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Nov 23, 2010 11:33 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

West Hampton Dunes Village, Residents Challenge Authority Of Town Trustees

Nov 23, 2010 11:33 AM

Four West Hampton Dunes Village residents—including Mayor Gary Vegliante—and the village itself are suing the Southampton Town Trustees, challenging the centuries-old board’s authority to control the local waterfront and accusing them of misappropriating public funds.

In two separate lawsuits filed in State Supreme Court last week, the residents—Mr. Vegliante, Michael Craig, Harvey Gessin and Laura Fabrizio—and the incorporated Village of West Hampton Dunes claimed that the Town Trustees have overstepped the bounds of their colonial-era authority by asserting their preeminence within the incorporated village’s boundaries, and by maintaining bank accounts not controlled by the Southampton Town government.

“This is a taxpayer action,” Mr. Vegliante said of the lawsuit he and the three other village residents filed. “When a taxpayer discovers that any government entity is overstepping its bounds, misusing taxpayer money, they can bring a case against that government entity.”

In the suit brought by the village, West Hampton Dunes claims that the Trustees do not have the authority to regulate structures on the ocean or bay beaches within the village’s boundaries.

For more than a century, the Southampton Town Trustees, the oldest continually elected government board in the nation, have asserted the right to control the beaches within village boundaries on the back of the authority given to them in 1686 by a colonial patent.

The challenge, if the plaintiffs are successful, could have far-reaching effects along the East End’s shoreline. The Trustees have battled oceanfront homeowners, many of them within incorporated villages, for decades over issues pertaining to public access to the beaches and the construction of hardened protective walls in front of homes. The Trustees are currently suing two residents of the Village of Quogue for placing protective walls of sandbags along the beach without Trustee-issued permits. In 2007, the Trustees successfully defended themselves from a lawsuit filed by a dozen Southampton Village homeowners challenging the rights of residents to drive on the beach in front of their homes.

The Trustees claim authority over the oceanfront by virtue of an easement granted to them by the governor of New York when it was an English colony. The tenets of the so-called Dongan Patent were written into state law after independence and have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Basically, they’re saying the Trustees have no lawful or regulatory power or control anywhere within the village,” Trustee Eric Shultz said of the claims made in the lawsuits. “It appears that Mayor Vegliante is taking the Trustees to court to stop any regulatory authority of the easement. That would affect beach driving, building on the beaches, public access to the beaches—you name it.”

Mr. Vegliante said the Trustees’ ancient authority needs to be questioned, if not revoked. Mentioning several times that he felt the Trustees have a personal vendetta against him, Mr. Vegliante said he thinks the board should be dissolved.

“They’re saying they have all these rights because the King of England said so,” Mr. Vegliante said on Monday. “The bottom line is, that guy got thrown out of here 300 years ago. They have no rights—they clearly have no municipal authority.”

The suit brought by Mr. Vegliante and his neighbors—all four of whom have been involved in another years-long lawsuit with the Trustees regarding the ownership of a sand flat that accreted behind their homes in the 1990s—claims the Trustees have been improperly opening bank accounts for saving money to be used on later projects. The suit specifically mentions the recent creation of a dedicated fund set up by the Trustees specifically to finance future legal battles challenging their authority. The fund was started with $240,000 awarded to the Trustees from a town lawsuit over pollution from gasoline spills.

The basis of the lawsuit, Mr. Vegliante says, is a 1974 opinion offered by the state comptroller’s office, in response to an inquiry from the town. That opinion states that the Trustees as a board should not have their own bank accounts, funded or seeded with taxpayer money, that they could appropriate without Town Board approval.

“They are like a building inspector or the Highway Department ... they do not have any municipal authority to spend money without approval from the Town Board,” said Mr. Vegliante, who has been the mayor of West Hampton Dunes and its residents’ majordomo since its incorporation in 1993. “The Trustees have nine separate bank accounts that the town has not authorized them to create.”

Mr. Shultz said that lawsuit is frivolous and intended only to head off the Trustees’ pending appeal of a court decision stemming from other litigation that they brought against Mr. Vegliante and his neighbors after they attempted to subdivide the land behind their properties. Though a judge ruled against them in the initial arguing of that case, the Trustees say they now have new evidence that they will present on appeal that should significantly bolster their argument that the land in question—primarily sand and mud that was washed into the bay after a storm breached the barrier island in 1992—is still Trustee-controlled bay bottom even though it is now above the high tide line.

