Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius will meet with officials from the State Department of Environmental Conservation later this month to discuss an ongoing feud between the agency and village regarding the issuance of oceanfront building permits.
In November, the DEC issued a report critical of the village, claiming that permits were issued in violation of state regulations. The DEC at the time threatened to strip the village of its permitting authority—though the state agency has not yet taken any action.
Mr. Sartorius will meet with DEC officials in a closed door meeting on Tuesday, April 26, according to Aphrodite Montalvo, a spokeswoman for the agency. The aim of this meeting is to discuss the possible missteps taken by Quogue Village’s Zoning Board of Appeals while approving oceanfront building permits in the village’s Coastal Erosion Hazard Area (CEHA), an environmentally sensitive area along Dune Road.
In the lengthy report, the DEC threatened to revoke the village’s right to grant building permits along the ocean, stating that village officials repeatedly failed to adhere to state laws designed to protect the coastline. The report alleged that zoning board members granted numerous building permits within the CEHA, often breaching the dune structure along the oceanfront. The report also stated that the village decided to disregard state issued maps outlining sensitive dune areas, after deciding they were incorrect.
Mr. Sartorius answered the state agency in a 17-page response this February explaining that any missteps that were taken by village officials were not purposely carried out, adding that the ZBA stringently follows state guidelines before issuing any permits. The mayor said in the same letter that the agency’s finding “sets forth an incorrect and unduly harsh assessment of the village’s administration of the CEHA.”
Village Building Inspector Edward Wolfersdorf said on Monday that he wasn’t sure if he or other village officials would be invited to attend the meeting later this month. Mr. Sartorius was on vacation this week and unavailable for comment.