K. C. Myers

One big house on the edge of a collapsing dune in Wellfleet

WELLFLEET — The controversial mansion built in 2010 on the narrow spit of land in the Cape Cod National Seashore known as “the Gut,” between Great Island and Griffin Island, is in danger of collapse because of the rapidly eroding dune on which it sits.

The proposed solution — to build a 240-foot stone seawall, reinforced with coir fiber rolls, sand and plantings to protect the 5,817-square-foot house at 1440 Chequessett Neck Road — was rejected by the conservation commission on Dec. 5 as an unacceptable breach of environmental protection laws. The vote was 5-0.

Owners Mark and Barbara Blasch will “definitely” be appealing the decision in court, said Wellfleet Conservation Agent Hillary Greenberg-Lemos on Friday.

Among those expressing strong opposition to the project was Seashore Supt. Brian Carlstrom. “We predict substantial damage will occur to the natural coastal bank due to heavy equipment use of an excavator and front end loader on the beach and bank, and installation of massive stones and coir logs over an extensive area of the bank,” he wrote. “The proposal would be a highly invasive and only temporary fix.”

The Blasches, who live in Vero Beach, Fla., are represented by attorney Ben Zehnder of Orleans. They could not be reached for comment and Zehnder refused to comment.

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