The Army Corps of Engineers has extended the public comment period for those who want to respond to the agency’s tentative $23.7 million plan to restore the Village of Asharoken’s dunes while opening up private beaches to public access.
Initially the public comment period was to end Jan. 8, but the Corps granted an extension until Jan. 29.
Village officials had asked for an extension into mid-February to give themselves and residents an opportunity to digest the proposal, which – including all appendices – is nearly 1,000-pages long.
The Corps released the long-awaited draft plan in early December. It has been controversial among residents because many don’t want to allow access to their deeded beach-front property. Federal law requires land to become public when the Corps uses taxpayer money to restore or improve it.
The Corps proposal would add an initial 600,000 cubic yards of sand to the North Shore isthmus’ most vulnerable 2.4 miles of shoreline. It would also replenish the beach with an additional 80,000 cubic yards of sand about every five years, with a total projected cost of $57.8 million.
While Asharoken officials had been asked to select a “preferred” plan among five, the Corps ultimately went with a different plan from one village trustees had chosen.
The primary difference was that Asharoken officials preferred an option that did not include groins — structures intended to reinforce the beach against erosion — but the Corps selected a proposal that would add or restore three groins and maintain a fourth at the northwestern end of the shoreline.