I’m sort of simplifying things here a bit, but here’s the gist: Taylor Swift bought a massive house in Watch Hill, Rhode Island and has been doing construction on the property, especially outside – she’s attempting to make the house more private by moving boulders along the coast (the house is along the water) to build a wall. The problem is, they don’t have a permit and apparently the moving of the boulders might eventually affect the coastline. Uh oh!
Here’s a photo of the house for reference:
And here’s a bit that appeared in Connecticut’s The Day newspaper, which is a bit snarky:
One giant machine, part crane, was lifting big appliance-size boulders up out of the ocean with its mechanical claw and moving them.
“That’s completely illegal,” said a young man standing next to me, some distance away from the Swift beachfront, on a public promontory.
Looking distraught, he added that he is a surfer and is sure the changes to the ocean bottom will impact the quality of surfing there.
If not illegal, I thought, the work sure must require a boatload of permits, rearranging the rocky coastline and all.
Imagine my surprise when I soon discovered that Swift has not obtained one single permit from the town for the cliff work, which could well be among the largest construction projects in Westerly right now.
The wall they’ve built is so big you could practically see it from Block Island on a clear day. (OK, maybe not. But it is big.)
Of course, it seems to have been a misunderstanding of sorts, as Laura Dwyer, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council talked to the Providence Journal about the whole thing:
“The larger boulders were historically there. We have photograph evidence from previous property owners that they were there, but they were covered with sand. When the applicant came in with plans, they were proposing to leave those rocks way out in the water. We were the ones who asked them to get those boulders as close to the seaward side of that concrete wall as possible.”
Well, that clears that up, I guess?