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Rhode Island rejects Block Island marina expansion

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council Tuesday voted unanimously to turn down a proposal by Champlin's Marina to expand its docks and piers over an additional four acres of Block Island's Great Salt Pond.

This could bring to an end a seven-year legal battle to expand the marina.

The decision was greeted with applause, hugs and smiles among the dozens of Block Islanders who took the one ferry to the mainland Tuesday and accepted the risk of not getting back home for a few days because of the impending storm, The Providence Journal reported.

For Champlin's, the decision means it won't be able to increase its revenue by making room for more boaters on busy summer weekends. For boat owners, it means there won't be extra dock space at what many say is the most attractive destination for yacht owners on the East Coast.

"The people of Rhode Island and Block Island won a wonderful victory here," lawyer Jerry Elmer, who fought against the marina expansion on behalf of the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental advocacy group, told the newspaper.

Champlin's lawyer, Robert Goldberg, said after the vote that he believed the council made legal errors that could be overturned in court. He will advise his client to appeal.

Joseph Grillo, Champlin's owner, told the newspaper he had no comment.

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