Monday, September 1, 2014

Sandy-hit towns wrestle with eminent-domain choice - SFGate

In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, a sea wall separates Asharoken Village, N.Y. from Long Island Sound. The wall was washed over during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, causing erosion and and taking down power lines. Asharoken can accept federal aid to build a dune and create public access to its beach for the first time in nearly 90-year history. Or it can reject aid, retain its private beach and allow erosion and other issues to worsen. Photo: Emily Dooley, AP / APSandy-hit towns wrestle with eminent-domain choice - SFGate

(Excerpt)
ASHAROKEN, N.Y. (AP) — On a tiny spit of land off Long Island, the wealthy village of Asharoken faces a dilemma borne of Superstorm Sandy.
Either it accepts millions of dollars in federal aid to build a protective sand dune and for the first time in its nearly 90-year existence allows the public to use its beach or it rejects the aid and retains its privacy, potentially worsening an erosion problem that saw part of its main road washed out and power lines toppled during the October 2012 storm.
But some of the 600-plus residents in the village of million-dollar homes worry opening up the area could lead to traffic problems, trespassing and more garbage.
"I think privacy, pollution and safety, these are the three main concerns," residentAsenneth Elsin said. "I don't have a problem sharing, but unfortunately there will be people not following the rules."
Asharoken is just one place where the tussle among coastal protection, property rights, public access and federal funding is playing out in New York and New Jersey, both hit hard by the storm.