The Ditch Plains Association says they have a smoking gun in the fight over 11 Ditch Plains Road in Montauk. Last year, hotelier Sean McPherson (best known in the area for the Crow's Nest) purchased 11 Ditch Plains Road for $1.1M. The parcel is a long, narrow lot with a single family house on it and a decrepit 8-unit motel, which was known in the 1970s as the Rogues Motel. The motel building is rapidly being renovated.
The area was zoned residential in 1984, and the motel was grandfathered in as nonconforming. The argument is whether or not the motel has been abandoned, which would mean that no certificate of occupancy can be issued by the town for preexisting nonconforming use. Mr. McPherson says that someone had been living on the property for some time.
However, the DPA has found a 2005 letter by the former East Hampton fire marshal to the former owner of the property. This letter, as paraphrased in the East Hampton Press, states that "the building was unoccupied, the electricity was turned off and a complete inspection could not be done." DPA believes that this proves that the property had been abandoned. Stay tuned.