OWNER OF RIPARIAN RIGHTS IS ENTITLED TO USE LAND UNDER WATER FOR A COMMERCE-CONNECTED PURPOSE WHERE IT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THE NAVIGABILITY OF THE CHANNEL

THE CASE PROVIDES AN EXAMPLE OF THE DIVERSE FORMS WHICH RIPARIAN RIGHTS CAN TAKE AND THE BOUNDS TO WHICH THEY CAN BE EXTENDED. CLAIMANTS PURCHASED TUSCARORA BAY PROPERTY, INSTITUTED DREDGING AND THE FILL OBTAINED WAS USED TO RECLAIM UNDERWATER LAND WHICH WAS THEN USED TO CONSTRUCT A MARINA. THE U. S. GOVERNMENT DISCLAIMED FEDERAL JURISDICTION OVER THAT PART OF THE BAY BUT AFTER CONSTRUCTION, THE STATE OF NEW YORK SERVED AN APPROPRIATION MAP ON THE CLAIMANTS TAKING ALL OF THEIR WATERFRONT PROPERTY INCLUDING THE RECLAIMED AREA WITH BOATHOUSE AND MARINA. THE COURT-OF CLAIMS FOUND THAT THE CLAIMANTS HAD ACQUIRED THE RIGHTS TO THE UNDERLAND INSPITE OF THEIR FAILURE TO OBTAIN STATE PERMISSION. SUPPORTING THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE THAT THE OWNER OF RIPARIAN RIGHTS MAY USE ADJACENT UNDERWATER LAND WHERE IT AIDS NAVIGATION AND COMMERCE. THE COURT ALSO NOTED THAT THE OPERATION HAD U.S. GOVERNMENT APPROVAL AND THE STATE'S SILENCE DURING THE CONDUCTION OF THE OPERATION, COULD BE INTERPRETED AS ACQUIESCENCE. COURT FINDINGS ARE UNCLEAR AS TO THE EXACT NATURE OF THE CLAIMANTS' INTEREST FOR COMPENSATION PURPOSES. IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE THAT CLAIMANTS ARE COMPENSATED FOR THE LOSS OF RIPARIAN RIGHTS AS WELL AS THE COST OF ENHANCING THAT RIGHT. THE CASE CANNOT BE READILY CLASSIFIED AS CONDEMNATION, SINCE IT INVOLVES RIGHTS ACQUIRED THROUGH PRIVATE TAKING.

  • Publication Date: 1969-2

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00200863
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Memo 199
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 24 1973 12:00AM