Rhode Island CRMC issues violations notice to Ballard’s

Thu, 09/29/2022 - 4:45pm

Following on the heels of the incidents that fell on Victory Day in August, with the throngs of concertgoers packed onto Ballard’s Beach and the ensuing fights at Ballard’s and on the Block Island Ferry in the evening, residents and officials on Block Island started asking questions about just how Ballard’s Resort came to grow under the radar over the past few years. Naturally, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council came into play.
The Block Island Times started investigating the CRMC’s permit database and found a dearth of applications from Ballard’s. One application though, stood out – an application for portable trailers on the beach during the summer season. The application was made in June of 2015, and no decision was ever granted by CRMC, meaning Ballard’s never received permission for the trailers. The file was “closed” in January 2016. Most of the other applications since then are simply for beach and sand maintenance.
Somehow, those “portable trailers” morphed into tiki bars and other structures that appear to be wired for electricity, and in some cases plumbing. Their portability can also be questioned as the wheels appear twisted and
rusted. For at least last winter, the “tiki bars” stayed put on the beach.
A couple of weeks ago there were rumors that the CRMC was coming to the island for an unannounced inspection, and on Tuesday, Sept. 27, the agency issued a “Finding and Notice of Violation” to Ballard’s Inn Realty, LLC, care of Steven Filippi.
The notice reads: “It has come to the attention of the CRMC that you or your agent have constructed/installed an unauthorized fence on the coastal feature, structures (tiki bars) on the coastal feature, and a stage, canopies and pergola at your property located at Plat 7, Lot 23, 42 Water Street, New Shoreham, without benefit of a CRMC assent or in violation of a Council Order.” “This is in violation of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program.”
The notice states that Filippi must remove all of the “unauthorized temporary structures at this site by November 9, 2022. A complete application for any unauthorized structure considered permanent must be received by November 9, 2022. Submittal of a complete application does not confer approval.”
By Wednesday afternoon, September 28, the outdoor stage had already been dismantled, although the last day that Ballard’s was open for the 2022 summer season was Sunday, September 25, and trenches were dug between two tiki bars, exposing piping and conduit servicing the bars.