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Posts Tagged ‘Warrington Hotel in Ocean Grove’

The Warrington Feb. 2017. Photo by a citizen reporter who lives a stone's throw away. The ParkView site is adjacent, approved for undersized lots. © Blogfinger.net

The Warrington, Feb. 2017. Photo by a citizen reporter who lives a stone’s throw away. The Park View site is adjacent, approved for undersized lots. © Blogfinger.net

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger  and Jack Bredin, Researcher @Blogfinger

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 ostensibly 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.

https://blogfinger.net/2016/10/21/the-case-of-the-worrisome-warrington-chapter-ii/

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.

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The Warrington as seen from Seaview Avenue. The lot in the foreground is the site of the Parkview Inn. Blogfinger photo. Oct 21, 2016 ©

The Warrington as seen from Seaview Avenue. The lot in the foreground is the site of the Parkview Inn. Blogfinger photo. Oct 21, 2016 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, researcher and reporter @Blogfinger

On October 7, we posted our piece “The Case of the Worrisome Warrington” about the plans to turn that derelict building at 22 Lake Avenue into a boutique hotel adjacent to Wesley Lake.

We pointed out a number of land use issues that concerned us including the illegal subdivision of the original lot into 3 nonconforming lots, two of which are undersized and now contain two small cottages.  In addition we addressed the “easement “ connecting Sea View with Lake Avenue, but that easement does not appear on the tax map.  Other matters include the illegal encroachment of the Warrington onto property owned by the CMA.

Now we turn our attention to the process which the owner of this property utilized to achieve Final Site Plan approval by the Neptune Zoning Board of Adjustment.

In 2014, an application was filed with the Neptune Township Board of Adjustment to redevelop this former rooming house at 22 Lake Avenue into a 20-unit hotel on Wesley Lake. However, the Warrington lot is isolated  (land-locked), not fronting on a municipal street in the front, on the sides, or in the back. Lake Avenue is not a street. It is illegal to construct a building at such a location.

Also,  the hotel will not be providing any on-site parking for guests and staff. New Jersey RSIS Site Improvement Standards  require off-street parking for the Warrington.  Without that, the approval is illegal.

The Board held hearings where its professionals and the applicant’s professionals gave a two thumbs up and proclaimed, “This project will advance the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance.”

After more hearings in 2015, the Board gave its approval of the Warrington’s Final Site Plan and  also adopted a Memorialization Resolution signed by the Board Chairman, Secretary, and the Board’s Engineer.

The decision was published in the newspaper, and then the Board’s jurisdiction was automatically transferred to the Superior Court pending an appeal that did not materialize, so the Board’s job was completed.

Then, the jurisdiction was automatically transferred to the Neptune Twp. Building Department for building plans and permits to begin construction.

But first, there were some details discovered recently that had been so far ignored in the process.  On June 17, 2016, the Board’s Engineer reported “that some conditions of approval remain to be satisfied” including a Developer’s Agreement with the Township Committee.

 On September 12, 2016, the Township Committee passed resolution #16-400 authorizing a Developer’s Agreement.  They did so on the written advice of the Township Attorney.  The agreement addressed all other “conditions of approval” and states “the Warrington Hotel LLC applied for and was granted preliminary and final Site Plan Approval.”

Two weeks ago Blogfinger asked the Board’s Administrative Officer, Kristy Armour, to send us the Finalized Site Plan.

She emailed us the Plan, but in her text to Dr. Goldfinger, she said, “This plan has not received final approval from the Board at this time.”

The opinion by Ms. Armour is contrary to the Board of Adjustment’s Resolution and the Township Committee’s Developers Agreement, both of which state that the Site Plan was indeed finalized.

We went to her office to review the Site Plan application. We discovered that the approval block on the cover page of the Site Plan was not signed, sealed or dated by the Board Chairman, the Secretary or the Board Engineer.

When we asked Ms. Armour how this could happen, she said that there was a “to do list” consisting of a variety of approvals and tasks which remained to be done before the document could be finalized.   This probably explains why, when we went to the Building Department to find out about construction permits, we were told that they had not yet granted permits.

It is our opinion that the Warrington approval is a “done deal” despite all the issues of land use law that we have raised.  It appears that this is the way that “business” is done by the Neptune Township government.  They have approved a site plan that violates Municipal Land Use Law.

We will continue to report on the Warrington.

FATS WALLER  “Undecided.”

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The Warrington. 22 Lake Avenue in Ocean Grove, NJ. Blogfinger photo 2012.

The Warrington,  22 Lake Avenue in Ocean Grove, NJ. Blogfinger photo 2012.

