Narragansett Mansion Mistakenly Built on Park Land Must be Removed

This June 16, 2014 photo shows one view of the $1.8 million waterfront house that a developer mistakenly built on park land in Narragansett, R.I.  [[SLIDE]]

June 17, 2014 1:43 PM

Ouch. A brand new $1.8 million waterfront home in Narragansett was mistakenly built on park land and must be moved or torn down, according to The Rhode Island Supreme Court.

Developers at Four Twenty Corp. started constructing the mansion in 2009, but were apparently unaware of the engineers’ surveying error, which placed the foundation on park land neighboring the Point Judith Lighthouse. In 2011, prospective buyers had their own survey done and discovered that the house was built entirely on land owned by the Rose Nulman Park Foundation.

WCVB reported that developers tried to work something out with the park foundation but were told the land wasn’t for sale.

Why? Because a 2008 agreement between the foundation and the Nulman family states 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 matter was recently brought before The Rhode Island Supreme Court, which ruled that the house needs to be removed. The high court decision reinforced the same 2012 superior court ruling despite developers insisting they should not be penalized for an “innocent surveying mistake.”

The court stated that “any attempt to build on even a portion of the property would constitute an irreparable injury, not only to the plaintiff but to the public.”

Officials have not yet determined how much time Four Twenty Corp. has to relocate the three-story home, which the Providence Journal says features a rooftop cabana with a Jacuzzi and wet bar.

“My client has wanted for a long time for the house to be removed,” a lawyer for the park foundation told WCVB. “My client’s very clear and firm position is that it’s time for the house to go.”

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