DEC: Montauk Shores Condos to Take Down Illicit Seawall

Montauk Shores Condominiums in August 2011.
Montauk Shores Condominiums in August 2011. Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

The owners of Montauk Shores Condominiums and its contractor have to remove an illicit seawall and they face paying up to $120,000 in civil penalties under a settlement agreement, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Monday.

According to the DEC, the condos property had a seawall, or revetment, in place for more than a decade, and on several occasions since 2002 Montauk Shores representatives have proposed building a significantly larger revetment. The proposed revetment would be built with stones between 300 and 500 pounds, much larger than the 150-pound maximum that was permitted, the DEC stated. The DEC rejected a proposal in March 2013 and instead issued a permit for the reconstruction of the existing revetment, no more than 6 feet high and 12 feet wide with no stones larger than 150 pounds.

After issuing the permit, the DEC began to receive complaints from Montauk residents, the agency said. The revetment was found to be 12 feet high and 24 feet wide—twice the size that was authorized—with stones weighing as much as 1,000 pounds. The DEC cited Montauk Shores Condominiums for violating tidal wetlands and coastal erosion hazard act regulations.

“Across Long Island, DEC is working hard to assist property owners with efforts to restore properties impacted by Hurricane Sandy to pre-storm conditions,” DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully said in a statement. “Generally, recovery work has been complied with permit conditions and applicable regulations. However, those that flout state regulations or violate permit conditions will be held accountable.”

The DEC said that the revetment authorized by the permit would have been sufficient to protect vulnerable structures and to prevent erosion.

The settlement now mandates that Montauk Shores Condominiums remove rock along 900 feet of shoreline to reduce the elevation of the revetment and comply with the permit, and it must hire an engineering firm to make a stormwater management plan. Montauk Shores and its contractor, Keith Grimes, agreed to a penalty of $120,000, of which $40,000 must be paid and $80,000 may be waived based on compliance to the settlement agreement.

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