Supreme Court halts marina expansion

Justices grant stay, will decide later this month whether to hear appeal of Block Island Champlin’s growth rejection

Posted 5/7/09

PROVIDENCE – The state’s highest court yesterday stayed a ruling that had allowed Block Island’s Champlin’s Marina to expand into the Great Salt Pond. The order halts any work at the site.

At a May 28 conference, the R.I. Supreme Court will consider whether to hear the case – a consolidation of two cases, Champlin’s Realty Associates v. Michael Tikoian and Town of New Shoreham v. The Coastal Resources Management Council of Rhode Island.

The high court’s order noted that petitions to overrule the lower court’s decision had come from CRMC, the Town of New Shoreham and “a number of environmental groups.”

The 91-page Superior Court decision, written in February by Justice Netti C. Vogel, had reversed a CRMC ruling. In doing so, it allowed Champlin’s to expand its 225-boat capacity by 140 boats. Prior to Vogel’s decision, CRMC had voted 5-5, effectively putting an end to Champlin’s already 7-year-old request. Vogel’s decision disqualified the votes of three CRMC members.

Last month, the Conservation Law Foundation’s Rhode Island office filed two appeals, one of which said the R.I. Superior Court should have sent the case back to the CRMC for a review.

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