Village Motel plans expansion to meet Board of Health regulations

Oct 18, 2017

In a bid to meet Board of Health regulations, avoid fines and possibly the loss of a license to operate, the owner of the Village Motel plans to expand the building.

On Wednesday, owner Tom Melanson of New Bedford again appeared before board members and presented a plan that would add 7 feet of space in the back of the building, located at 2739 Cranberry Highway. That would allow Melanson to convert the motel rooms into studio apartments.

Joining him was Brian Grady of GAF Engineering, who Melanson hired to explore the possibility of renovating the motel rooms to meet town standards and allow current guests to live in the motel longer than the town’s 21-day limit for guests.

That was one of several motel regulations that 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 services, such as maid service and fresh linens and towels.

In August, Health Inspector Patrick MacDonald said he found guests were staying longer than allowed at the Village Motel and that required amenities, such as toiletries and housekeeping, weren’t provided. Board members then ordered Melanson to draft a plan that would bring the motel in compliance.

Grady said expanding the building would allow for the addition of kitchenettes, which are required for studio apartments, but not motel rooms. Grady noted he will start speaking with the Conservation Commission and building inspector to explore the possibility of increasing the building’s footprint.

“We’re in the early stages now,” said Grady. “There are a number of things going on with the property that will impact if we will be able to do that.”

Chief among those issues is the building’s proximity to wetlands that include a stream that runs behind the motel, he said, adding that wetland laws will determine if the plan is feasible.

“That’s a step in the right direction,” said board member Catherine Phinney.

Grady said he and Melanson will appear before the board next month with an update.

“The important thing is you’re making progress,” said board member Thomas Gleason.