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Jan 13, 2012 2:07 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Ocean, Wind Lash At Georgica Beach Again, Taking Out Fences

Jan 17, 2012 6:09 PM

Wind and a high tide battered Georgica Beach in East Hampton Friday morning, taking out three sides of a fence in front of Mollie Zweig’s house on West End Road. “Mother Nature’s done three-quarters of the work for us,” East Hampton Village Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Lawrence said on Monday, referring to the village’s attempts since late last summer to have the fence removed from the beach.

Ms. Zweig’s contractor, Robert Sullivan, put the fence up after the sand dune on the ocean side of her house was chewed up during Hurricane Irene. According to Mr. Lawrence, last week’s storm pulled out everything—poles, rope and snow fence—except at the westerly side: “Everything else is clean and gone.” Mr. Sullivan had workers collect storm-freed metal poles so that they would not pose a danger to the public, Mr. Lawrence said.

“Compliant” erosion control measures in front of the Manheim and Hirschfeld residences to the east took a huge hit as well, he said.

The wind and tide on Friday also exposed large rocks and detritus, while the sand below the already-eroded road end continued to collapse toward the whipped-up wash. Boulders were exposed on the beach below the parking lot that no one, including Larry Cantwell, the longtime village administrator, had ever seen before, according to Mr. Lawrence.

Before last week’s storm, at an East Hampton Village Board work session on January 5, Drew Bennett, the village’s consulting engineer, had laid out a game plan for restoring Georgica Beach after the wallop it took from Irene.

The road end caved in, and about 25 feet need to be filled in. About 50 feet need new asphalt, and about 80 need striping. A split-rail fence needs to be replaced. Beach grass needs to be planted. Approvals are already in place from the East Hampton Town Trustees and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Mr. Bennett told the board.

The estimated cost is $50,000, of which 87.5 percent is expected to be recovered from sources such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Cantwell told Village Board member Elbert Edwards. The village hopes to have a bid for the project awarded by the end of February and to have the work finished by May 1.

This week Mr. Lawrence credited village officials with having decided to hold off on starting the project until after the winter storm season is over. “If 
they had moved it ahead,” he said, “it would have all been out to sea.”

Another project will be resurfacing the entire length of Georgica Road, which is about two miles. The base will be reconstructed from Woods Lane to about Apaquogue Road, Mr. Bennett told the board at its meeting. That effort is expected to take about four weeks with “some disruption” to traffic but could most likely be completed by May 15, Mr. Bennett said. The estimated cost is $780,000.

The meeting of Jericho Lane and Georgica Road, Mr. Bennett added, “is one of the few remaining ‘Y’ intersections. Does the board have any desire to make this a traditional ‘T’ intersection?” he asked. The project would improve the line of sight for drivers; the cost would be about $22,000.

In addition, Mr. Bennett asked if the board would like to clean up broken asphalt at the end of Georgica Cove Road—for about $18,000—and move up the resurfacing of Georgica Close, which was not scheduled until the fall of 2012, to reduce the cost through savings in bulk purchases of asphalt. The Georgica Close project is expected to cost about $190,000.

Mr. Cantwell said the village was in a position to do all the projects. “We have very little debt,” he said, and had already planned to borrow money for the Georgica Road project. “From a financial standpoint, $780,000 or $1 million isn’t going to have a significant impact,” he said.

“I’d be inclined to be all inclusive,” said Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr.

Mr. Bennett was instructed to put bids out on all the projects, although board members wanted to have a look at the Jericho “Y” intersection before making a decision about that.

They then went into executive session to discuss the matter of the fence in front of the Zweig residence at Georgica Beach. Mr. Cantwell said afterward that the village has been “trying to find the correct course of action that will result in their removal.”

While code violations and fines can be processed in the local justice court in East Hampton Town, he said, the court has “limited power beyond that to order removals.”

“From the village’s perspective, we want this decided as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the village “wants this resolved before the summer.”

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Remove the fences! Mother nature always will win.
By tito (56), e hampton on Jan 13, 12 6:09 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By xtiego (696), bridgehampton on Jan 14, 12 5:36 PM
Nature always let's us know who's in charge. and it ain't us.
By lazymedic (100), southampton on Jan 14, 12 10:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Winter Sux .... Thank god for Global warming
By joe hampton (3342), south hampton on Jan 15, 12 12:36 PM
Yeah, it'll be SO nice when the planet is scorched, and lightning lights the sky on fire because of the concentration of methane in the atmosphere, released from the tundra, and the sea floor.

Hell on earth, and a new "twin" for Venus.

What a paradise...
By Mr. Z (11289), North Sea on Jan 16, 12 9:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yo -- joe hampton from "south hampton" [sic] --

Assuming you actually live on the East End, will you "Thank god [sic] for Global warming" [sic] when Long Island disappears after the sea level rises 200 feet?

Maybe that would "Sux" ?
By PBR (4911), Southampton on Jan 17, 12 6:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
Although it's not great to see so much of Georgica washed away, love to see that Mother Nature put Ms. Zwieg in her place and pulled up those metal posts, washing them out to sea. Now let's see if The Village will grow some balls and prevent her from doing this all over again.
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Jan 17, 12 12:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Money talks, and bull***t walks.

Just 'cause you have so much more of the former, it doesn't mean you ain't FULL of the latter...
By Mr. Z (11289), North Sea on Jan 17, 12 10:55 PM
"Mr. Sullivan had workers collect storm-freed metal poles so that they would not pose a danger to the public, Mr. Lawrence said."

I hope Zweig has the courtesy to pay the town for these expenses. It's not like we have the money to always clean up the messes of the 1%.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Jan 21, 12 11:14 AM
"Mr. Sullivan had workers collect storm-freed metal poles so that they would not pose a danger to the public, Mr. Lawrence said."

Yeah, I'm sure it was so that the PUBLIC will be safer. I Zweig is one of those people who yell at and chase people off of what she percieves to be "her beach." Be honest Mr. Lawrence, she had his workers clean it because it was an eyesore (unfitting of a hamptons estate)
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Jan 21, 12 5:18 PM
I really wish that the government would stop using OUR money to fix properties of the welathy who build mansions where they will be severely damaged every storm season. How about they don't build there, and if they do, the repairs are on their dime. Isn't there some form of environmental impact study, that should predict this scenario (it took my grandmother nearly two years and endless dollars to have a garage added to her house, due to government red tape) Or is that just for those of us who ...more
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Jan 21, 12 5:13 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By highhatsize (4006), East Quogue on Jan 21, 12 8:55 PM
to the Editor:

Honi soit qui mal y pense.
By highhatsize (4006), East Quogue on Jan 23, 12 8:26 PM
bay street, sag harbor,