Nearly a month after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East End — especially for those living on southerly coastal areas — several waterfront residents on the North Fork are still staring at bulkheads lying in almost total destruction.
But since many of these bulkheads were built in the early 1980s and were never properly permitted for the Southold Town Board of Trustees, an entity that did not have jurisdiction over Peconic Bay until 1992, residents with unpermitted structures have to go through a lengthy approval process from the federal to the town level.
Before the members of the Board of Trustees meet with the Town Board Tuesday morning to discuss these permitting issues, take a look back at some reader commentary on an article published last Tuesday:
"I feel bad for the damage these people sustained. However, the privlege of living on the water is not cheap and is the chance you take living to close to the waters edge. Bulkheads don't last forever and is part of the maintenance these people should be doing." —
"The issue is that the permit process has been accelerated in all of the other surrounding towns on the North Fork, but not in Southold. Those other towns recognize that Sandy caused a level of damage that the "normal" permit process cannot handle. Either the board needs to meet more often or special allowances need to be made so that homeowners can protect their homes from further damage. This is a once in a generation catastrophe that deserves a better response from our elected officials." — Roger,
"Government dollars are not used to rebuild private bulkheads. The only issue here is that the slow permitting process (for rebulding bulkheads that have been in existence for DECADES) is threatening the safety of the homes on those properties - if another storm comes along, those homes could be swept into the sea. Southold is the ONLY township which is not issuing emergency permits to allow homeowners to undertake the expensive job of rebuilding the existing bulkheads. Yes, this is the price that those who own waterfront have to pay, and no one is complaining about that. If is the red tape that is the issue here." — Paul Leone,
"Paul you miss the point the bulkheads that were in place were either legal or illegal .within the code or outside the code ,that's my problem with a rush to rebuild . lets all ascertain whether or not they are actually part of the landscape or natural scene. i bet a look the old laws will prove my suspicions correct that they were just put there to serve a few and steal the beach from others.the bulheads like jettys of old redirect of sand replenishment. its easy to build and ask forgiveness than than to research it and do it correctly...many communities are facing this dilemma ours in no exception." — BOB PALADIN,
What do you think? Tell us in the comments.