Town of Oyster Bay v. Commander Oil Corp.

177 Misc. 2d 1025, 677 N.Y.S.2d 746 (Sup. Ct. 1998)

 

RULE:

Whatever rights are conveyed by royal colonial grants are subject to the public rights of navigation and to the rights of access of riparian and upland owners.

FACTS:

The parties entered into lease agreements covering a parcel of land adjacent to defendant corporation's property and the land under the bay harbor to which plaintiff town holds title under a colonial grant. Plaintiff sought a permanent injunction prohibiting defendant from dredging east and west basins at a pier on the grounds that defendant had not complied with the requirement that it obtain permission from plaintiff. The state supreme court denied plaintiff's application for a permanent injunction.

ISSUE:

Was plaintiff town correct in filing a permanent injunction against defendant corporation on the ground that defendant had not complied with the requirement that it obtain permission from plaintiff?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

So long as the natural condition of things was left practically unchanged and opportunity afforded at all times for reasonable modes of access, the owner of the lands upon the share had no just complaint grounds. Agency experts seemed to attempt to strike a balance between the need to use the east basin and the desire to minimize dredging when they required defendant corporation to scale back the proposed dredging. The modified dredging of the east basin was reasonably necessary to assure safe and economical use of the dock and defendant's property.

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