By  Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Blogfinger reporter/researcher

The vacant and deserted Warrington rooming and boarding house  that should have been demolished years ago now has all the necessary approvals from the Neptune Township Board of Adjustment to be taken off life support and transformed into a 20-room boutique hotel with an additional residence in the basement.  All this is to be occurring on a lot not fronting on a street—a location where no development at all should be permitted. How does this happen?

To the rear of the Warrington lot there are two small undersized lots. One is 27 feet wide, while the other is 23 feet wide with a proposed easement to the Warrington lot. Both small lots are fronting on Seaview Avenue. Each one contains a small cottage.

All three of the present lots were originally one conforming lot fronting on Seaview Avenue, and that lot was reserved by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association for a single- family house for a member of the Association.

However, that single lot was later re-subdivided into 3 illegal lots; one to accommodate the Warrington, while the other two undersized lots would front on Seaview. Ave.  A conforming lot cannot be subdivided into 3 nonconforming lots. It would be illegal to do so. 

When the new 2014 Warrington application came before the Board of Adjustment, it was a moment in time for Neptune Township to step to the plate and correct this illegally existing condition, because the intent of the Neptune Township zoning ordinance is to restrict rather than increase nonconformity.

Unfortunately, the Township failed in its responsibility to the residents of Ocean Grove by increasing the nonconformity of the Warrington lot. 

In 2014 the Board of Adjustment approved a shopping cart full of variances to allow a structure to be re-built where the footprint of the new building is larger than the lot that it will be built on.  There is no variance that would permit this.

As there is no front or rear yard provided for the Warrington lot, and Lake Avenue is not a street, guests staying at the hotel will be dropped off on Seaview Ave. and will enter the hotel through an easement across the 23 foot lot on Seaview Ave.

However, according to the official Neptune Tax Map, there is no easement on that lot.  If there is, it may be an underground utility easement; there are many in Ocean Grove. In any case, the Board is required to be guided by the Tax Map, which also shows that Lake Avenue is a lot, and not a street.

The “front” of the new Warrington building, as noted above, is not located on a street and will extend beyond the lot line 12 ½ feet into and over the Lake Avenue walkway.

The garbage dumpsters and recycling will also be located on the Lake Avenue walkway along with loading facilities. Are they kidding? Cars, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, snowplows, and all other motor vehicles are not permitted on Lake Avenue. There is no variance that would permit this, and no sane person who would approve it.

Before the application was approved, four residents spoke up to encourage the Board to deny the application. Joseph and Frank Gaciofano and Ocean Grove historians Ted Bell and Kevin Chambers These citizens were worried about garbage, parking, RSIS compliance, traffic issues, signage in a residential neighborhood, people living in the basement, and easement concerns. The Board was not concerned.

On April 1, 2015, April Fools Day, not one member of the Board voted “No” on the motion to approve the application.

The Township Committee is the enforcement authority to protect the public from this kind of flagrant abuse of Land Use Law. 4 of the 5 member Neptune Township Committee have been involved with Planning, Zoning, and Site-Plan review. Their views on proper zoning decisions flows down through Planning and Zoning Boards, the Building Department, and all other Municipal officials and professional experts.

Mayor McMillan is the Class I member of the Planning Board.

Dr. Michael Brantley is the Committee Liaison to and is a member of the Planning Board.

Robert Lane was a 4-year member of the Planning Board.

Carol Rizzo is a former member of the Board of Adjustment, a resident of Ocean Grove, and was appointed to the Parking Task Force.

On September 12 of this year, 2016, the Township Committee signed a Developers Agreement with the Warrington Hotel LLC.

 

* Editor’s note:  A few days ago Blogfinger interviewed a Grover who has lived on Seaview Avenue for many years, behind the Warrington.  He says that he cannot trust Township officials because they would not listen to his complaints regarding the Warrington for over ten years. 

This path connects Seaview and Lake. It runs between the Warrington (in blue) and #27 Seaview Avenue. Blogfinger photo. ©

This path connects Seaview and Lake. It runs between the Warrington (in blue) and #27 Seaview Avenue. Blogfinger photo. ©

He says that his neighbor, whose home borders the path that runs from Lake to Seaview, adjacent to the Warrington, has been “living in hell” due to the garbage, the crime, the safety and health risks, strange people peeking in his windows, the physical degradation of the Warrington, the congestion and other concerns.  

He sees no hope for the new Warrington to ever be completed, and he despairs for and rejects Ocean Grove for allowing this project to be approved.  He plans to move to another town as soon as he can, and he suggested that the rest of us do the same. —–PG

SOUL REBELS BRASS BAND:    “Drinka Little Poison 4 U Die”   (From the HBO series Treme.)

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Blogfinger photo.

