Stonewall Beach House Removal Plan Begins

A month after the conservation commission ordered the removal of a Chilmark house perched on an eroding bluff, the commission Wednesday heard plans for the home’s removal: the guest house is slated to come down immediately, with the main house dismantled in phases depending on the rate of erosion. The 650-square-foot summer home on Stonewall Beach, owned by Natalie Conroy, stood eight feet from a cliff in late February. Ms. Conroy applied to move the house nine and a half feet back from the bluff, an application the commission denied because it would encroach on wetlands.

No Mere Tipping Point

Walking west on East Chop Drive on a tranquil spring morning, the only indication of trouble is a short metal gate with a spray-painted detour sign. The pavement is remarkably free of potholes and the two-lane road appears intact as far as the eye can see.

Urgency Increases as Schifter Red Tape Piles Up

Plans to move a Chappaquiddick home threatened by erosion became more urgent this week, after last week’s nearly-three-day storm brought the coastal bank 11 feet closer to Richard and Jennifer Schifter’s Wasque Point home. But as waves continue to eat away at the waterfront property, the drama of the house move has extended into now weekly meetings at Edgartown town hall, where the house faces regulatory, logistical, and environmental concerns from town officials and neighbors.

Frequent Storms Undermine East Chop Roadway

The succession of storms that have pounded the Island this winter have taken their toll in Oak Bluffs, where the town says massive repairs are needed to stabilize the damaged East Chop area.

Officials said the already-weakened East Chop Drive, bluff and beach have sustained significant damage in the past few months, beginning with Hurricane Sandy in October and continuing through a nearly-three-day storm last week.

On the Edge With No Alternative

The Chilmark conservation commission voted this week that a house perched precariously at the edge of a cliff overlooking Stonewall Beach cannot be moved again, and instead must come down.

“We’re at the point where this house should be removed, not relocated,” commission chairman Pamela Goff said. “This [application] is just delaying the ultimate end.”

Chilmark town leaders agreed that the decision marks the first time in memory that a house will be demolished due to the threat of erosion.

As Plan Unfolds to Move House at Wasque Point, Trustees Have Concerns

While elaborate plans continue to unfold for moving a large Chappaquiddick house, the Edgartown conservation commission is grappling with a new issue: whether actions taken to stem the erosion can continue after the house is moved.

For months, the situation unfolding at Wasque Point where a rapidly eroding coastal bluff is swiftly approaching an 8,800-square-foot house, has captivated the Island.

Owners Say Action Needed to Save Erosion-Ravaged Homes

Following Hurricane Sandy’s blow to the south-facing coastline of the Vineyard last month, the Chilmark conservation commission is now facing a slew of plans for beach protection, including a request to move two homes and a shed now perilously perched atop the cliff at Stonewall Beach.

Coastal Erosion Severe Following Island's Brush with Sandy

While the Island was spared the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, reports early Tuesday confirmed severe erosion, especially on south-facing shorelines. The ocean washed over Norton Point Beach at Katama in Edgartown, turning the eastern end of the beach into a sandbar covered with water at high tide, said Chris Kennedy, superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations.

Emergency Plan Approved for Chappy Home Threatened by Erosion

With the failure of a previous plan to try to stem the erosion that threatens a Chappaquiddick house and a severe tropical storm headed up the East Coast early next week, the Edgartown conservation commission Wednesday approved a new emergency plan of action for the property.

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Erosion on Chilmark Beaches Prompts Restoration Study

As drastic erosion continues to eat away at Chilmark’s south shore, town officials this week expressed grave concern for public safety and impeded access to Lucy Vincent and Squibnocket beaches. The Chilmark board of selectmen also approved a study for the extreme Upper Chilmark Pond, known as Upper Upper Chilmark Pond to some, for a possible dune restoration project.