Beware Shortsighted Answer to Erosion

When George Santayana wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” he was not envisioning people repeating their own mistakes. But that is what is transpiring at Wasque Point on Chappaquiddick this spring. In 2007 the Schifter family completed a large house about 300 feet from the bluff edge. Six years later, with the house poised to fall into the ocean, they are proposing to move it about 300 feet from the edge while damaging the environment and native artifacts and disrupting users of this magnificent landscape.

Selectmen Okay Use of Chappy Point for Schifter House Move

Construction equipment will be arriving on Chappaquiddick Friday for the first phase of a complex house move on Wasque Point, where erosion threatens Richard and Jennifer Schifter’s house.

The Edgartown selectmen Monday approved use of part of Chappaquiddick Point parking lot from March 27 through April 3 to unload equipment for moving the house, garage and guest house, as well as a neighboring house that the family purchased to make room for their house move.

Town Gives Okay to Prepare for Schifter Guest House Move

After months of discussion, work is beginning on a multi-phase project to move a Chappaquiddick house threatened by erosion, with the Edgartown planning board this week approving the relocation of a guest house on the Wasque property.

Urgency Increases as Schifter Red Tape Piles Up

Plans to move a Chappaquiddick home threatened by erosion became more urgent this week, after last week’s nearly-three-day storm brought the coastal bank 11 feet closer to Richard and Jennifer Schifter’s Wasque Point home. But as waves continue to eat away at the waterfront property, the drama of the house move has extended into now weekly meetings at Edgartown town hall, where the house faces regulatory, logistical, and environmental concerns from town officials and neighbors.

Stage One of Schifter Move Is Allowed

Plans to move a Chappaquiddick house threatened by rapid coastal erosion took a step forward Tuesday when the Edgartown planning board approved a special permit for the first stage of the house move.

The board got its first look Tuesday at plans to relocate an 8,800-square-foot house at Wasque Point owned by Richard and Jennifer Schifter, as well as a guest house and garage. The Schifter property has been threatened by rapid erosion over the last year; the coastal bluff is now 50 feet away from a stone pool enclosure.

Town Approves First Step in Relocating Erosion-Threatened Schifter House

The Edgartown Planning Board Tuesday approved part of an application to move a Chappaquiddick house threatened by erosion.

The board got its first look Tuesday at plans to relocate a 5,500-square-foot house at Wasque Point owned by Richard and Jennifer Schifter, as well as a 1,150-square-foot guest house and a 1,140-square-foot garage. The Schifter property has been threatened by rapid erosion over the last year; the coastal bluff is now 50 feet away from a stone pool enclosure.

Town Hears Plan to Move Schifter House

A planning board hearing next week will address plans to move two homes on Chappaquiddick.

Plans have been filed with the board to relocate Richard and Jennifer Schifter’s home at Wasque Point, which is threatened by rapid erosion. When the house construction was completed in 2007, it was 220 feet away from the bluff; today the eroding bank is about 50 feet away from a stone pool enclosure next to the house.

Shifting Sands at the Schifter House

The elaborate project now unfolding to move four buildings on Richard and Jennifer Schifter’s property on a remote and windswept promontory at the extreme southeastern corner of Chappaquiddick, including an eight-thousand-square-foot home, is riveting. This very big project for a very small island has already cost the homeowners millions of dollars as they engage in a spellbinding race against nature to move their summer home and assorted other structures back from the edge of a rapidly eroding cliff.

Moving Company Specializes in Big Jobs

For the International Chimney Corporation, moving Richard and Jennifer Schifter’s Chappaquiddick home is a relatively small job compared to some of the other jobs the company has completed.

Besides chimney work, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based company specializes in building relocation and historic preservation, among other things, all over the world (the company just completed a chimney project in Thailand).

Effort Underway to Save Chappaquiddick Home on Eroded Bluff

Wasque Point is a remote place; this is the far southeastern corner of Chappaquiddick, an island off an island. The name comes from the Algonquin word Wannasque, which means “the ending.” Where the land ends, there is nothing but Atlantic Ocean, dotted with flocks of scoters bobbing where the waves break, and then it’s ocean as far as the eye can see.

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