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Your Thoughts: Damaged Bulkheads and Town Permit Issues After Sandy

Readers weighed in on a lengthy permit process some locals have experienced while trying to repair bulkheads that were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy.

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.

tito December 03, 2012 at 08:57 PM
"were never properly permitted" ahhhhhhh...... another instance of , its easier to ask for forgivance than permission. if they do allow the bulkheads to be repaired the trustees should ask for the quit claim deeds and allow for continued public access to the beaches below.
BOB PALADIN December 04, 2012 at 01:17 PM
glad that tito and ft echo the correct sentiments.....
not a farmer December 04, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Bob Paladin, You didn't move away yet? Please hurry.
BOB PALADIN December 04, 2012 at 02:39 PM
naf taking it personal r u ? got water logged land that you want to steal, make or us pay for a view you want to keep ? .. i say what i want when i want, I EARNED THE RIGHT
forward thinking December 05, 2012 at 11:56 AM
the truth dredges up the most anger ---- i have seen the horror on the south side of the n. fork areas but in the middle of this i hjave seen the moon over the water ans the sun rise over the water. there is a price to be paid for the views... and most i have spoken to say" the view is worth it... and none of them asked me to pay for it...

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