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Town Trustees Revisit Dock Inventory

Thu, 05/25/2023 - 11:46
LTV Studios East Hampton

The East Hampton Town Trustees will meet on June 12 to discuss an ongoing inventory of docks in waters under their jurisdiction. The meeting will precede the trustees’ regular meeting that evening.

The trustees set the date for the special meeting during their regular meeting on Monday.

The nine-member body, which owns and manages many of the town’s beaches, waterways, and bottomlands on behalf of the public, voted in November 2021 to enact a one-year moratorium on the construction of docks, catwalks, floating docks, floating structures, and floating platforms in trustee waters in order to allow them to conduct an inventory. In November of last year, as the moratorium neared expiration with the review still to be completed, they voted to extend it for a second year.

The moratorium applies to bottomlands including but not limited to Wainscott Pond, Georgica Pond, Napeague Harbor, Fresh Pond, Hook Pond, Accabonac Creek and Harbor, Pussy’s Pond, Hog Creek, Three Mile Harbor, Duck Creek, Hand’s Creek, Alewife Brook, Northwest Creek, and Little Northwest Creek. 

The enactment of the moratorium followed the trustees’ split vote to approve the construction of an 80-foot floating dock at a bulkheaded residential property on Three Mile Harbor, the first such approval in more than three decades. That vote spurred Francis Bock, the trustees’ clerk, to instruct his colleagues to form a committee to study the matter and issue a recommendation: the moratorium on construction of new docks, which applies to residential property and not to commercial properties or to existing or future duck blinds or floating upweller systems, known as flupsys, which are used to grow out shellfish in open water while protecting them from predation.

The trustees banned applications for docks in most waterways under their jurisdiction in 1984, extending the prohibition to all but the eastern shore of Three Mile Harbor in 1987. There are “quite a few” nonpermitted structures in trustee waterways, Mr. Bock said when the moratorium was announced 18 months ago.

“We’re going to have to regroup,” he said of the inventory on Monday, “figure out exactly what got done last year, what needs to get done this year, and make it a priority. We have to complete it this year.”

The docks meeting will take place at 5 p.m. at the trustees’ office at the Lamb Building in Amagansett. Their regular meeting will happen at 6:30 p.m. in the main meeting room at Town Hall.

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