NARRAGANSETT, R.I. - A developer who mistakenly built a $1.8 million waterfront house on parkland has been ordered to remove it.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court found that the Narragansett home was built entirely on land owned by the Rose Nulman Park Foundation, and therefore must be removed.
The developer, Four Twenty Corp., began building the home in 2009, but it didn't discover the error until 2011 when it tried to sell the house and the prospective buyers got a survey. Robert Lamoureux, who owns the company, then contacted one of the park's trustees to try to work something out, but she told him the land was not for sale, according to Friday's opinion.
The foundation was set up to preserve the property as a park in perpetuity. A 2008 agreement among the family members says that if the trustees allow the land to be used as anything other than a public park, they must pay $1.5 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The developer argued it should not be penalized for an innocent surveying mistake. The court said it was sympathetic, but it said the park's property rights outweighed that. It also said it was in the public's interest to keep the land as a park.
"Any attempt to build on even a portion of the property would constitute an irreparable injury, not only to plaintiff but to the public," it wrote.
An email to the developer's lawyer was not immediately returned.
A judge will decide how much time the developer has to remove the house.
A lawyer for the foundation, Mark Freel, says the developer has secured most of the permits he needs to move it to the neighboring land, but that the fate of one critical permit is still up in the air. The timing of that could affect whether the house has to be torn down.
"My client has wanted for a long time for the house to be removed," he said. "My client's very clear and firm position is that it's time for the house to go."
Student recalls being trapped by 5,000-lbs tree
A college student in Long Island, New York, who was sleeping when a 5,000-pound tree crashed through her roof didn't think she would be…
Dad shoots drone hovering over sunbathing teen
A dad in Kentucky says he did what he had to do to protect his teen daughter's privacy. He says he noticed a drone with what looked like…
Not all Reunion Island debris is MH370's
Investigators are inspecting more wreckage that could be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared during a flight in March 2014.
Top 3 world records caught on camera
World records involving hot air balloons, semitruck ramp jumps and larger-than-life balloon animals were all set this past week.
How the US might get revenge for OPM hack
The U.S. is planning to retaliate against the Chinese Government for stealing the personnel files of around 22 million federal employees.
Soldier paralyzed trying to save drowning girl
A heroic act to save a drowning girl last Saturday left a Special Forces soldier paralyzed.