When Hurricane Sandy hit last year, water and fire damage destroyed approximately 350 out of the 2,800 homes in Breezy Point, a cooperative community on the Queens waterfront. As of today, reports the Wall Street Journal, only one house–a wooden affair at 10 Gotham Lane–has risen from the wreckage. Residents point the finger at a maze of governmental red tape as the reason so little progress has been made. “It’s at times very frustrating when you meet a roadblock, a wheel of bureaucracy. You’re put through a drawn-out process of facing a bunch of objections to what you’ve submitted,” said Arthur Lighthall, general manager of the private community’s cooperative. “They have rules and regulations, they have codes, they have zoning. The system makes it very difficult for anyone to maneuver around it.” One big problem: City maps on file didn’t even correctly reflect the street grid. Another snag: Many residents lost their records in the storm. On top of that, it took FEMA many months to release new flood zone information. Residents just want to get back to the way things were. “This community will always consist of individual one- and two-story houses,” said Lighthall. “That’s what we want to see. We are not interested in new development and major changes.
Recovery Is Choppy in Breezy Point [WSJ]
Photo from Breezypointdisasterrelief.org