Fight continues over marina expansion

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The battle over expanding Champlin's Marina on Rhode Island's Block Island is about to resume.

The Coastal Resources Management Council, the state agency that first began considering Champlin's expansion plans more than seven years ago, has scheduled a new hearing for Tuesday, with a second hearing scheduled for May 27, the Providence Journal reports.

The management council has held 23 hearings and generated more than 3,000 pages of testimony over Champlin's application requesting permission to add 4,000 feet of additional piers, which would cover four acres of Great Salt Pond.

Some Block Island residents insist the expansion is too much and that it would cause too much congestion and pollution in the pond, which is among the top destinations for boaters in the Northeast.

Champlin's owners say they turn away potential customers every summer because of insufficient space.

In a tie vote, the management council originally turned down Champlin's request. A Superior Court judge reviewed the case and found numerous allegations of inappropriate behavior by several council members and issued a ruling that allowed the expansion to go through.

But in February, the state Supreme Court, responding to an appeal by the management council and some Block Island residents, sent the case back to the coastal agency for further review and another vote.

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