Real estate transactions in New York require disclosure of certain information to prospective buyers. For example, the owner of a property with an underground oil tank is required to tell a buyer of that fact.
The same should be required of properties in coastal erosion hazard areas along New York’s ocean and Great Lakes shorelines.
Construction of seawalls, bulkheads, revetments and groins is supposed to be limited and prohibited to reduce risks to human life and property from flood and erosion hazards. The issue is relevant now in Nissequogue, where homeowners propose to build seawalls [“An elevating quandary,” News, May 3].
An attempt to require such disclosure more than two decades ago was quashed by real estate lobbyists. Given the penchant for buying and building homes in and on shifting sands, it’s well past time to require such disclosure. Having the public bear the economic, environmental and other costs to protect these areas with erosion-control structures is the opposite of resilient at a time when resiliency is the buzzword.
It’s also well past time to stop the privatization of the public coast that results in the loss of public resources, their public value and lawful public uses of them.
Steven C. Resler,Albany
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired deputy bureau chief with New York State’s Coastal Management Program and was involved in writing shoreline disclosure requirements that were not adopted.