We Knew, We Saw - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1954118

We Knew, We Saw

Captain Ira M. Barocas (Ret.) writes a fine response [“In The Same Boat,” Letters, May 5]. I find one weak statement: The core problem is coming up with the value proposition that will make coastal retreat — the only sensible solution over time — possible. Our Constitution protects property rights, and a fiat solution of prohibition of development without compensation is no more the answer than turning our tax dollars into sand.

Anyone familiar with the building codes adopted since about 1960 in this community and much of the country knows that the constitutional protection of property today consists only of the right to due process when making changes. Changes in zoning easily have been accomplished since that time.

It is what allowed the current situation. The town wanted to do away with accessory rentals. They did not ban it. They simply wrote so many rules that it became enormously expensive for old units and nearly impossible for new ones.

The Constitution does not guarantee water lines, electric or roads, or the profitability of a business. We should do as they are doing in North Carolina: Town government stops funding these things where it is obvious that they should not be replaced. There should be little sympathy for places built in the last 20 years, and none whatsoever since Sandy — because we knew. We saw.

Those who own property on barrier beaches and waterfronts are free to fund their own repairs and replacements, but the town government stops supporting repairs and replacements with tax dollars better spent elsewhere.

Two things are lacking: courage from town governments on up to the courts to stand up to money and say no, and a new vision to replace the notion that a tourist or resort economy is sustainable.

Amy Paradise

Hampton Bays