Residents of one of the New York City communities most devastated by Hurricane Sandy can't get their rebuilding efforts off the ground, and the finger is being pointed at the city. The neighborhood of Breezy Point in the borough of Queens was leveled during Sandy, with a fire that broke out during the height of the storm's winds and flooding destroying 135 homes. Now residents are being denied building permits to rebuild their homes because officials are basing their requests on an old map of the city dating back to 1948, TV station WPIX-11 in New York reported.
Some streets in Breezy Point are not mapped on the outdated one that the city is using to determine who gets a building permit, Breezy Point General Manager Arthur Lighthall told WPIX. "We are standing here -- the homes that were in this whole section of this whole community were fronting a walkway, not a NYC mapped street," he said, pointing out one of the devastated areas on the old map.
The glitch is delaying rebuilding, and Breezy Point now has to get a waiver from the city's Board of Standards and Appeals to get residents' building permits granted. That could take an additional six months, according to WPIX. The NYC Department of Buildings told the station in a statement that it is working with Breezy Point residents to rebuild, "including seeking approvals from the Board of Standards and Appeals."
Read the full story at the WPIX-11 website.
The Daily News also found that six months after Sandy, much of Breezy Point remains a ghost town. According to the paper, 2,400 of the neighborhood's 2,800 homes remain unoccupied. "Seven homes on my block are either gone or red-tagged for demolition," resident Michael Sullivan told the newspaper. "I only moved my family back in full time two weekends ago. They were gonna shut off all power and water on my block for a week to take down the other homes. I had to stop them because this is such a ghost town now that nobody knew we were even back."
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