2013

A family-owned camp of small houses overlooking Stonewall Beach is set to be moved due to severe erosion. The Chilmark zoning board of appeals voted unanimously on Wednesday to allow a house and several outbuildings to be relocated at the Langmuir property on Greenhouse Lane.

Each family has its own Vineyard specialty, a beloved summer-after-summer tradition that everyone cherishes and remembers during those empty winter days in February. Sometimes it is the patriarch’s birthday party. Sometimes it is the matriarch’s birthday party, especially if the house belonged to her family.  Sometimes it is a Fourth of July or a Labor Day event when far-flung family members assemble to celebrate.  One of our friends, who is not French, gives a lavish annual dinner party with many guests in honor of Bastille Day.

A small cottage perilously close to the edge at Stonewall Beach in Chilmark has been demolished to prevent it from falling over the cliff, town building inspector Leonard Jason Jr. said Tuesday.

The demolition of the structure, which contains a bedroom, began Monday, Mr. Jason said. By Tuesday afternoon the demolition on Greenhouse Lane was complete. The debris was trucked off to the Edgartown landfill.

The Chilmark conservation commission voted this week to allow a house and several outbuildings dangerously close to the edge of a cliff overlooking Stonewall Beach to be relocated.

A month after the conservation commission ordered the removal of a Chilmark house perched on an eroding bluff, the commission Wednesday heard plans for the home’s removal: the guest house is slated to come down immediately, with the main house dismantled in phases depending on the rate of erosion. The 650-square-foot summer home on Stonewall Beach, owned by Natalie Conroy, stood eight feet from a cliff in late February. Ms. Conroy applied to move the house nine and a half feet back from the bluff, an application the commission denied because it would encroach on wetlands.

The Chilmark conservation commission voted this week that a house perched precariously at the edge of a cliff overlooking Stonewall Beach cannot be moved again, and instead must come down.

“We’re at the point where this house should be removed, not relocated,” commission chairman Pamela Goff said. “This [application] is just delaying the ultimate end.”

Chilmark town leaders agreed that the decision marks the first time in memory that a house will be demolished due to the threat of erosion.

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