Trustees Win Stop Order on Rock Wall

A state judge has issued a restraining order blocking a Georgica Beach-front property owner from continuing work on a protective sea wall. Christopher Walsh

Three days after work on a massive rock revetment in front of Mollie Zweig's oceanfront house at 11 West End Road in East Hampton had begun, the project was ordered to a halt in State Supreme Court in Riverhead.

Arguing in court over a cumulative five hours Tuesday and Wednesday, David Eagan, a lawyer representing the East Hampton Town Trustees, won a temporary restraining order to stop the project — which included removing a rock groin, building a dune with 4,000 cubic yards of sand, planting beach grass, and installing sand fence.

Late Wednesday, Justice Paul J. Baisley Jr. instructed Ms. Zweig and her co-defendants, the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals, the Village of East Hampton and its Department of Code Enforcement, and the Town of East Hampton, and the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals as additional defendants, to appear on Nov. 27.

The defendants will be asked to show cause as to why the order prohibiting further action on the project should be lifted. The trustees say that most, if not all, of the property on which the work is taking place is within their jurisdiction and not on Ms. Zweig's land.

"The judge really didn't appreciate [Ms.] Zweig's approach to this matter," Mr. Eagan said in an interview on Thursday morning. "He called it 'untenable' for the applicants to unilaterally decide they are outside of what is traditionally a governmental agency's jurisdiction, or to think they have a right to build a project and sort it out later. We agree. We also agree that their claims to ownership of that property are at best tenuous. . . . We believe our analysis has shown that the trustees own that property."

Mr. Eagan repeated his advice to Ms. Zweig to seek a permit from the trustees and admonished her and her representatives for having "put themselves in this position and raised issues, not the least of which is village's boundaries, [on] which the judge disagreed with Zweig's attorney,"

Ms. Zweig has been represented by Stephen Angel of Esseks, Hefter and Angel. Mr. Angel did not return a call seeking comment.

"This is all a result of the fact that they unilaterally believe they don't have to go to the trustees. . . . If they were so certain of title, they had ample opportunities to come to the trustees. They never did that," Mr. Eagan said.

Previous coverage: Trustees Seek Stop-Work Order on Sea Wall

A towering pile of sand remained on the beach in front of Mollie Zweig's West End Road property on Monday morning.Morgan McGivern