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The Tustee's authority has been upheld on at least two occassions in NY State Supreme Court, additionally, the Trustees are seperatre from Town Government, hence the different checking account. Do some research and save your taxpayers some $$$.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Nov 23, 10 4:14 PM
2 members liked this comment
Westhampton Dunes is all about destroying the environment; incredibly with tax payer money. Now that they have built too much, too big, too close to the dunes they want to destroy what is left. The only good thing about Westhampton Dunes is that they are a testament to greed and how not to build on the fragile coast.
By sunshine (47), southampton on Nov 23, 10 4:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
Talk about misuse of the publics money! What a waste of village tax dollars - suing the Trustees. They have been elected since 1686 and West Hampton Dunes thinks they will magically overturn their authorities? I agree with Sunshine, West Hampton Dunes is only interested in serving themselves and their wallets. What a joke - I hope the judge throws it out.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 23, 10 4:24 PM
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I fear for the beach hardening that would be allowed if WH Dunes wins, they have no respect for the barrier beach.
By edgwtr (8), Quogue on Nov 23, 10 4:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
The West Hampton Dunes residents, including their mayor, seem like a bunch of folks who once had a legitimate complaint when their community was rendered dysfunctional by misguided federal and state shore-hardening measures, but they have since let greed run away with them completely, forming a village to pass zoning laws that allow cheek-by-jowl building, cramming the oceanfront with houses till it looks like Rego Park by the Sea. Over on the bay side, the West Hampton Dunes approach is: "Oh, ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Nov 23, 10 4:33 PM
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As others have pointed out, this is a meritless case. The question is who will pay the court costs of defending the Trustees against the Village of WD. I don't think that the Trustees have a lot of money at their disposal. This may be an attempt, when government money is tight, to overwhelm the Trustees with procedural costs. If that is the case, the Town Council should bear the expense.

[When the ocean broke through the dunes in the WD neighborhood two decades ago, the Trustees favored ...more
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Nov 23, 10 4:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
"Shinnecock Bay?" You mean that portion of lower Great South Bays known as "Moriches Bay."

One would have to navigate through the narrows where three bridges are built to get to the closest part of Shinnecock Bay, and there would be no flushing or scouring action by then.
By Frank Wheeler (1824), Northampton on Nov 24, 10 9:30 AM
As Frank noted it's Moriches Bay... not Shinnecock. As for who will defend the Trustees, they have a Town Attorney asigned to them would will handle the case.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 24, 10 9:38 AM
When the ocean broke through and created Little Pike's Inlet there was an incredible set of hard clams and steamers, the bay was cleaner than ever before and we could access the beach via 4x4. Since the "creation" of Westhampton Dunes and the clsure of the breach that's all changed and not for the better. That hell hole is a disgrace and an affront to all who care about the natural resources of the bay. The Trustees should counter sue for all court and legal costs incurred by this frivolous law ...more
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Nov 24, 10 8:42 AM
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Bigfresh has it right. We've allowed a tragic amount of environmental and aesthetic damage to happen already in West Hampton Dunes, but that doesn't mean we have to let it continue. If the "villagers" there don't have adult supervision by the Trustees, they'll just go on trashing the place. Their efforts to escape Trustee jurisdiction should be vigorously opposed.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Nov 24, 10 10:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
Rego Park is actually a very nice place to live, the name comes from the combination of two words "real good" to get Rego. But I digress, WHDunes does not resemble Rego Park, more like, um , what is the name of that town, oh yes "Look-at-me-my-over-sized-ugly-McMansion-is-only-dwarfed-by-my-oversized-ego"ville or Snooki-ville, take your pick.

By CommonSense (71), Southampton on Nov 24, 10 11:25 AM
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As pointed out by bigfresh, Little Pike's inlet DID impact the environment of the bays favorably. Apologies for misnaming the bay on which it was formed.

I've always thought that the Trustees brief was to insure the health of the bay waters. This mission confronts the WD residents wish to build. I assume that the suit is the prelim to an effort at geographic expansion by WD. If WD wins. prepare for WD high-rise condos.

