The Apple Garden Inn, off I-95 exit 92 in Ashland, closed two years ago. It will be sold at auction tomorrow (4/17). The motel, well known for drug dealers, crime, and questionable living conditions, was the impetus for the town’s effort to curb those activities.
Mayor Jim Foley said, at the same time, some innocent victims lived in the Apple Inn. Housing for low income and homeless people, the mayor said, is a national and statewide issue. “Here in Ashland we felt that we had to at least try to alleviate the problem as much as we could.”
Ashland passed an ordinance limiting motel stays to 29 days in a 60 day period. “Many people were transitioned to more permanent housing. While the town passed the ordinance it was the entire community, including the faith community, that stepped up and helped to find new homes for them.”
It’s not known how those people are faring now and some questions have been asked about the effectiveness of the ordinance and its impact.