Today is probably the last day in the Truck Beach trial; on Friday, the judge in the case urged the two sides to compromise and find a solution to avoid years more of appeals. Quoted in the Southampton Press, Justice Ralph Gazillo said, "I think that we can all agree that this litigation could go on ad infinitum...this will not end with this trial. Abe Lincoln said, at all costs, avoid litigation. This is going to get costly."
Well, it’s been lengthy and costly already! The lawsuit was filed in 2009. The dispute is between Amagansett/Napeague homeowners who claim to own the beach in front of their houses and East Hampton Town and Trustees.
One side, the homeowners, say that many trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles are on the beach during the summer, causing a hazardous condition. The group representing them is called SAFE. The other side, the town, the Trustees, and concerned citizens (represented by Citizens for Access Rights) say that the issue is that the homeowners are trying to privatize a public beach, and that the beach is public, so they can drive on it.
However, a settlement seems unlikely. One of the plaintiffs, Kenneth Silverman, said his group would not agree to allow the beach to be used by vehicles on summer weekends. East Hampton Town is planning to condemn and seize the beach through eminent domain, but that again will require more time in a courtroom. Stay tuned.