The last time the trustees differed with WD (regarding ...more
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Nov 24, 10 12:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is basically a land grab by WB. Underwater land belonging to the people of Southampton that suddenly had a lot of sand washed onto it so that it sticks up out of the bay now. Sand that just as suddenly could be washed away, but would which is worth millions if it were sold to build on. The story ought to be about who would benefit personally from the sale if the land became part of WB, because that is at the heart of the lawsuit$, and why Anna and the town board is sitting back.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Nov 24, 10 1:30 PM
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"why Anna and the town board is sitting back"

What are they supposed to do? It's in the Village and the disputed land is owned by the Trustees which is a seperate government entity from the Town of Southampton
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 24, 10 3:02 PM
The Town Board was involved until they voted to settle with Westhampton Dunes. Their part of the suit was the village and Town boundary. The only one who voted to support the Trustees was Bridgett
By clammer (23), hampton bays on Nov 24, 10 3:32 PM
A little investigative reporting would prove interesting.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Nov 25, 10 6:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Goldenrod - how right you are - and the investigative work wouldn't take all that much - it's all a matter of public record and easily accessible.

Everyone does remember that in the settlement agreement the oceanfront was deeded to the public for public access - the village doesn't own the land to the high tide watermark.
By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 25, 10 11:37 PM
toj stopdumbideas:

Don't know what you mean. Oceanfront real estate from the water to the high tide mark is property of the federal government. Everyone has an easement.
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Nov 27, 10 11:25 AM
State - not federal. Trustees hold an easement for the people of Southampton Town from High Tide mark to the Toe of Dune from WHD to Sagaponack. When WHD was created they should have gone a step further and succeeded from Southampton Town! Brookhaven probably would have welcomed them with open arms - ha.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 28, 10 7:18 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By glnz, West Hampton Dunes on Nov 27, 10 6:13 PM
Mean comments? I think they are some of the most balanced comments I have ever read. Sorry you lost your family home but changing the ocean is impossible. The mess that is currently Westhampton Dunes was by your own design.
By bb (910), Hampton Bays on Nov 27, 10 7:45 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Nov 27, 10 7:58 PM
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I am dumbfounded by the ignorant comments posted here. What horrible, mean-spirited neighbors all of you are.

First, a big hooray for our great Mayor, Gary Veglante, ten times over. If it hadn't been for Gary, who pushed us to form our Village and who has served as Mayor for almost 20 years, we wouldn't even have a barrier beach, and none of you would have access to the beach at Cupsogue Park.

When the mis-engineered jetty field cause massive beach erosion in our area, and we ...more
By Irving Venice (3), West Hampton Dunes on Nov 28, 10 9:48 PM
You know, Mr. Venice -- an interesting name in itself, recalling another place where there are misguided efforts to stop the sea's inevitable advance -- when you point out the ignorance of others, you open the door to criticism of your own ignorance, and worse, your deception. Here goes:

Your basic premise seems to be some kind of entitlement to have the natural world, and all your fellow-citizens, bend to your will, enabling you to have a house perched at the edge of the North Atlantic, ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Nov 29, 10 3:39 PM
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I knew there was something else that bugged me. It's your false claim, Mr. Venice, that West Hampton Dunes is the only way that people have access to the beach at Cupsogue. Fact is, there are these things called boats -- ferry service would be cheaper by several orders of magnitude than the "beach restoration" project that you and your neighbors forced on the rest of us.
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Nov 29, 10 3:45 PM
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According to the documentary done on the creation of WHD, the Town gave it's full blessing to the creation of the Village and along with state officials essentially told the Mayor to make up however many year-round residences needed to qualify for a village. The quote from the mayor was something like this, "They told us to put down everyones names, friends, relatives, dogs as long as we had enough names". The Town and local state officials looked the other way on egregious illegal jockeying so ...more
Nov 28, 10 10:03 PM appended by Nature
And your village is wasting Tax Payer dollars by filing ridiculous lawsuits trying to throw out the rulings of the Dongan Patent. We as tax payers have to fund a case to defend such a ridiculous idea. Your fearless leader (who must be the greatest mayor ever to be in office for 20 straight years) wants the Trustees dissolved - they are the longest running elected officials in this Nation, but I guess that means nothing?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 28, 10 10:03 PM
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In the stipulation of settlement and consent judgement the village agreed to deed the property south of the toe of the primary dune the Army Corp of Engineers to be established as public access. The State of New York has title to this property at present. The toe of the dune is 187.5 feet from Dune Road - any property beyond that point - is the publics - not the village and not the individual home owners - it was meant to be established for public access.

I have family in the village ...more
By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 28, 10 10:20 PM
I'll quickly add - an entirely different story that is not exactly pristine, heroic or always pleasant.

By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 28, 10 10:43 PM
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Do the WHD residents have septic systems that include pick-up and transport of sewage to a treatment facility. All of us are guilty of pretending that our ordure just "goes away" when we dump it into cesspools but WHD has so many houses packed onto such a small patch of sand with such a high water table that they are dumping sand-filtered ordure into the bay.