Blogfinger photo. 2016.  Facing the Wesley Detention/Retention Basin  ©

By  Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Early in its life, the Warrington was an upstanding hotel facing Wesley Lake and Asbury Park. Its address was 22 Lake Avenue in Ocean Grove.

In 1939, Gibbons reported  (History of Ocean Grove) that there were 75 hotels in town. Among them was the Warrington. H. W. Brown was the proprietor, and it offered the “European plan.”  This means that meals were not included in the room rate.

In the summer of 1955, guests stayed there in order to hear Billy Graham preach in the Great Auditorium. An ad then from the Ocean Grove Record said:

“The Warrington:   Convenient to all beach-front attractions and Auditorium. Rooms only, hot and cold running water, hot baths and showers, inner spring mat­tresses. Television. Write for folder and rates.   Wm. Baumann, Owner-Manager.”

But over the years it sunk into becoming  a run-down boarding home for veterans and physically challenged individuals.   There was a long list of violations over the years including abuses of vulnerable residents, and finally the State of New Jersey Division of  Community Affairs shut it down in  2012 because of those many  “problems.” Blogfinger called it “an absolute horror show.”

The State  said it had to be shut down because of “serious conditions affecting the health, safety and welfare of those who lived there.” The owner, Jack Ancona of Long Branch  and New York City had bought the building in 2006 for $1,275,000  and he continued to get into trouble because of violations here and in other properties that he owned.

In 2012, a Blogfinger post said, “The Warrington is now an empty and deteriorating property.”

In 2014, the  OGHOA reported on the neglect of the property including fire hazards and suspicious activities at night. They said that its notoriety was exceeded only by its derelict neighbor next door, the Park View Inn  (now demolished)   They also reported that  the owner wanted to create a 20 suite boutique hotel, but that the hotel “does not border on any street”  This is a violation of land use law in New Jersey

On 3/13/14, the following article appeared in Blogfinger:

https://blogfinger.net/2014/03/13/the-warrington-rest-home-hopes-to-be-transformed-into-a-historic-hotel/

On 9/22/16, the following article appeared in Blogfinger:

https://blogfinger.net/2016/09/22/progress-note-the-warrington-hotel-22-lake-avenue-in-ocean-grove/

DON McLEAN:

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The Warrington's condition has been deteriorating. Photo by concerned neighbor. 9/16 © Special to Blogfinger

The Warrington’s condition has been deteriorating. Note the graffiti. Photo by Concerned Neighbor. 7/1/16. © Special to Blogfinger

The Warrington: Squatters, drug users and other upstanding citizens have been seen in the building. Note the graffiiti. Photo by concerned neighbor 9/16. Special to Blogfinger

The Warrington: Squatters, drug users and other upstanding citizens have been seen in the building. Note the graffiti. Photo by Concerned Neighbor, 7/1/16. Special to Blogfinger.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

“Jack Ancona, LLC, aka the Warrington Hotel ” intends to go ahead with plans to remodel this former rest home into a high-end boutique hotel overlooking Wesley Lake.  Supposedly it will have 16 rooms.  The owner of the building, which is next to the site of the former Park View Inn, has received site plan approval from the Township.  At the last Committee meeting, the owner was granted approval to “build and locate an innkeeper’s suite in the basement.”  Such a structure is prohibited by ordinance, but the Zoning Board of Adjustment has  permitted this,  and so has the Township. The Township has executed a Developers Agreement with “Jack Ancona LLC” to make sure that the work is done properly.  But Developers Agreements are not executed until all other approvals have been recorded.

We will look into those approvals, including concerns about the 3 lots that are included in the Warrington’s plans.  The Warrington used to be shown on the tax map as existing on one lot:  Block 101, Lot 2.

Meanwhile the building is in poor condition.  Sawbucks Construction Co. has been sending one or two workers into the building daily  for the last 4-6 weeks, and the neighbors have noted daily hammering. No one seems to know what those workers are doing inside. They wonder if building permits were granted for this work.  Such permits should be openly posted at the site.

The Neptune Township Police Dept has been “exceptional” according to a neighbor in responding quickly to calls to deal with incursions at the site.  Graffiti has been cleared from the building, and, according to nearby residents,  the contractor has taken down shrubbery on the lakeside, and that is supposed to be illegal in a Green Acres location, which Lake Avenue is said to be.

As usual, due to lack of transparency, the neighbors on Seaview Avenue are complaining that they do not have enough information regarding the future of the site.  They worry that the hotel, which will not have on-site parking, will worsen an already difficult parking situation.  Many people in that vicinity are year-round residents, and they already often have trouble with parking, 12 months of the year.   One resident estimates that at least 10% of those who park there are headed to Asbury.  They also are worried about the garbage disposal from the hotel.  How will that be accomplished?

