Luxury Hotel Owner Seeking Waiver to Accommodate Balconies, Staircase

Mar 13, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Morrill The issue stems from the inadvertent exclusion of balconies, located on the east side of the property overlooking the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, from the site plan.

Baldwin Residence LLC, the owner of Hotel LBI, is facing a setback issue at the luxury hotel under construction at the entrance to Long Beach Island and is expected to ask the Ship Bottom Land Use Board for a waiver at its monthly meeting next week.

The issue stems from the inadvertent exclusion of balconies, located on the east side of the property overlooking the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, from the site plan, according to paperwork filed with the borough earlier this year. As a result, the owner is seeking a waiver from the requirement of normal site plan detail.

The application paperwork notes the balconies were included on floor plans as part of the owner’s applications for amended approval and variances in 2017, but were somehow not included on the site plan. There’s a 20-foot side-yard setback requirement, but Baldwin Residence was previously granted a 5-foot setback. It is now seeking a zero-foot setback requirement for the balconies and a proposed landing and staircase from a porch on the northeast corner of the property.

The land use board is expected to hear the application when it convenes at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 20.

Baldwin Residence recently announced its intention to apply for a newly minted hotel liquor license, which was approved by the Ship Bottom Borough Council last month. Located at the site of the former State Room, and before that the Quarterdeck Inn, between Eighth and Ninth streets in Ship Bottom, the hotel is slated to be the largest commercial structure on LBI at a height of 45 feet.

Construction on the property began last year and is expected to be completed by the spring. It’s just one of the projects developer Christopher Vernon is involved with in the Long Beach Island region. Vernon’s company, Mercer Management, is also the developer and owner of the Mallard Island Yacht Club, Bonnet Island, the Mainland/Holiday Inn complex and Causeway Marina, all located in Stafford Township.

On LBI, Vernon is also seeking to build a restaurant and 102-room hotel at the site for the former Morrison’s Restaurant in Beach Haven. A group of Dock Road residents in Beach Haven recently filed a suit in Ocean County Superior Court to overturn an ordinance amendment modifying the borough’s maritime district development plan to allow the construction of the proposed hotel, among other changes. Vernon is inviting the public for a project meet and greet on Saturday, March 30, beginning at 11 a.m. at Bonnet Island Estate in Stafford Township.  G.G.S.

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