The tide seems to have turned against the Town and the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton (Trustees) in a recent decision by the Second Department. In Seaview at Amagansett v, Trustees, the Appellate Division reversed much of a trial court’s 2016 decision and seemed to erode the Trustees’ ability to issue beach permits for 4X4 vehicles to park on an Amagansett beach.
Colliding in a perfect storm are the private property rights of several homeowners association, a 1991 Trustees beach permit regulation and generations of prior uses on approximately 22 acres of beachfront property consisting of 4,000 feet along the Atlantic Ocean in Amagansett commonly known as “Truck Beach.”
In an action pursuant to RPAPL Article 15, the plaintiffs, a group of Amagensett property owners, claimed unencumbered ownership to Truck Beach based on a 1882 deed from the Trustees to Arthur W. Benson (Benson Deed) conveying fee title to approximately 1,000 acres of prime real estate, which included the subject property. The Benson Deed contained the following reservation: