New dock will allow sunlight to get through to wetlands

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The East Hampton Town Trustees have approved a request to rebuild a dock along an environmentally sensitive stretch of Three Mile Harbor known as Springy Banks.

Charles Dunne’s request for a dock at his property in the Oyster Shores development on the southwestern side of Three Mile Harbor was given the go-ahead on December 9, despite the Trustees’ policy of not granting new docks in that section of the harbor, primarily because he is rebuilding a dock that had historically been at that location.

Mr. Dunne, who purchased his property in 2005, inherited the former property owners’ permit to rebuild an existing 13-foot permanent dock attached to a 40-foot floating dock. However, he did not have a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at that time. During the process of receiving the state permit, his permit from the Trustees expired in December 2006.

At several hearings on the matter, the Trustees said they were loathe to approve a new dock permit due to the environmental sensitivity of the area, which is named Springy Banks because of the fresh water that seeps out of the ground at the water’s edge, creating an ideal environment for what had historically been rich clam beds.

Mr. Dunne agreed to compromise with the Trustees, eventually choosing to construct the dock out of an opaque plastic called ThruFlow that is designed to allow sunlight to reach the habitat of marine life below.

In September 2008, when the board seemed poised to deny the application, Mr. Dunne’s attorney, Kathryn Dalli, said that he would likely file a lawsuit against the Trustees if his permit was denied.

Ultimately, seven of the nine Trustees voted to approve the application.

Trustee Kayla Talmage voted against the project and Francis Bock was not at the December 9 meeting.

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