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Hamburg hopes it doesn't have to raze park's observation deck overlooking lake

Hamburg officials are hoping the observation deck at Hamburg Town Park can stay where it is.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation told the town last month that the deck, built on the bluff overlooking Lake Erie last summer, violates state law because it was built in a regulated area within a coastal erosion hazard area. The construction required a state permit or a variance, which the town didn't get.

State and town officials met last week.

"It was acknowledged that approval was not sought prior to construction,"  Highway Superintendent Ted Casey said. "It is clearly within the coastal erosion zone."

But Casey said he doesn't think the deck is adversely affecting the area.

Casey said the DEC is still deciding what to do over the matter, and a DEC spokeswoman said there was no update on a resolution of the issue. The town could be fined up to $1,000 a day, according to state law.

He said the town did have a building permit for the deck from the town Building Department.

"It's kind of silly to argue that particular deck impacts shoreline and enhanced erosion," Supervisor James M. Shaw said.

Neither Shaw nor Casey was in office when the deck was built.

Casey said the deck, built under his predecessor, Tom Best Sr., is held into the ground by two piers on a grassy knoll. At the bottom of the knoll is a wall, then a road and the beach. He said he hopes the town gets to keep the deck and avoid any fine.

"It’s a technical violation," Casey said.

Observation deck at Town Park could cost Hamburg up to $1,000 per day

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