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Jul 25, 2017 11:23 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Judge Says Paddle Diva Can Stay At East Hampton Marina

A state court ruled that Paddle Diva can continue to operate at Shagwong Marina on Three Mile Harbor Road.
Jul 25, 2017 3:18 PM

A state judge has set aside a ruling by the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals that a paddleboard outfitter and tour company could not operate out of a Three Mile Harbor marina.

The judge, State Supreme Court Justice H. Patrick Leis, ruled last week, after hearing oral arguments, that the ZBA had erred in barring Paddle Diva from operating out of Shagwong Marina on Three Mile Harbor Road.

According to East Hampton Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski, who argued the case for the town, Justice Leis focused his reasoning for the rejection of the ruling on the ZBA’s finding that the paddleboard touring company—which sells paddling equipment and supplies, and offers yoga classes on boards in the harbor—constituted a separate use from the marina’s legally permitted operations.

“He determined that [the paddleboards] are vessels, and that, accepting that, if someone parks their yacht at the marina and had a yoga instructor come aboard to give a yoga lesson, that isn’t a new use of the marina,” Mr. Sendlenski said.

Justice Leis, who took over the case from another judge, seemed to ignore the ZBA’s point that if the paddleboards are to be considered vessels, or boats, then Paddle Diva’s storage of its rental paddleboards on racks near the marina’s parking lot would violate town code. Shagwong Marina is designated as a marina under town zoning code, not a boatyard, and may not have boats dry-docked on its upland.

Mr. Sendlenski said the town is currently considering whether to appeal the judge’s ruling.

Paddle Diva owner Gina Bradley rejoiced in the decision.

“Needless to say, I am relieved and feel happy that this ridiculous two-year battle, essentially prompted by one private land owner/neighbor, is put to rest for now,” Ms. Bradley said in a message this week. “I am so happy to be, and feel, legit.”

Ms. Bradley began leasing space at Shagwong Marina in 2012, using a mostly vacant space on the first floor of the marina’s offices as a base for signing in customers before tours and selling paddleboarding equipment and tour supplies like sunscreen and bottled water.

Neighbors soon complained to the town about cars overflowing the marina’s parking lot. A building inspector determined that Paddle Diva’s tenancy constituted an illegal change of use at the marina.

The ZBA heard arguments appealing that ruling and, when they stood behind it, Ms. Bradley filed the lawsuit.

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Paddle boards may be deemed vessels, but they are not boats. Therefore they are not being dry-docked, or docked period. There are much better things to complain about rather than bikini clad women contorting themselves in front of one's waterfront mansion.

By Harbor Master (113), Sag Harbor on Jul 25, 17 5:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
So the town is considering appealing over whether a marina can store paddle boards? So the town's reasoning would follow that any boat docked in a marina could also not store a paddle board, surf board, wake board or kayak aboard their boat, as they would also be dry docking in the marina. Shaking my head, what a ridiculous position for the town to take. One that is sure to be fought by boat owners all over town.
By dunes (11), East Hampton on Jul 25, 17 5:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
For the last four years Canwell's implicit mantra is business is bad. Von Scoyac will continue the same. God forbid a business wants to grow - thats bad? God forbid a local small business is entrepreneirial - thats bad? God forbid if local businesses are successful and expand their product lines - constitutes separate use? - thats bad? Wake up -There are many vibrant and successful communities where he economy and the environment get along quite well. Maybe if we allow local businesses to ...more
By pluff (59), East Hampton on Jul 26, 17 9:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you thank you for this comment. I appreciate it!
By Gina Bradley (2), East Hampton on Jul 26, 17 9:43 PM
Congratulations to Paddle Diva and Ben Krupinski. We lived two houses away from said property and were never bothered by the paddle boarders. We rather enjoyed watching them go by! Paddle boarding is a sport and it would be absurd to keep people from enjoying this sport. Happy paddle boarding!
By beachbag50 (18), East Hampton on Jul 26, 17 9:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you so much for the support. Please come by and say hello!
By Gina Bradley (2), East Hampton on Jul 26, 17 9:41 PM
GREAT for Paddle Diva ... This town has to get it's priorities in order.
A recreational facility is something we need
By jediscuba (71), Suthampton on Jul 27, 17 1:38 PM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island