Posts Tagged ‘Warrington fire progress note’

Warrington fire site  March, 2016 site.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

We recently learned that the lawsuit brought by the Warrington Hotel lawyer, aimed at forcing the Township to give back the pre-fire permissions for a boutique hotel, had been dismissed.

The judge evidently ruled that the Township was correct in  insisting on only a single family house at that location.

Since then, no work has been done at the Warrington Hotel site–now just a foundation.  (see below)

Here is a report of what is happening now  after the fire, spreading voraciously along Seaview Avenue, destroyed several homes.

One of the cottages that vanished at the western edge of the fire, adjacent to the historic yellow house  at Founder’s Park, will not be rebuilt because the lot has been purchased by the yellow house owner who wants the location as a buffer.

Continuing to move eastward along Seaview Avenue, there is construction underway at one lot.

One of the cottages that was consumed in the conflagration, fronting on Seaview Avenue, is now being built from scratch, with framing now to two stories.  The previous Warrington Hotel had a 3 foot easement there out to Seaview Ave., but that easement is now gone and  unavailable.

That leaves the  most eastward cottage on Seaview Ave. that was destroyed.  Evidently, the owner of the Warrington wants to buy that property which would give him an easement from the Warrington location out to Seaview.   Evidently the owner refused to sell, but we’re not sure where that story is now.

As for the hotel site itself, even though the zoning allows a single family home, land use law says that nothing can be built there without access to Seaview Ave., because you can’t build on a land-locked lot.  Lake Avenue is not a street.

These circumstances suggests that the owner of the Warrington property may not even be allowed to go single family, in which case the lot may now be useless.

And, by the way, we still don’t know if the feds finished the arson investigation or if the Warrington owner has appealed the court case.



“On a Clear Day.”



Read Full Post »

Demolition was going on at the Warrington Hotel when this photo was obtained Oct. 21, 2016, about 4 months before the fire of March  3.    By Paul Goldfinger@ Blogfinger.net

By Paul Goldfinger  Editor @Blogfinger

DEMOLITION CONSTRUCTION BEFORE THE FIRE:   Prior to the March 3 fire, there was contractor work being done in the building by small crews that were taking down siding and doing some demolition/other work inside.  When Blogfinger went over there, a permit had been placed on the inside of a glass storm door on the first floor.

We spoke to neighbors who complained of the hammering inside and who wondered what was going on considering that the final site approvals had not been obtained.

Since the fire, there have been some individuals who contend that the property had not been safely secured, that the alarms inside had been disconnected and that the building should not have been allowed to deteriorate into a site at high risk of fire.

Currently we have received a copy of that “construction permit” given to Jack Ancona, LLC of New York City—-the permit for block 103 lot 4, dated 8/16/16.  The “description of work” is “continued demolition/siding/interior.”  So they clearly were authorized to do preliminary  work on that building.

ACCESS TO SEAVIEW AVENUE.   The Warrington has been “landlocked” by Lake Avenue (walkway) and by several properties on Seaview Avenue  (#25, #27, and #29  from east to west,)  that were destroyed in the fire.

The owner of the Warrington had supposedly wanted to acquire direct access to Seaview Ave. by acquiring those properties.  Before the fire, none of those owners wanted to sell.


The lot at 29 Seaview Avenue has recently been purchased, not by Ancona, but by an Ocean Grove citizen who has a home near the fire site.   We have learned that the owners of #25 and of #27 do not want to sell their properties.

Some of you have been wondering how a homeowner whose house has burned down can sell the lot if the CMA owns the lot.

You should know that this topic has been the subject of lawsuits in the past, going back even beyond 100 years ago.

A judge in 1952  (Brown v. Havens,) said that the lease in the Brown/Havens case is dated 1895. Then he said, “This litigation arises out of an anomalous situation, apparently peculiar in this State to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church. “   He says, “The tenor of the few adjudication’s in this State with respect to the Association’s indentures has been that leasehold interests were thereby created.”

And there were other cases that he said agreed with that assessment  including OGCMA v. Reeves 1910, and OG Association v. Sanders 1901.  Recently a group of condo owners challenged the CMA in court regarding lease arrangements, but the CMA won that case.

Evidently, the owner of a home in OG that burns to the ground can sell the “leasehold” to another party.  A leasehold is a lease agreement that gives the new owner permission to use the land,  and that leasehold  has value  (ie the “price” of the lot.)  Some would call it the “sale price” of the lot even though there is no actual ownership of the physical lot.

The agreement also includes the promise to continue paying ground rent for the finite duration of the lease agreement.  So if there is 40 years left on a 99 year lease, then the new owner should continue the same payment  (eg $10.50 per year) for another 40 years. Once the leasehold expires, the CMA can offer a new one, but they can raise the price and change the duration of the agreement.

Since I am not a lawyer, I do not claim that this explanation is definitely correct or that there might not be aspects of this which provide exceptions.  But it is a chance to try and figure out how these transactions work (as with the current sale of the #29 Seaview Avenue lot.)

Of course whatever transpired between the old and new owners of the lot at #29 Seaview and the OGCMA, it is a private deal and we can only guess what occurred. But it still is part of how this town works and how it ties into the town’s history and thus is of interest to many—particularly those who pay ground rents in this town.

There is no further information that we have received re: the fire investigation. We also have no information as to the status of the Warrington site.

Blogfinger is an information sharing website, so if any of our readers acquire more information, please let us know.

THANKS:  to Joe of Ocean Grove who made reference to some of this in his comment as part of our most recent North End post.  And thanks to another source, a victim of the fire, who has been sending us related information. And thanks to a legal scholar who sent us the Brown vs. Havens case.

GATO BARBIERI    “It’s Over.”   From the score of the film The Last Tango in Paris.

Link to BF  post on this topic.

Wall of fire

Read Full Post »