PLF successfully defends right to protect property

June 04, 2013 | By PAUL BEARD

After a severe storm destroyed numerous homes on Plum Island (Massachusetts), owners sought permits to rebuild.  The local authorities approved the permits, but the Massachusetts Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) intervened.  DEP imposed two conditions on permits to rebuild:  One condition required waiver of the right to ever build a seawall or other device to protect the new homes from shoreline erosion and, ultimately, destruction.  The second effectively required waiver of the right to pursue any remedy against the State in the event of any damage or destruction of the new home.  At the request of concerned Plum Island residents, PLF submitted a letter explaining why the conditions were unconstitutional (under Nollan v. California Coastal Commission) and should be stricken.  The next day, DEP rescinded the conditions—reportedly because of PLF’s letter.  Watch this local news video about the owners’ plight and PLF’s successful defense of their right to protect their homes.