The owner of an oceanfront house near Georgica Beach and her contractor have been issued summonses to appear in court for violating an East Hampton Village stop-work order on a disputed fence they were building on the beach.
Mollie Zweig, the homeowner, and Bob Sullivan, the contractor, were ordered to appear in East Hampton Town Justice Court on October 14 by East Hampton Village Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Lawrence on Friday.
Mr. Sullivan has been overseeing construction of the fence in front of Ms. Zweig’s property on Georgica Beach since the day after Hurricane Irene, which gouged away the dune between her house and the public beach.
Village officials contend that the fence violates three sections of the village code regulating structures on the beach. Mr. Lawrence said he hand-delivered a “notice and order to cease all activity within a regulated area” to Mr. Sullivan on Thursday, also sending it by certified mail. “Unfortunately,” he said, “later in the afternoon I observed that the poles were being extended,” that is, made taller, to compensate for a buildup of sand on the beach.
For that reason, Mr. Lawrence issued what he called “an invitation to court.”
The fence requires permits under state tidal wetlands and coastal erosion law, Peter Scully, regional director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, said on Thursday.
“We think the installation of a permanent structure would be subject to the DEC’s permitting system,” he said.
Mr. Sullivan started putting in galvanized steel pipes, between which he said he intends to put snow fence, last week. He and Zach Zweig, Mollie Zweig’s son, have said they are trying to protect private property after the storm eroded the dune.
Neighbors and others say that the fence impedes access to the public beach.
Mr. Scully said he believed that a DEC Bureau of Marine Protection biologist had advised Mr. Sullivan to stop work on the fence last Thursday.
The DEC does not concern itself with beach access as a regulatory issue, Mr. Scully said, adding that it was his understanding, however, that people took it very seriously in East Hampton.
The fence project has incited complaints from neighbors, and a Facebook page, “Friends of Georgica Beach,” has been created to monitor the situation.