In response to a resident's refusal to sign an easement for beach dunes, allows federal tax dollars for beach replenishment
BY GINA G. SCALA
Dear Mr. Armando Rienzi,
Owning a home at the Jersey Shore, whether it is on Long Beach Island or elsewhere, is a privilege not a constitutional or civil right. Your shortsightedness in wake of the devastation Hurricane Sandy is mind boggling.
You are wrong. It is about money. Specifically, it is the money your neighbors, other homeowners and small business owners will spend to either repair or rebuild after Sandy. In case you missed all the news articles, shore communities that used federal money to build its beaches fared better in Sandy than those that didn’t.
"It really, really works," Stewart Farrell, director of Stockton College's Coastal Research Center and a leading expert on beach erosion, told the Associated Press. "Where there was a federal beach fill in place, there was no major damage — no homes destroyed; no sand piles in the streets. Where there was no beach fill, water broke through the dunes."
If your million-dollar home in Brant Beach isn’t enough for you, then it is about ego. Putting other homeowners, whose rights you are selfishly taking away, at risk is wrong on so many levels. For your and the other homeowners to not recognize this is appalling.
"It may well be that this storm pushes the court to finally reassess the question of valuation," Paula A. Franzese, a law professor at Seton Hall University, said. "You have to add in the environmental stakes. If the dunes are not built to adequately repel the next surge that will cause immense harm, economically and environmentally, for the homeowners and the greater populace."
Should Gov. Chris Christie have to use imminent domain to acquire the easements to protect the Jersey coastline and ALL its residents, the cost should fall solely to people like you.
If you truly loved the Jersey Shore as I do, as most Garden State people do, then do the right thing!