire investigators have three suspects, one of whom is the owner of the Warrington property where the fire occurred shortly after the Township awarded a use variance to Jack Ancona.

It is important to keep in mind that a use variance, such as the one that gives permission to build that boutique hotel, does not expire because a fire destroyed the building.  It runs with the land as though the lot was re-zoned for that use and density.

After the fire, the Town Planner claimed, and the court agreed, that the owner lost the right to re-develop the destroyed building. And, of course, one can’t redevelop the old building–it is gone.

But the fire may have been a blessing in disguise for the Warrington’s property owner because he now has a use variance that would permit a new 21 unit hotel on property that had been zoned single family:


a.   The developer may  now have approval to build a 21 unit hotel that could be converted into condos, but the project may be doomed to failure if the Township does not provide a roadway to the project.

b.  The Township may not be able to acquire any part of Lake Avenue for the necessary roadway because Lake Avenue is part of a Green Acre Program providing a public access to and around Wesley Lake.  And don’t say its a “detention basin,” because it is still a lake.

Could any of this perpetual land use malpractice have been a contributing factor leading to the “spontaneous combustion” of the Warrington Hotel?



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