Safe Harbor Retreat LLC claims in a new lawsuit that the have endangered the lives and safety of the occupants at The Dunes, a drug and rehabilitation center in East Hampton.
is already at the center of one suit. Safe Harbor after the town building inspector rendered a decision stating site plan review was necessary to operate a private-pay rehab center out of a house in Northwest Woods.
Now, the organization is seeking an injunction in Supreme Court of Suffolk County to re-open a trustee-owned public road that leads to the facility at 26 Bull Run in the Northwest Woods.
The trustees erected a stockade fence on the dirt road at the intersection of Old Northwest Road.
The road, known as Northwest to Sag Harbor Turnpike, leads up to Jason's Rock, a historic marker located just past the second-gated entrance to The Dunes.
The property can be accessed through a driveway on Bull Run, located off Bull Path.
However, Safe Harbor representatives claim the trustee road is the only access to the property that can be used by all fire and emergency vehicles. Members of the organization also affirm that the Northwest/Sag Harbor Road can significantly reduce the time needed to get to The Dunes by emergency vehicles, "in some cases by as much as one half."
Safe Harbor reps said in the suit that the trustees put up the fence when they learned the road "was maintained in a way not to its liking."
In February, trustee clerk Diane McNally told East Hampton Patch that the fence was put up after trustees discovered the road had been "improved" — widened and graded — without permission. McNally said it was a trustee-policy to keep such roads as rural as possible.
While the town's code enforcement department was contacted, no violation could be issued as the officer did not observe who was responsible for the roadwork, McNally said.
Also, she said the fence was taken down soon after it went up and that the trustees contacted the East Hampton Town police. They then found out that The Dunes had also contacted police when the fence appeared at the end of the road. When the fence was re-erected, a note was placed on the fence reading "Town Trustee Project."
The trustees told Safe Harbor in a letter on Feb. 10, 2012 that they would remove the fence once the necessary changes had been made to the road.
, the attorney for the trustees, declined to comment when contacted on Wednesday.
Joseph McKinsey, the founder and CEO of The Dunes, also declined to comment. Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, the firm representing him, did not return a phone call.