The Miller Beach Surf Club in Miller Place, which for decades operated as a member-owned beach club with celebrity visitors and more recently served as a popular wedding venue, is for sale. The 4-acre property, with a driveway that leads to 200 feet of private beach on Long Island Sound, has been listed for $1.399 million.
The sale of the property comes after a long legal dispute with the property’s neighbors, who began to complain when the club, formed in the mid-1950s, leased the facility to a private caterer in 2006.
“The Miller Beach Club made various physical modifications to the property, then commenced to operate a catering business while the property remained residentially zoned,” said Linda Margolin, an Islandia-based attorney representing the neighbors, who built a home next to the club in the early 1980s.
Last April, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court ruled that a decision by the Town of Brookhaven Zoning Board of Appeals, which had allowed the club to expand on the catering that had been allowed by the members — a nonconforming use of the property — was annulled. In a separate nuisance lawsuit filed by the neighbors, club members agreed to cease the catering operations, Margolin said.
Frederick Walter, vice president of the surf club, said that after the legal battle club members decided that the private club, which has about 60 owners, was no longer viable.
George McBride, the club’s treasurer, recalls hearing that Marilyn Monroe and Paul Newman had visited the property.
“There has always been a story that Marilyn Monroe went for a swim off the shore there and couldn’t swim back,” he said. “One of our members had to go out and get her. I don’t know how true it is, but I was told that story after I joined.”
Walter said that the operator of the catering business has given couples six months’ notice that the facility is closed.