Ruling: Oceanfront home must be moved
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. —
The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that a waterfront home in Narragansett has to be removed because it was built on property designated for public use.
The house sits on land overlooking the water in Point Judith, but soon it will be torn down or moved.
"What kind of dummy puts their home, million-dollar home, on land without surveying it and making sure it's on their land?" said Leon Runner.
Runner is visiting from Pennsylvania, but he's heard about the mess in Narragansett.
The house, valued at about $2 million, was built partially on property that belongs to the Nulman family. It's designated for public use as a park, leaving some wondering how it happened.
In 2009, the developer hired an engineering firm to survey the land and get the permits to build. The house was finished in early 2011, and the problem surfaced as the developer was looking to sell it.
"Errors are made by engineers. Some are more critical than others," said S. Paul Ryan, legal counsel for Save the Bay.
A prospective buyer's independent survey showed the house was on the Nulman property.
Ryan said he's worked plenty of cases where errors mean houses are built over property lines.
His organization is trying to block the possibility of moving the house, saying it would only move the house closer to an already-eroding coastline.
Still, he said, he understands the dilemma.
"It's not a $150,000 ranch house we're talking about here," Ryan said.
Those outside the situation say they're confused about how this could have happened.
"They should have known this house was in the process and not waited until it was fully constructed," a woman said.
Leaving questions about what will happen next for this house and its owners.
The decision from the Rhode Island Supreme Court said the developer who built the house is going to have to tear it down or move it somewhere else because part of the house is on land that is park property.