When last we reported about the fight over 11 Ditch Plains Road in Montauk, the Ditch Plains Association said they could prove that the former motel had been abandoned. However, the building inspector for East Hampton has issued a certificate of occupancy for the motel, which the Ditch Plains Association says they will challenge.
To recap: Last year, hotelier Sean McPherson (best known in the area for the Crow's Nest) purchased 11 Ditch Plains Road for $1.1M. The parcel is a long, narrow lot with a single family house on it and a decrepit 8-unit motel. The motel building is rapidly being renovated. The area was zoned residential in 1984, and the motel was grandfathered in as nonconforming. If the building had been abandoned at any time, the special nonconforming use as a motel is revoked.
Local activist group the Ditch Plains Association opposes the use of the building as a motel and say that a 2005 inspection by the East Hampton fire marshal proved that the property was unoccupied.
Mr. McPherson's attorney says that his client has satisfied all the town's requirements for the certificate of occupancy and would suffer economic hardship if work on the motel was further delayed, and that the 2005 inspection was done on a single day in March when much of Montauk is uninhabited. The town building inspector says that the documentation he was given fulfilled the town's requirements.
The DPA says that Mr. McPherson still has not proved that the motel was not abandoned, and they will either appeal to the town's Zoning Board of Appeals or file a lawsuit.