Does anyone know the hydrologyof the water under WHD? I would assume that tidal pressure drives underground water into the bay ...more
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Nov 29, 10 9:34 AM
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The effluent goes into the bay after being filtered through the surrounding sand (though with an inlet so close - it does get spread out into the ocean) There are many areas within this town where the septic systems are worse and are literally sitting in ground water (around many ponds and canals for example). The lots in WHD aren't really that small - they just have large houses on them. And, I'm willing to bet that WHD has the lowest effluent per capita of any village/hamlet in the Town due ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 29, 10 10:15 AM
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Aren't the WHD's cesspools in groundwater? They hardly seem to have the elevation to avoid it.
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Nov 29, 10 6:02 PM
Anything is possible - but SCDHS requires 2' seperation between septic systems and groundwater. Now, I don't know when that came into effect, but I'd hazard a guess it was the case in '94-'95 when the building started again. The homes have 3' deep pools (probably 6-8' wide) with 2 feet of sand separating them from groundwater...

Obviously, the spit of land is significantly above sea level (which is where ground water is) because the road never floods (as opposed to many stretches of ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 29, 10 6:49 PM
The houses down by Cupsogue had to be elevated for the cesspools - next time you go out to Cupsogue - check out the level of the driveways until you get down to the last 10 or so houses on the oceanside of the road - they were lifted a couple of feet and their driveways go significantly up hill.

I believe Suffolk County does do everything in their powers - but based on some old Newsday articles - they have had their battles.
By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 29, 10 8:41 PM
to Nature & stopdumbideas:

Thanks.

- highhatsize
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Nov 30, 10 10:03 AM
The big question here is, When the ocean broke through and all that sand formed the spit and also greatly enlarged some of the properties west of it, the oceanfront properties in the new inlet got to reclaim their land and build houses. Why does this not apply to the Trustees bottom that was covered in the same event. seems like a double standard to me.
By clammer (23), hampton bays on Nov 29, 10 5:16 PM
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Clammer for the most part the ocean side of Dune Road was gone. The Army Corp of Engineers through a court settlement rebuilt the dune and the beach. The village property line after this point in time effectively stopped 187.5 feet south of Dune Road - anything else is the property of all of us - the general public.
By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 29, 10 8:21 PM
So Irv, You built or purchased a home in Southampton and researched the Dongan Patent, right? You knew the power that the Trustees have , right? If not, you failed to exercise due diligance , tough s h i t e. Pikes' Inlet should have been left alone, the bay and Town would have been better off. The homeowners would have been compensated by their flood insurance and life would have continued. The cheesy collection of tacky shacks would not have been built .
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Nov 29, 10 5:28 PM
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bigfresh - You are really a jerk. Flood insurance does not pay for land value, and research on the Dongan patent in 1957, when my folks bought the land and built the house, would never have revealed that the Trustees would some day shirk their responsibilities to protect the bay and the beach (in this case from the erosion caused by the jetties) and then, 17 years later, opportunistically sue us to try to grab our land. Our land, where it always was, not bay bottom, and not ocean beach. I truly ...more
By Irving Venice (3), West Hampton Dunes on Nov 29, 10 8:10 PM
Flood insurance NEVER pays for the value of the land. That doesn't matter if you are in WHD or anywhere else.

What do the Trustees have to do with the protecting the bay and the beach. My understanding was it was the Army Corp of engineers that did not complete a series of jetties that they promised. Am I wrong?

And how can you say "out of control" when WHD is suing for multiple bank accounts? THAT is out of control!

Do you really believe what you write? Your crap ...more
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 30, 10 3:29 PM
Irving - It appears the village also conveniently developed amnesia when it comes to the oceanfront - laying claim to property that was duly turned over to NYS per the litigation settlement.

By your same logic - we the people - should be suing the village of west hampton dunes for denying our rights to use the ocean beach the length of Dune Road !!! Based on published reports, over $100 million of our money (not the village's) has been spent to restore and maintain the beach.
By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 29, 10 8:35 PM
stop - The Village has made no claim whatsoever to ownership of anything, and is proud of the public access that it asked the ocean-side owners to grant in the settlement. The Village has never - not once - denied anyone public access to the beach. Our settlement has granted MORE beach access to numbskulls like you than any other municipality in the Hamptons. You, like so many of the other dimwitted commentators here, have absolutely no clue as to the issues or the history.
By Irving Venice (3), West Hampton Dunes on Nov 29, 10 8:54 PM
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To be fair, all villages and hamlets have "given" the Trustees the same ocean-side rights. Access is granted to all stakeholders from the High Tide Line to the toe of the Dune. There are a handful of lots in Hampton Bays for example that are entirely located in this area and can and are accessed by all residents.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 29, 10 9:04 PM
Hey Irv, you seem to have some level of intelligence but name calling and requesting biblical plagues makes you sound like you are in a fit of hysteria instead of a logical debate. My advice is kill the shill and you might get heard.

