Villages of Quogue and West Hampton Dunes – The New York Court Of Appeals recently rejected the Town of Southampton Trustees’ appeal to regulate structures along the shoreline in the incorporated villages of the Town. The cases involved parallel Second Department decisions in the villages of Quogue and West Hampton Dunes, where homeowners constructed shoreline-protecting structures without permits from the Trustees. The Trustees claimed to have jurisdiction over such matters, based on colonial patents. Pursuant to a 19th-century state law, the Appellate Division decisions eviscerate Town Trustees’ jurisdiction in incorporated villages.
The denial of certiorari by the Court of Appeals, the State’s highest court, is a major win for the Villages, and is the proverbial “nail in the coffin” of the Town Trustees’ long-held policy of regulating and prohibiting shore-hardening structures in villages throughout Southampton. It will be interesting to see how the Town Trustees and the Villages will handle such a sea change.
An earlier Long Island Land Use & Zoning blog post concerning the appellate court rulings can be found here.