WESTERLY — While superstar Taylor Swift was in New York Wednesday preparing to share the catwalk with the Victoria’s Secret Angels, and lunching with chart-topping artist Lorde at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, there was a tempest swirling around her Bluff Avenue home.
Earlier this week, when local surfers and beach walkers noticed a number of construction vehicles climbing up and down the hill in front of Swift’s property, which borders a public right-of-way to the shore, a cry of alarm was sounded on Facebook and other social media with questions: What’s going on at East Beach? What’s happening to the wall?
It’s all good, said Laura Dwyer, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. Permits were issued to Swift on Nov. 6 for maintenance work and “riprap revetment repair.”
The permit allows for the replacement of unsafe rocks and re-setting of existing rocks, she said.
“It all started during Sandy,” Dwyer said. “The wall sustained damage during Sandy.”
“The Wall” at East Beach is a beloved landmark and popular spot for surfers and beach lovers who are used to sitting on its edge and watching the waves.
“We’ve done our due diligence,” said Dwyer, noting that several CRMC staff members and the executive director visited the property before approving the application. “It’s a permitted activity.”
And there should be no concern about accessing the beach or using the pathway to the beach, Dwyer said, because the permit clearly states that no access shall be impeded during construction.
“There must be access at all times,” Dwyer said. “We made sure of that.”
Amy Grzybowski, Westerly’s director of planning, code enforcement and grant administration, said town officials are also aware of the project.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, meanwhile, will air on CBS sometime in December.