My random thoughts for which I am partially right and surely to be fully scorched:

WHD has some of the ugliest architecture north of Cape May

WHD really does look like a land grab. WTF do you do if you need a quart of milk? It's not a village ...more
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 29, 10 11:34 PM
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So Irv, With an attitude like yours do you think you are going to rally support for your cause? Doubtful in the extreme. Your folks didn't do theur research on the Trustees, they have no responsibility to protect the ocean beaches from erosion. A ttempting to stop erosion on the ocean front makes about as much sense as building a house on a sandbar prone to wash overs. As to an out of control governmental agency, the Trustees are in the right here, it's your "village" and the mayor who are out ...more
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Nov 30, 10 12:35 PM
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Nothing but more whinning by rich people who think who they are. Just a bunch of crybabies.
By maxwell (169), speonk on Nov 30, 10 1:43 PM
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This is transparently an attempt by the WHB mayor and his confederates to secure development rights to the new land created on the bay side by Pike's Inlet. By attacking the Trustees' right to have bank accounts, they seek to make them incapable of defending against a lawsuit to claim that acreage.

It was a mistake to settle with them twenty years ago. Far better had the county litigated to a monetary settlement and then declared the entire area part of Cupsogue Beach County Park. When ...more
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Nov 30, 10 2:05 PM
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Seems to me if my house is an eyesore and unsafe it is my responsibility to clear it. Come the next blow down, I think the WHD homeowners should be responsible for their flotsam and jetsam.

Read Sudden Sea about the 1938 Hurricane. In RI those houses were built on the same spit of land as WHD. They were smart enough not to rebuild. Why would we be so dumb?

Also why isn't any new mud/sand called wetlands and preserved as such?
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 30, 10 3:19 PM
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Wetlands definitions by the Town/State are by the presence of wetland dependent vegetation (and to a much lesser extent, soils). The spit in question is covered almost entirely in American Beach Grass with is listed by the USDA as a: FACU- which means "Facultative Upland -" meaning it is always found in upland habitats, and therefore, not a wetland species.

So the area in question is very much upland and "buildable".
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 10 3:34 PM
Thank you for such a cogent and concise explanation!
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 30, 10 8:54 PM
Does the area in question also contain enough area to have LEGAL setbacks for both the building envelope and more importantly septic setback?. By setbacks I mean set back from the bay.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Nov 30, 10 3:45 PM
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NYS DEC has 300' jurisdicition, so they would have jurisidiction over anything built there. As for actual "legal" setbacks.... variances (relief) can be given for anything including septic. Unless a lot is 100% under water, there unfortunately is no such thing as an unbuildable lot... it just depends how much $$$ you are willing to spend to build your house.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 10 4:25 PM
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Have you read the NYS Office of Inspector General's report - if you google NYS Office of Inspector General Vegliante - you will see a very interesting report on complaints filed by Gary Vegliante against NYS DEC and a lot of very interesting information on the property in question. Check it out ! Really read the report and the footnotes - it goes against the pedestal Irv has put the village officials on.

Its all about the money.
By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 30, 10 4:11 PM
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Nature - you commented before that many of the villages have given public access rights from the southern toe of the dune to the atlantic ocean. Is my understanding correct? Is this documented ? (other than the village of west hampton dunes where it is documented in the stipulation agreement).

Just curious.
By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 30, 10 5:23 PM
No villages gave anything, The easement runs from the high tide mark to the TOP of the dune. The easement was decided in a court decision called the Betts case around 1900 and then was confirmed in the Dolphin lane case around the 70s. The easement moves every day depending on the high tide and when the sand was replaced in WHD it reestablished the easement. Read the cases they are very interesting
By clammer (23), hampton bays on Nov 30, 10 6:13 PM
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Thanks for the information !

By stopdumbideas (10), Brookhaven on Nov 30, 10 7:08 PM
Thanks Clammer... though I believe it's the Toe of the Dune not the Top... not that it really matters I suppose.

