Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
alert-–-luxury-cape-cod-beachside-hotel-is-slammed-for-housing-20-migrant-families-for-seven-months-–-despite-law-preventing-stays-of-over-30-daysAlert – Luxury Cape Cod beachside hotel is slammed for housing 20 migrant families for SEVEN MONTHS – despite law preventing stays of over 30 days

A beachfront hotel in Cape Cod has been slammed for housing migrants far beyond the time frame permitted by local laws.

Since September more than 20 families have been staying at Harborside Suites in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts.

As the peak summer season approaches, the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals has declared the property to be in violation of a local bylaw that limits temporary stays to 30 days or less.

The housing is being paid for by the state, at vast expense to taxpayers who, this fiscal year shelled out $932million to maintain shelters. 

Rooms at Harborside Suites cost, according to the hotel’s website, $110 per night on the low-end. Based on that rate, the 20 migrant families who have stayed at the property for seven months have cost the state on the order of $500,000 for housing alone.

Since last September, more than 20 migrant families have been staying at Harborside Suites in South Yarmouth, a small, Massachusetts village on the water

Since last September, more than 20 migrant families have been staying at Harborside Suites in South Yarmouth, a small, Massachusetts village on the water

Rooms at the seaside hotel usually range from $110-$175 per night, meaning the migrants' stay has cost the state at least $500,000 thus far

Rooms at the seaside hotel usually range from $110-$175 per night, meaning the migrants’ stay has cost the state at least $500,000 thus far

State House Speaker Ron Mariano recently said that, at this rate, a handful of other state programs will likely be on the chopping block when the legislature sits to work out next year’s budget, because of the exorbitant, ongoing cost of dealing with thousands of illegal migrants.

An attorney for the hotel, Mark Boudreau, told the Boston Herald that the owners of the business would ‘move [the migrants] today if we could.’

‘The migrants that are there, they are ready to move. A lot of them have work visas … They would like to get going so they can obtain work where they’re going to be,’ he said.

Harborside Suite has fought with the Zoning Board of Appeals, seeking to reverse its violation by arguing that state officials said: ’emergency needs of migrant families supersede the occupancy requirements of local zoning.’

The board vice chairman says is not confident that Governor Maura Healey’s state-of-emergency due to the migrants overrides the local ordinance. 

‘To the cities and towns across the state, many of which have a rich history tied to waves of immigrants settling within their borders, I am encouraging their communities to keep welcoming those families who wish to resettle in all corners of Massachusetts,’ wrote the Democratic governor last summer. 

The board upheld the violation notice, noting that Healey is ‘urging the cities and towns, she’s not ordering us to do it.’

In January, the Zoning Board was told the migrants at Harborside would soon be moved to a ‘larger facility in the Foxboro area,’ but that has yet to happen.

Boudreau claimed that the property that was designated to become the new shelter ‘did not pass inspection and had some code violations so they have not moved.’ 

An attorney for the hotel, Mark Boudreau, told the Boston Herald that the owners of the business would 'move [the migrants] today if we could'

An attorney for the hotel, Mark Boudreau, told the Boston Herald that the owners of the business would ‘move [the migrants] today if we could’

But, Harborside Suite has fought with the Zoning Board of Appeals, seeking to reverse its violation by arguing that state officials said: 'emergency needs of migrant families supersede the occupancy requirements of local zoning'

But, Harborside Suite has fought with the Zoning Board of Appeals, seeking to reverse its violation by arguing that state officials said: ’emergency needs of migrant families supersede the occupancy requirements of local zoning’

The exact date on which the migrants will move out remains murky, but previous violations of the town ordinance have resulted in the board giving those in violation 45-90 days to evacuate.

Some Yarmouth residents are as ready as the Zoning Board to see the migrants leave town.

Resident Cheryl Ball told the outlet that she is ‘please’ with the board’s action and would like to see it take effect sooner rather than later.

Ball said the migrants families have been ‘draining our resources.’

‘They’re a burden on our education system because we have to pay extra tax dollars to support them in our schools. We have emergency services that we are providing to the hotel that comes out of our tax money,’ she said.

Yarmouth is far from the only small Massachusetts town dealing with local bouts of political fighting due to the ongoing  migrant crisis.

In February, officials in Taunton, MA sued the owners of the Clarion hotel, which had been housing migrant families for months in numbers that far overshot the property’s capacity limit. 

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