An application to convert the 18-room Laingdon Hotel, on the oceanfront in Ocean Grove, into a facility solely for clients of the Sprout Health Group, an addiction counseling service center based in Eatontown, is scheduled to be heard by the Neptune Board of Adjustment Wed., Feb. 1.
According to a zoning board official, a use variance is required under the application since the four-story, Victorian-style hotel, 8 Ocean Avenue, will then no longer be open to the public.
Ocean Grove residents are expected to attend the Board of Adjustment meeting to learn more about the application.
“I think at this point it is too early to see how much of a concern this will be to residents. There is not a lot of information out there right now,” said Barbara Burns, president of the Ocean Grove Homeowners Association.
Burns said questions remain about who the operators of the hotel will be and how responsible they will be.
“That will probably be the focus of any inquiry. People just want to know more about the operator and be clear on what it wants to do,” she said.
Members of the public may question the applicant and interested residents may present testimony in person, or through an attorney, in favor of or against the application.
The variance application will be on the agenda for discussion at the Jan. 28 membership meeting of the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association.
The Sprout Health Group, locally based at 3 Corbett Way in Eatontown, is a healthcare management company that owns and operates drug and alcohol rehab centers and medical detox facilities across the United States. The company specializes in treating depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol and drug addiction, and other health-related problems.
Kristie Armour, administrative officer for the Board of Adjustment, said that a use variance will be required since the hotel will no longer be open to the public.
She also said this application has been carried to another date in the past and that residents should check to see if the application is still scheduled to be heard before the meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
“There is no guarantee so people should check our agenda first,” she said.