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Apr 8, 2014 10:53 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

In Montauk, East Deck Motel Owners Ordered To Remove Drainage Rings

Apr 8, 2014 2:58 PM

The new owners of the former East Deck Motel at Ditch Plains in Montauk have removed concrete drainage rings from their property on Deforest Road after receiving a stop-work order at the end of March.

When a neighbor complained that the rings were being installed without a permit, East Hampton Town Building Inspector Tom Preiato ordered the owners, ED40 LLC, to stop the installation and remove them immediately, which the company did.

The owners had recently gotten approval from the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals to rebuild the ocean dune in front of the motel with 6,000 cubic yards of sand. In the process, they discovered a surface water drainage issue and installed the rings on the southern perimeter of the property, according to their attorney, Richard Hammer.

“I don’t think anybody thought this through,” Mr. Hammer said, explaining that he was not consulted. “The dune is under restoration, and we did not understand that we would be highlighting an issue that we didn’t address going into this.”

According to Mr. Preiato, the company should have applied for a natural resources permit, since the work was done within 100 feet of the bluff. He said it didn’t matter that they were drainage rings and not sewage rings, as the person who made the complaint had asserted.

“We have much more of a problem with the latter, but we have a problem with both,” Mr. Preiato said. “They are legally rebuilding the dune, but that doesn’t preclude them [from the process of applying for the natural resources permit]. I think we’re all big kids now and we know all the rules.”

He said ED40 apologized, fixed the problem immediately and said it would contact him before doing anything further.

Mr. Hammer said the owners plan to pursue the drainage rings again in the future as part of their quest to update the property. “Basically, since the 1950s, there has been no drainage on the site,” he added. “It’s a good idea for the natural resources we’re trying to protect.”

Last month, ED40 expressed a willingness to donate 1,000 cubic yards of sand at Ditch Plains to fortify what is left of the eroded dune at the town beach while reconstructing its own dune.

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