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Nov 15, 2013 5:09 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Town Trustees Win Temporary Stop To Zweig Rock Revetment At Georgica

Nov 19, 2013 4:13 PM

A State Supreme Court judge has brought to a halt a rock revetment project in front of a home on Georgica Beach in East Hampton Village, just days after work began.

The East Hampton Town Trustees last Wednesday afternoon, November 13, won a temporary restraining order from Justice Paul J. Baisley Jr. to immediately stop the project—which includes removing an old stone groin and replacing it with a new rock revetment, building a dune with 4,000 cubic yards of sand, planting beach grass and installing a sand fence—in front of Mollie Zweig’s West End Avenue home, until a hearing can be held.

The Trustees have argued that most, if not all, the project would take place south of the line of beach grass, meaning it is in their jurisdiction, not in that of East Hampton Village, which green-lighted the project, and not on Ms. Zweig’s property, as she has claimed.

The order followed about five hours of active legal arguments over a two-day period beginning the previous afternoon, said David Eagan, an attorney with the Eagan & Matthews firm, which is representing the Trustees. Crews were seen at work on the site on Monday, November 11.

“It was an extensive legal discussion of many issues,” Mr. Eagan said, “but [the judge] agreed with us that it was ‘untenable’ for a landowner to unilaterally determine that their project is outside the jurisdiction of a government agency that’s been traditionally recognized here.”

The Trustees believe that Ms. Zweig and her advisers should apply for a permit from the Trustees.

“And if they think their title work is not the Trustees’ property, as they claim, they should have come in a long time ago to the Trustees to establish that. They have willfully avoided the Trustees and forced them into this position,” Mr. Eagan said, “and, frankly, I don’t think the judge appreciated that approach, at the end of the day.”

A hearing is tentatively set for Wednesday, November 27, in the same court, before Judge Hector D. LaSalle.

“We’ll oppose it,” said Stephen Angel, an attorney with the firm Esseks, Hefter and Angel, who is representing Ms. Zweig, of the temporary restraining order. “We will present our argument in writing to the court before the 27th, and we expect to have an evidentiary hearing.” He declined to discuss the details of his argument.

Mr. Angel said he did not know when the work started, but that he thought some preliminary work, such as creating a temporary berm, had been done the week before.

This week, Mr. Eagan said his firm has had additional title work done that confirms its claim that the Trustees own the land south of the beach grass line.

He maintains that Mr. Angel’s firm, in a recent case involving the nearby Macklowe property, argued successfully that the Macklowes’ southern property line was the ambulatory line of beach grass. The Appellate Division, Second Department, upheld this decision last month.

“They are now trying to argue the opposite in this case!,” Mr. Eagan wrote in an email.

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People need to just let erosion happen; if you have waterfront property, your property lines change naturally, accept it.
By LegsArmstrong (16), Amagansett on Nov 15, 13 8:09 PM
Great work by the Trustees to stand up for OUR rights.

Check the photo gallery in the other article. Even if you accept, for the sake of argument, that the rocks are going to be placed on private property only, check out the massive removal of dune sand, the storage of sand clearly ON the beach, plus all the construction vehicles ON the beach.

For this project to have bulldozed ahead without an application to the Trustees authority was shameful.

For the ZBA to have rubber ...more
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 16, 13 5:26 AM
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 16, 13 5:28 AM
PS -- How did a building permit ever get issued for this work? Clearly it required at least a look-see by the Trustees, did it not? Do all the arms of EH Town government operate as independent fiefdoms, a la the Wilkinson/Quigley/Stanzione Troika?

What back room deals and communications are we NOT aware of?
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 16, 13 5:38 AM
while I agree with your sentiments about the stop work order, the facts are that this was the Village of East Hampton, and not the town. It was the village Zba that allow and granted this work. And specifically the zba and its chair did not seek their coastal experts advise when they where asked to. that's what is puzzling.
By tito (56), e hampton on Nov 16, 13 9:21 AM
Thank you for the correction.
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 16, 13 12:58 PM
You're over the top PBR - what did WW, TQ or DS do to YOU - exactly? Makes me think you're drinking Kool Aid instead of H2O. Truly.
By Board Watcher (532), East Hampton on Nov 17, 13 3:20 PM
They insulted everyone's sense of participatory democratic government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

And the electorate has concurred.

