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Aug 29, 2017 3:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Paddle Diva Clashes With East Hampton Town Officials Again Over Operation Of Springs Paddleboard Business

Paddle Diva owner Gina Bradley was issued yet another summons last week in her ongoing struggles with the town over her paddle board tours operating from Shagwong Marina on Three Mile Harbor.
Aug 29, 2017 3:40 PM

The Paddle Diva and East Hampton Town have once again found themselves butting heads over the popular paddleboard rental and touring business’s use of Shagwong Marina in Springs, barely a month after a state judge dismissed a town claim that the business was operating in violation of zoning.

Last week, after a series of complaints from neighbors of the marina about the paddleboard company’s using a public beach to launch its paddleboards, a Town Marine Patrol officer issued owner Gina Bradley yet another summons, for not having a $3,500 town-issued mass gathering permit that paddleboard and kayak companies must hold to launch tours from town shorelines.

“Any town beach, anywhere,” said Chief Habormaster Ed Michels. “She does all the business work from the marina but she lays the boards out on the beach because it’s safer for people, and I’m fine with that. But she has to get the permit.”

Ms. Bradley said she had the permit in years past but hadn’t gotten one this year because she was using the marina as her sole location this year, rather than touring different harbors as most other paddleboard and kayak companies do. She said she had understood the beach to be part of the adjacent property up to the high tide mark and had never been told it was an issue to launch there in the five years she’s used the marina.

The beach, as most bay beaches in East Hampton are, is actually owned by the East Hampton Town Trustees, up to the toe of the dune.

“Then this comes out of the blue,” Ms. Bradley said this week. “I feel like this is harassment now. I’m in a private marina with access to a beach and I have neighbors who are trying in every which way to limit access to the beach.”

Ms. Bradley made the comparison to efforts by neighbors of Amagansett’s popular “Truck Beach” to block the four-wheel-vehicle owners who gather there on summer weekends.

Mr. Michels said that while the enforcement action taken was spurred by complaints from neighbors, the legal standing of the use of the beach for paddleboard tours was fairly black and white and that, once alerted to it, his office has to demand the permit.

Ms. Bradley said she has applied for the permit and expects to receive it by the coming weekend.

Last year the town had tried to halt Paddle Diva from operating at the marina, saying that the paddleboard tours and storage of paddleboards on the property constituted a change of use of the property. In July a state judge issued a curt dismissal of the town’s position. The town has yet to file an appeal.

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OMG seriously? We are spending taxpayer dollars harassing a small businesswoman? Enough already.
By jackiemay (23), east hampton on Aug 30, 17 3:33 PM
seriously, we should let everyone profit from our shared resources. I am going to open valet stands and sell parking spots at town beaches.

By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Aug 31, 17 11:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
If you can get a Supreme Court Judge to overturn a ZBA decision and allow you to do it then by all means go ahead. Until that time, maybe dial back on the ridiculous comparisons. Running a paddle board company out of a marina is exactly where we want it to be run.
By Brigette (11), Amagansett on Aug 31, 17 11:41 AM
There is no issue with her using the marina.
The issue is that apparently she is also using the public beach to run her business.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Aug 31, 17 1:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Seriously East Hampton Police, you must have something, ANYTHING better to do than to keep harassing a decent local business-owner. Come ON!
By TheWaterMillian (34), Water Mill on Aug 30, 17 11:37 PM
Yes, they can write more seat belt tickets.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 17 7:52 PM
What the heck does this have to do with the police? Rules are rules.
By em (51), sagaponack on Sep 1, 17 12:46 AM
Gee. I wonder why the cops keep needing to make their way out to a bikini clad perp...
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Aug 31, 17 10:49 AM
How much did this COST EHT???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 31, 17 11:46 AM
Sounds from this story like the town is about to make $3500 from it...
By em (51), sagaponack on Sep 1, 17 12:47 AM
Omg get a life and stop being so empty business
Sep 1, 17 12:25 PM appended by widow gavits
Omg get a life and stop being so anti business
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Sep 1, 17 12:25 PM
Not anti-business or harassment. The rules need to be followed and cannot be selectively enforced. The village was wrong last year and due process protected Paddle Diva's rights to operate without a change of use.
How hard is it for someone who runs a paddle board business to find out what the laws are regarding beach use? The proprietor explained she has had the permit in previous years. Isn't it clear that the beaches are owned by the trustees, not the marinas?
By Arnold Timer (327), Sag Harbor on Sep 2, 17 11:16 PM
There's a disconnect here -- she (aging babe Gina Bradley) had a permit to operate a paddleboard rental business. Customers rent paddleboards to use on the water. What did the Town expect?

"Mother, may I go in for a swim?"
"Yes, my darling daughter. Hang your clothes
on a hickory limb... but don't go near the water."

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 4, 17 9:09 AM
They expected her to get the required permit. Just like the town expects restaurants to be certified by the Dept. of Health and the SLA, etc. When the town grants a C of O they don't walk you through whatever other permits you might need for your business, but they will fine you (or worse) if you are not fully compliant.
By Arnold Timer (327), Sag Harbor on Sep 5, 17 3:56 PM
Odds that the town now denies the permit? I'd say near 100% . . .
By RtRoth33 (9), Cheshire on Sep 5, 17 11:18 AM