Permits needed for fixes already made
Amityville residents who live in waterfront neighborhoods and had property damage from superstorm Sandy will have to apply for permits for repairs or development they’ve already completed, according to a letter from the village building department.
The Oct. 9 letter, which building inspector Thomas Whalen said was prompted by flood insurance concerns, means that floodplain residents will have to apply for permits even if the work was relatively minor. The process is to determine whether the value of the work equals or exceeds 50 percent of the property value. Those properties must be elevated, demolished or relocated under village flood damage prevention rules.
“FEMA wants us to be in full compliance,” Whalen said. “We have to stay within compliance” with the National Flood Insurance Program to keep insurance rates down, he said.
Amityville’s floodplain extends from about a quarter- to half-mile along the Great South Bay.
Fees for the permits will be free or nominal, Whalen said. A decision on cost could be announced as early as this morning’s village board work session or tonight’s village board meeting, he said.
Residents of other South Shore communities can expect similar letters in coming months, Whalen said. “We happen to be one of the first jumping on it. This is going to be going on in many other towns.”
The board meeting is at 7:30 p.m. — Nicholas Spangler
Review of town board photo ID entry policy
North Hempstead is reviewing its policy that requires everyone attending town board meetings to present the guard at the first floor reception desk with a photo ID and sign in before being allowed in the council chamber.
East Hills resident Richard Brummel told the board last week that such security measures seemed “heavy-handed” for people who just want to be part of the local political process. “It’s inappropriate,” he said.
Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said the policy would be reviewed. “Our priority is to treat everyone with respect — we’re here to serve you,” Bosworth replied.
Town attorney Elizabeth Botwin said everyone who visits town hall has to sign in and show photo identification before proceeding anywhere in the building. The policy applies from 9 a.m. until the building closes. She noted town board meetings are held in the same building as the municipal offices, and there is no separate entrance for those attending the council sessions.
Asked about the policy on Wednesday after the meeting, Botwin said in an emailed statement, “Our policy reflects a careful balance of the supervisor’s desire to have an open government for the public, while being attentive to the very real safety concerns that exist in all government buildings these days.” — Lisa Irizarry