Posh Cape Cod hotel caught housing migrants for seven months, despite 30-day law

Zoning officials have found a Massachusetts hotel violated local laws banning the housing of migrants for more than 30 days.

The luxury Cape Cod beachfront hotel has been home to more than 20 migrant families since September. But Harborside Suites in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts has reportedly passed the designated time frame for housing allowed by local laws. Building Commissioner Mark Grylls had issued the property a violation and the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals noted the move to house the migrants for months violated a local bylaw requiring less than 30-day stays.

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

“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,” the outlet added.

The extra costs of sheltering migrants threaten local and even state programs that could see funding cuts.

State House Speaker Ron Mariano noted that the high cost of operating the state-run shelters will impact lawmakers drawing up the fiscal year 2026 budget which could potentially see major cuts, according to the Boston Herald.

During a meeting last week, an attorney for the hotel, Mark Boudreau, said “We would move 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 added.

Grylls issued the violation notice last October and Harborside Suites, on Route 28, sought to reverse it, citing state officials who had said that “emergency needs of migrant families supersede the occupancy requirements of local zoning.”

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey declared a state of emergency last August as about 20,000 individuals were being housed in state shelters.

“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,” the Democrat leader had said at the time, even as locals protested the influx.

“She’s just urging the cities and towns, she’s not ordering us to do it,” ZBA Vice Chairman Sean Igoe said before the board.

Migrants at Harborside have still not been evacuated even though the zoning board was told in January that they would soon move to a “larger facility in the Foxboro area.”

Boudreau represents motels in Bourne and Wareham that housed migrants and told the zoning board they had been “completely evacuated,” but the new location slated for the Harborside families is not ready.

“Unfortunately, the property did not pass inspection and had some code violations so they have not moved,” the attorney said last week. “Everyone is aware in the motel that they will be moving as soon as the property is ready.”

“To the extent that there is a question of safety and a question of the adequacy of the rooms,” Boudreau said, “the Commonwealth has at great expense provided food, shelter, education, medicine and medical care. They’ve arrived legally, and my client is simply trying to cooperate with the town and the state in getting them moved.”

One local resident told the outlet that she is “very pleased” with the zoning board’s decision to get the migrants moving.

“It’s draining our resources,” Cheryl Ball told the Boston Herald. “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.”

Frieda Powers


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles