Owner drafts plan to comply with motel regulations

Sep 20, 2017

Faced with the possibility of fines and the loss of a license to operate, a business owner has made strides to comply with the town’s motel regulations.

New Bedford resident Tom Melanson bought the Village Motel at 2739 Cranberry Highway six months ago. In August, he appeared before the Board of Health to address several violations of the town’s motel regulations.

Those regulations took effect in 2015. That year, the board imposed a 21-day limit on how long a guest can remain in a motel or hotel room, a 90-day limit on stays in efficiency units and it required motel and hotel owners to provide certain amenities, such as maid service and fresh linens and towels.

At the August meeting, Health Inspector Patrick MacDonald said he found guests were staying longer than allowed and that required amenities, such as toiletries and housekeeping, weren’t provided.

Board members ordered Melanson to draft a plan that would bring the motel in compliance. On Wednesday, he presented that plan. It calls for converting eight of the 11 units into studio apartments. That would require extending the back of the rooms by 6 to 8 feet and adding kitchens, said Melanson. By enlarging the rooms, Village Motel would no longer be considered a motel, but an apartment building under the town bylaw.

Melanson said the remaining three units already meet the town’s definition of efficiency apartments. Also, housekeeping services are now being provided, he said.

Melanson noted he would submit the renovation plans to the building department soon for review and approval. He is scheduled to appear before the Board of Health in one month to update board members on his progress.