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Bonnet View LLC v. State of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council

Superior Court of Rhode Island, Washington

August 31, 2018

BONNET VIEW LLC, ANTHONY J. FIORE, and SHORE CLUB CONDOMINIUM, LLC, a/k/a SHORE CLUB CONDO.
v.
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND COASTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

          Washington County Superior Court

          For Plaintiff: John F. Kenyon, Esq.

          For Defendant: Anthony DeSisto, Esq.; Peter F. Skwirz, Esq.; Benjamin Ferreira, Esq.

          DECISION

          LANPHEAR, J.

         Before this Court are the appeals of Bonnet View, LLC, Anthony J. Fiore and Shore Club Condominium, LLC, a/k/a Shore Club Condo. (hereinafter Appellants) to four Final Orders of Administrative Fines, issued by the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) on January 31, 2017. [1] Jurisdiction is pursuant to G.L. 1956 §§ 42-35-1, et seq. of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The only issue before the Court is the amount of the fines which CRMC is authorized to impose, pursuant to statute.

         Facts and Travel

         The Appellants obtained a CRMC Assent for construction on one condominium development project on Algonquin Road in Narragansett, Rhode Island. On May 24, 2016, after construction commenced, CRMC visited the project and issued four separate violation notices for the following:

1. Failing to install/maintain appropriate soil erosion and sediment controls;
2. Clearing and placing fill in the buffer zone;
3. Clearing and filling the coastal wetlands complex; and
4. Violation of the recorded conservation easement.

         Four separate Notices of Administrative Fines were issued on May 26, 2016 (Appellants' Mem. Exs. 2-5), and four different Cease and Desist Orders were issued on May 26, 2016. Id. at Exs. 6-9.

         Following a site visit on June 8, 2016, four additional and separate Notices of Administrative Fines were issued. (Appellants' Mem. Exs. 11-14.) Each of these notices imposed assessed additional fines of $2500 and threatened additional fines for ongoing violations.

         The parties entered into a Consent Agreement with CRMC on June 30, 2016 (Appellants' Ex. 16). The Appellants agreed that certain of the acts were violations, agreed to remediate the area, and agreed to pay four fines of $2500 for the violations of May 26, 2016. The Consent Agreement specifically did not address the June 9 and 14, 2016 fines. It appears that the June 9 and 14, 2016 assessed fines went to a hearing, though no transcript, ...


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