The owner has told some of them that all guests will park off-site somewhere and then be offered transportation back to the hotel.  Has such a shuttle plan been approved? This sounds potentially  like an innovative solution, but will it work and satisfy those high end customers, and where will they park those cars?  And will those well-to-do guests return after experiencing the OG parking life?

Locals are also worried because the hotel front is on Lake Avenue, a walkway, and they were told that the hotel has been granted an  access pathway between the buildings to reach the Lake side of the hotel from Seaview, but that no garbage, deliveries,  or other non-personal items can be moved via that passageway—-it would be just for guests and their luggage.    We have no details regarding these elements.

It is said that a room in that luxury hotel might cost up to $300.00 per night.  Can someone want to stay there when there is inconvenient parking and when there is no alcohol inside?  And what about parking for visitors that the guests attract? And how about the Asbury Hotel, a boutique hotel just a few blocks away in A. Park?

More details should be provided to the public.  How will this hotel impact the quality of life for that community?

Finally, we have reported on speculation that the Township would like to turn that part of Lake Avenue into a road for cars.  There is widespread anticipatory opposition to that idea.  See our recent articles about whether Lake Avenue is a road or a street. If it is not, then no road could be built there. It would be illegal.

See our forthcoming piece about the 4 lot subdivision which is the site of the former Park View Inn on Seaview, next door to the Warrington. There are some related issues.

Here is a link to a related article dated March, 2015 on BF:

https://blogfinger.net/2015/03/18/just-wondering-about-the-warrington-hotel/

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III    from The Aviator

 

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New law office to go in at the site of the former toy store/news stand. Blogfinger photo. © March 19, 2015

New law office (Hunt Parry, Esq.)  to go in at the site of the former toy store/news stand. Blogfinger photo. © March 19, 2015  (Note: check the comments below  for reactions to this photo—-PG)

Main Ave. east bound lane closed.  Removal of fire debris begins. Thursday, March 19, 2015. Blogfinger photo. Click to enlarge. ©

Main Ave. east bound lane closed. Removal of fire debris begins. Thursday, March 19, 2015. Blogfinger photo. Click to enlarge. ©

Big shovel digs into the fire mess. Probably best to stay away and not breathe the air.  Blogfinger photo.  ©  3/19/15.

Big shovel digs into the fire mess. Probably best to stay away and not breathe the air. Blogfinger photo. © 3/19/15.

tawdry

The Tawdry Sisters. Park View (L) and Warrington. These Ocean Grove vacant derelict buildings face Wesley Lake and are a block from the boardwalk. Blogfinger photo. 3/19/15 ©   Click to enlarge.

The Ocean Grove North End as seen from Spray Avenue looking east.  Blogfinger photo. 3/19/15 ©

The Ocean Grove North End as seen from Spray Avenue looking east. Blogfinger photo. 3/19/15 ©  Awaiting the long delayed rehab project   (NERP.)  Click to enlarge.

ANITA O’DAY AND CAL TJADER

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The Warrington ready for its close-up. March 19, 2015.  Blogfinger photo ©

The Warrington ready for its close-up. March 19, 2015. Blogfinger photo ©  I wonder if the “life is beautiful” artist was here too.  (was Kilroy here?)

From Warrington Wary:

I have gone to every meeting and I cannot understand the owners of the Warrington. They stated that as a hotel that all recyclables are going to be picked up by Neptune or a private company. This is in the minutes of the Zoning Board. This is JUST one of the misunderstandings. At the last meeting they intended to place all the garbage and recyclables at the front of Seaview Ave, blocking the sidewalk because there is no place to accomadate all the garbage, not to mention what impact it will have on the people who live in front of the Warrington or whom are vacationing.

They think a 4 foot easement means that they own the property and have the right to interrupt their neighbors’ privacy.They would like a 5 x 5 foot sign on Seaview Ave, but they said a 3 x 3 sign would be OK.

My question to all is would you like to enter a hotel in the back of it or enter from the front? The owners have no consideration for anyone who lives there. After all, did they ever pay for the 47 violations that closed them down in the first place as a rest home.

I would like to know what my fellow Ocean Grovers THINK?

Editor’s note: One year ago we posted our last article regarding the Warrington. As many of you will recall, this former “rest home” was closed by the State in 2012. If you click on the link below, you can read the status of the situation as of March, 2014.  

BF Warrington article March, 2014

To see other articles on Blogfinger about this subject, use the search engine on top of our home page and type in “Warrington.”  If any of you have any more information or opinions about the Warrington, please comment below. —Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

CAST OF FOLLIES BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM:  “Loveland”  (“where everybody loves to live.”)

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