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Oct 11, 2011 4:00 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Georgica Beach: Stairs OK'd; Snow Fence, Not

Oct 11, 2011 4:06 PM

The good news at Georgica Beach, East Hampton Village Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Lawrence said on Friday, is that permits are in place for a set of stairs to the beach that went in at Elie Hirschfeld’s house after Hurricane Irene.

The bad news, however, is that a fence that went up to the west after the storm is still in place—and has been fortified with snow fencing.

The stairs were replaced while Hillary and Bill Clinton were renting the property in East Hampton from August 22 to September 5, apparently for “security and access,” Mr. Lawrence said, after the August 28 storm washed out the original ones.

Approval was needed from both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the East Hampton Town Trustees. “They got right on it,” Mr. Lawrence said, and the approvals were in place by “about September 29.”

“That was the good one,” he said.

As for the fence, Mollie Zweig of West End Road and Robert Sullivan, her contractor, are due in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Monday, October 17, at 12:30 p.m. to answer several alleged violations, including failing to heed a stop-work order on the construction of the fence on the seaward side of Ms. Zweig’s property.

Hurricane Irene took a large bite out of the dune in front of the house. Her son, Zack Zweig, and then Mr. Sullivan, proceeded to define the area where the dune had been. The project started out with stakes and police tape, then moved on to galvanized pipes connected horizontally with strips of wood, then to a snow fence set within that fence.

Neighbors and others, including the Citizens for Beach Access and a Friends of Georgica Beach Facebook page, have decried the Zweig fence, saying it ruins the way the beach looks and blocks access.

Mr. Lawrence said that on September 30 he added another count to the summonses already issued, this one for putting in the snow fence: “You’re not allowed to install a fence on the beach,” he said.

Steven Angel, whom Mr. Lawrence said was representing Ms. Zweig, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, nor could Mr. Sullivan.

Another bit of good news at Georgica Beach, according to Mr. Lawrence, involves a snow fence that went up just west of the Zweig fence toward the end of September. “They put it up over a weekend in line with the Zweig fence,” he said. The listed owners of the property, Manheim Family Limited Partnership, were issued a stop-work order on September 26 and promptly moved the fence back to within 10 feet of the toe of the dune. “They actually fixed it before a notice of violation was issued,” Mr. Lawrence said, and the village issued a “notice of abatement” on September 30.

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