The nature of leadership in this country is changing, hopefully for the better.
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 17, 13 4:58 PM
Presumably Board Watcher you have read the editorial this week which is headlined:

"The Town Board Goes Down the Rabbit Hole" ????

Bits and pieces:

-- "thumbing a collective nose at all who came before it"

-- "leaving a collective stink in the punch bowl for the next administraion"

[and we are not even out of the first paragraph yet!

-- "stinging repudiation at the polls"

-- "continued their arrogant practive . . . "

-- "display ...more
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 17, 13 5:06 PM
This editorial is a shocking condemnation of an administration which has lost its way, as have many of its supporters, in my opinion.

One cannot recall a more strongly worded rebuke (rhymes with PUKE] ever written by a weekly on the East End, and for good reason.
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 17, 13 5:10 PM
And yet The Troika continues to have its front men/women posting Ad Hominem attacks suggesting that critics drink Kool Aid. Did the author of the editorial also fit this mold, in your "mind?"

Join the participatory democracy -- there is room for all willing to have a government "for the people."
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 17, 13 5:13 PM
Board Watcher, one also assumes you saw the editorial in The East Hampton Press this week entitled "Just A Sales Pitch" about the so-called airport "study?"

Shall I post some of the adjectives describing this one-sided marketing tool rushed to the public just before the election?

Once, again The People have spoken, and game is changing . . .
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 17, 13 7:04 PM
Wow! Let it ALL hang out PBR! Who was the editor of that editorial? I missed it. And I wouldn't ASSUME anything if I were you. Glad you are happy :)
By Board Watcher (532), East Hampton on Nov 18, 13 6:23 PM
The newspaper of record in your home town published the editorial last week. [27east frowns on URL links and identifying other publications by name]

There is no happiness in this state of affairs, with the possible exception that some of the dirty laundry has been hung out to air in public.
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 18, 13 6:41 PM
The East Hampton Star - should no longer be the paper of record ..
It has become to politicized .. Not sure ANY reporters report the REAL NEWS - my point - i can speak (5) times at Public hearings - make factual points / arguments - read the Star - you'd never know I was there ..LOL .. Watch LTV for the REAL version of town meetings- the Star reports on its agendas (Democratic) we get their interpretation of the issues - NOT - the REAL facts as presented in public . The Star failed to publish ...more
By Martin Drew (6), East Hampton on Nov 19, 13 8:59 AM
Got to participate in government - blogging doesn't prove or help any cause -
I regularly speak at public hearings - most times as the only public speaker -
Always seeing the same group of political players - what is the end goal ? To disallow this project of common sense ? To prove trustees have the ULTIMATE POWER? Federal government controls the coastline ...Martitime zone...60' of coast is under their ULTIMATE jurisdiction ... What is the purpose here?
C'mon / let's hear the fact ...more
By Martin Drew (6), East Hampton on Nov 19, 13 8:51 AM
Perhaps the ultimate issue is that the Trustees own the beach for the benefit of the public, and maybe it sets a bad tone to allow a homeowner to build on the beach without seeking their approval first.

With all due respect Martin, I find it odd that someone who ran for Supervisor would be so quick to question the Trustees ownership and governance of the beach that has been in place for centuries.
By tm (174), mtk on Nov 20, 13 11:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
PS -- To clarify: the term "The Troika" was a reference to a 1997 science fiction novel by Stepan Chapman, and not to any other historical collection of human beings.

Per Wikipedia, "the novel introduces three beings - a jeep, a dinosaur, and an old Mexican woman - travelling across a desert under the glare of three suns. They have been travelling for centuries though they do not know why they are crossing the desert or if they will ever reach the other side. The characters have each changed ...more
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 19, 13 6:16 PM
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