The Real Deal New York

Hamptons heiress loses squatter’s rights lawsuit

Cox scion sued East Hampton over rights to a beach path

July 20, 2015 11:30AM

Georgica Pond in East Hampton

Georgica Pond in East Hampton

A Long Island judge impressed the virtues of sharing upon an elite Hamptons heiress, who had attempted to claim squatter’s rights on a piece of land connecting Georgica Pond to the Atlantic Ocean.

The judge ordered Katherine Rayner, the 70-year-old heiress to the $18.6 billion Cox media fortune, to remove structures she had built up on the public path, including a fence, a gate, and a pool heater, the New York Post reported. The path sits adjacent to Rayner’s 12-acre compound.

In 2013, Rayner struck a deal with the local zoning board to allow her to build a pool on her property, against regulations, if she removed the structures. But when the town tried to enforce the deal, Rayner sued, claiming squatter’s rights.

The pathway, which provides beachgoers access to the water, is a 50-foot strip of land that was originally donated to East Hampton by private citizens in 1979.

Rayner’s late grandfather, James M. Cox, was the founder of Cox Enterprises. [NYP] — Tess Hofmann