Ron Baron Brawls With East Hampton Over Ecosystem Disturbance

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The East Hampton Town Board has authorized the Town Attorney’s office to move forward with any and all legal action necessary in an action against billionaire investor Ron Baron for disturbances to the Atlantic Double Dune system that may have resulted from the construction of a wall along the southern side of his property at 260 Further Lane. Baron bought the 40-acre property for $103 million in 2007, marking the largest residential real estate deal in American history, and began construction on a home and guest house, which included a retaining wall along the southern border of the property. This wall just so happens to buffer a 3,000-year-old double dune system that stretches across 200 acres from Old Beach Lane to Atlantic Avenue. According to a town official, Baron would have had to apply for a natural resources special permit before beginning any work near the dunes, as the Town of East Hampton has made a special effort to protect dune habitats since the inception of the Natural Resources Department in 1984. Baron has asserted that his crews were told they didn’t need said permit. Nevertheless, the two parties agreed to some size reduction of the wall and replanting of vegetation, though they differ on the extent and method of the removal process. Now they’re going through the machinations of a workable resolution, but if that winds up at an impasse, and since the town can’t mandate remediation, it would have to take the issue to the Riverhead Supreme Court. That’s a costly option for the town when dealing with a financial heavyweight like Baron. We’ll keep you posted on what develops from any upcoming meetings.

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