D.E.C. Negotiating on Revetment

Settlement negotiations are underway between the Department of Environmental Conservation and Montauk Shores Condominiums over a rock revetment the state said was improperly installed last year. Janis Hewitt

      A New York State Department of Environmental Conservation representative reported this week that the agency is negotiating with Montauk Shores Condominiums, which runs an oceanfront trailer park at Ditch Plain, in an effort to settle alleged violations in connection with a massive rock revetment built there last spring. The negotiations would determine if any monetary penalties would be applied, Aphrodite Montalvo of the D.E.C. said.

       A notice of violation, issued by the D.E.C. on June 18, states that the mobile home park’s officials failed to submit notice of the work to be done by the required 48 hours before starting it, and that the revetment exceeded the approved height of six feet, the approved width of 12 feet, and the approved weight limit of 150 pounds per individual rock.

       Moreover, the site was reached by the Keith Grimes company, which did the work, by driving its machinery through the East Hampton Town-owned dirt parking lot east of Ditch Plain beach — rather than the center road of the condominium development, as had been approved.

       Montauk residents complained at several Montauk Citizen Advisory Committee meetings after the revetment was installed, saying access to the shoreline, which is popular with surfcasters and beachcombers, was hindered, and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, an environmental group, filed a formal complaint. Town employees sitting in trucks nearby during the revetment’s construction said, when asked by a reporter, that they didn’t know what was going on.

       “Any meaningful resolution will only be effective if it includes both significant fines and a full-scale remediation to remove illegal structures,” Jeremy Samuelson, the executive director of C.C.O.M., said this week by email. He said that the D.E.C had worked on the case for the last nine months. That effort will have been wasted without stringent consequences for the violations, he said.

       “C.C.O.M. believes the D.E.C. has sent a strong signal that repeat violators will be held accountable,” he said.

       A Montauk Shores manager did not return a call seeking comment.