A $170 million plan to replenish Fire Island sand dunes ravaged by Hurricane Sandy is drawing criticism from both residents opposed to the effort and those who support it.
The project, to be undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers, would move or demolish 41 houses and build up dunes along 700 properties, the New York Times reported. Residents are voicing concerns over the project’s impact on home valuations and the pace of progress.
Some homeowners facing a loss of property are concerned that Suffolk County will offer them buyouts based on post-storm values as part of a $46 million plan put forward to purchase homes, said the Times. The homeowners want to be paid in accordance with pre-storm prices. Residents of Davis Park, where homes are valued at more than $450,000, are some of the most affected.
Other residents told the Times they have gone two years without adequate protection. The project has failed to get underway in part because more than a dozen federal and local government agencies must agree on a course of action.
Still others say the focus on one stretch Long Island’s South Shore is too narrow. The Times cited critics of dune replenishment, who say the project would need repeating every few years. They say other endeavors, such as a $700 million marsh restoration project, are more pressing than protecting Fire Island vacation homes. [NYT] — Tom DiChristopher