Friday, January 29, 2010

Not a day at the beach for Rockaway man

From the Daily News:

It's the second wave for a Belle Harbor man who sued the city for building sand dunes on a four-block stretch of the Rockaways.

James Agoglia, 40, is appealing a judge's decision to toss his lawsuit, which claims the dunes restrict access to the beach and don't prevent erosion, as originally intended.

"We didn't want dunes there in the first place," said Agoglia, who lives on Beach 141st St., about 350 feet from the dunes. "All it did was shrink the beach for people who use the beach." The Parks Department constructed the dunes in 1997 between Beach 138th St. and Beach 142nd St., as an "experiment in erosion control, designed to keep sand on the beach and out of your street and yards and homes," said then-Parks Commissioner Henry Stern.

But Agoglia said the experiment has been a failure and has benefitted only the six homes directly in front of the dunes.

"The sole purpose of those dunes was to give privacy to those homeowners," Agoglia said.

Agoglia and five fellow plaintiffs sued the Parks Department and the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Queens Supreme Court in 2006.

Justice Janice Taylor tossed out the case in March 2009. In her ruling, Taylor wrote that the plaintiffs failed to show "that they have suffered a different harm than the harm allegedly suffered by the public at large."

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