In another successful result by CMM’s Environmental & Land Use practice group, Frederick Eisenbud, Chairman of the group, helped persuade the Honorable Sanford Neil Berland, Acting Justice of the Suffolk County Supreme Court, to deny an Article 78 Petition filed by two residents of Asharoken who desired to construct docks along a section of beach known as the Ida Smith Beach. 

A Village ordinance had been enacted to preserve the beauty of the Ida Smith Beach, and only three docks, located at opposite end of the otherwise pristine beach and built before the ordinance was adopted, were present when the applications were filed. CMM was retained by the Asharoken Bayside Association to intervene in hearings brought to consider the applications. At Eisenbud’s request, the Association retained a wetlands expert and together they appeared and participated in seven public hearings held by the Environmental Review Board, which recommended that the Village Trustees deny the permit applications. The Village Board agreed, and the two homeowners commenced the Article 78 Petition to challenge the denial. 

Eisenbud was permitted to intervene in the Article 78 proceeding on behalf of the Association. Justice Berland’s lengthy and well-reasoned decision dated September 20, 2019, contained a clear discussion of riparian rights and concluded, in large part due to the law and science presented by Eisenbud and the wetlands expert, that the docks, if authorized, would create a precedent that would destroy the magnificent beach the Village Code intended to preserve. Because there were many nearby locations where the applicants could keep their boats, they were not permitted to significantly alter the conditions that attracted their neighbors to the Ida Smith Beach.

As trusted advisors to individuals and community groups as well as industrial, commercial, residential, and municipal entities, our team has the legal skills, in-depth experience, regulatory relationships, technical understanding, and comprehensive knowledge to address our clients’ environmental, land use, regulatory, and compliance needs. Learn more about our sophisticated environmental practice here.