The Bourne Board of Health has cleared the way for the Herring Run Motel on Scenic Highway to reopen under new ownership and management.
The board gave clearance to the business’s new owner pending passage of final inspections.
Manager and co-owner Ronald Armany appeared before the board during its meeting last Wednesday, July 14. The board was concerned because cottages at the motel had been reopened for business prior to being issued the necessary approvals. Mr. Armany assured the board that he had since closed the cottages.
Town records show that the Herring Run Motel was previously owned by Jason Cheng of the Herring Run Corporation, based in Watertown. The motel is next to Foundry Pond along Bournedale Herring Run and overlooks the Cape Cod Canal.
The three-acre site features a main office building with 10 rental units and seven cottages. Assessor records place the value of the property at 825 Scenic Highway at $697,200.
Mr. Armany said his plan is to open the rooms in the main building and three of the efficiency units between now and mid-October, when they would be shut down for the season.
The business ran afoul of the board of health and the conservation commission in 2018. Its waste disposal system had failed, and the system was located within 100 feet of a wetland resource area and 200 feet from the herring stream.
Additionally, the health department received complaints about violations of the state sanitary code, violations of hotel/motel/guest cabin regulations, and use of the main building as a dwelling unfit for human habitation.
Bourne Health Inspector Stephanie Fitch said that in April she, along with the former owner, Mr. Cheng, conducted two inspections of the 10 rental units in the main building. The building passed inspection on both occasions, Ms. Fitch said.
Ms. Fitch said she did another quick walk-through of the property on July 9, and it appeared that the new owners had improved the space. In addition, she said, Mr. Armany has applied for a hotel/motel permit for 10 rooms and two efficiency units that are close to being ready for use by renters.
“I would want to inspect them prior to issuing a permit,” she said.
Bourne Health Agent Terri A. Guarino noted that a new septic system had recently been installed on the property. Ms. Guarino said the building department would need to know which cottages Mr. Armany planned to open and whether those cottages have been hooked up to the new system.
“Since the cottages were in such disrepair, most of them lacked plumbing entirely, they were not connected,” she said.
Health board chairman Stanley D. Andrews explained that the building department would have to certify that the units tie into the new system and not to an old cesspool.
Ms. Guarino added that there had been issues with some of the cottages being provided with a proper water supply. That would need to be addressed before permits would be issued, she said. As far as the 10 rooms in the main building, she said, “there are no issues on the health department side.”
Mr. Andrews also explained that the Town of Bourne does not transfer a business’s operating license to a new owner. The new owners have to apply for a new operating license. In the case of the Herring Run Motel, Mr. Andrews said, the new owners had to buy the corporation, including its stock, for a transfer to take place. That had not been done, he said.
“So you’d be applying for a new license in your name,” Mr. Andrews said.
Mr. Andrews said that the board could approve opening the 10 units in the motel. Approval could be given to opening the three cottages, pending the results of inspections, he said.
A motion to that effect was made and passed unanimously by the board.
The board of health also gave approval to the owners of All Seasons Inn on Trowbridge Road to reopen its swimming pool. The pool has been closed since June 2019.
Ms. Fitch noted that in 2019 the owners pulled an electrical permit for the pool, which was inspected and closed out by the building department. A drywall permit was issued in March 2020. That has also been inspected and approved, Ms. Fitch said.
Ms. Fitch said her one concern was a plumbing permit that was issued in 2019. She said the building department had no record of any plumbing inspection done. She said she was unsure of the kind of work for which the permit was pulled. In any event, she said, the 2019 permit had expired.
“I suggest you call the building department,” she said, “and discuss with them what work was done, and if you need to have the plumbing inspector come back just to review what was done in 2019.”
Board members gave conditional approval for the pool to be reopened, pending results of a final inspection of the pool by the building department.