It should also be noted that the Trustees "hold" several paper roads (that is, they're roads on paper, but were never opened/paved) throughout the Town, including one along the bay where Mtk. Hwy meets Shinnecock Bay in Shinnecock Hills (several of those houses are actually within the road) and a long stretch along the Peconic Bay from the Shinnecock Canal West through Hampton ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 10 8:28 PM
If anyone wants to look up any of the cases involving the trustees, go to google scholar and click on legal opinions and journals and then look up Dolphin lane vs Trustees Betts vs Southampton Trustees and Poster, Allen vs Strough. Someone showed me this site a while ago . When Nature was talking about toe vs top I knew I saw it somewhere and its in the Poster case. These 3 cases give you a great history of what the Trustees have been fighting.
By clammer (23), hampton bays on Nov 30, 10 9:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sweet, thanks. I always love it when people can get actual useful information from these posts instead of just "blah blah blah" and "wah wah wah"
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 10 10:05 PM
The DEC report makes interesting reading. When a local DEC official wouldn't give Vegliante the permits he wanted, Vegliante accused him of improper conduct in hosting meetings of a volunteer ecological group in WHB households. He also accused him of retaliation for something (I forget what).

After what appears to be hundreds of man-hours of work, the DEC found Vigliante's retaliation charges to be groundless but said that the DEC official had violated agency regulations by creating the ...more
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Dec 1, 10 1:27 PM
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One REAL hurricane and all this will be a moot point. Those cheesy houses will be in the middle of the bay and the remnants of WHD will be an inlet again. The arrogance of these folks is only surpassed by there ignorance.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Dec 1, 10 1:52 PM
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Westhampton Dunes has been a blight on eastern Long Island for far too long. What has gone on there and what is going on there is a crime. It has been run by a dictatorship since it's inception and has to have some authority step in and clean it up. Where else in Suffolk can you pile houses on top of houses and get away with it. Where else can you steal and create land from public ocean and bay bottoms and get away with it?
By Doug (14), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 10 9:02 PM
Does anyone know what SPECIFICALLY these 2 lawsuits are about? From what I have read, its not about septic systems or architecture or even public access (which as anyone that has sat in traffic in the village of WHD during the summer waiting to get into the multiple PUBLIC parks or the fishermen riding 4x4's ON THE BEACH in the winter can tell you ) is not an issue. It appears, these lawsuits are being brought on behalf of ALL Southampton Town taxpayers, alleging a very open misuse and mishandling ...more
By V.O.R. (3), Rockville Centre on Dec 3, 10 1:45 PM
nice rant, however you really have no idea what you're talking about- its pathetic
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Dec 7, 10 5:06 PM
The Board of Trustees is seperate from the Town government, hence the seperate bank accounts. Do some homework yourself and educate yourself about the Trustees before you spew the WHD talking points du jour.
By bigfresh (4594), north sea on Dec 3, 10 3:20 PM
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Trustees Budget comes almost entirely from Trustees associated Fees (beach permits, parking permits, docks, floats, bulkheads etc.) so it's not a "waste" of taxpayer dollars as the Trustees DO NOT tax the residents of Southampton Town. Considering the Trustees have been in business since basically the beginning of American Time and are the longest continually elected government officials in the Nation, it's amazing they don't tax their constituents.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Dec 3, 10 3:58 PM
That sir is exactly what the judge will decide.
By V.O.R. (3), Rockville Centre on Dec 3, 10 3:38 PM
As V.O.R. noted, the intent of this lawsuit is to divest the Trustees of the money they have in separate bank accounts, thus limiting or wholly negating their ability to respond to lawsuits. The suit is based on an opinion by the NYS comptroller in 1974 to an inquiry by the Town. While one might be concerned were to Trustees to be in technical violation of the law, (which the comptroller did NOT say), one is more concerned that the Trustees would be helpless before voracious, foaming-at-the-mouth, ...more
By highhatsize (4185), East Quogue on Dec 3, 10 4:32 PM
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by the way VOR the money in the Trustees account earmarked for legal defense of lawsuits CAME from a lawsuit filed by and WON by the Trustees on behalf of town residents. not that any facts should interfere with your ranting
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Dec 7, 10 5:10 PM
Does anyone find irony in the fact that part of the lawsuit focuses on having separate accounts for funds (generally speaking a very good financial practice if and when authorized) and it was "comingling" that got the East hampton Controller in trouble.

Just a thought
By Hambone (514), New York on Jan 3, 11 1:06 AM