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Hurricane Isabel: Yuppies 1, Taxpayers 0

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,134
Points
28
Hurricane Isabel may be wreaking havoc across the eastern seabord now, but when the rains go away, and the Feds move in to assess the damage, it will be you and me that are footing the bill for all those Half-a-million dollar McMansions all along the Outer Banks and rest of the Carolina shore.

If this Hurricane would have hit the Carolina Coast twenty-five years ago with the same force, the damage would have been a fraction of what it is today. That's because the cottages and hotels were so much smaller back then.

But starting in the '80s, the yuppies moved in. Rich pricks from Richmond to Raleigh, buying up land all up and down the barrier Islands, tearing down those $50,000 two bedroom cottages and putting up $500,000 montrosities.

And with the Federal Government (through FEMA) footing the bill every time there is a Hurricane, there is only incentive to build bigger and more expensive houses, so we can pay even more the next time a hurricane blows one down. I bet some of these houses have been built three or four times, all at taxpayer expense.

Let's end tghe subsizing of these fools right now. Take a stand against the majority having to foot the bill for the benefit of the rich few. End FEMA subsidies now and leave these people high and dry...er wet.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,134
Points
28
Yeah, but these are mostly poorer people that have lived in the region for decades. And because their houses are worth so much less, if 100 of them were damaged or destroyed, we would only have to pay about 1/5 as much as 100 McMansions being damaged or destroyed. And I've also heard that at least some of these people have been relocated to higher ground (entire towns in fact) whereas the rich snobs along the coast keep rebuilding on the same spot.

In the Outer Banks, it's all fresh money. Trust me when I say we are paying a lot more for these a-holes than some poor sap in the back hollows of West Virginia.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Zoning Goddess said:
Do we do the same thing to the morons in the MidWest who keep rebuilding in the floodplain?
Mostly, no. When there have been major floods in the midwest, such as in 1992, most of the damaged areas were not rebuilt. Many of the residents were relocated, including some whole towns. Flood plain regulations in most of the midwest states make it impossible to reconstruct. Add to that the impossibility of insuring the property, and most banks will not finance new construction in floodplains.

The outer banks are not designed (by nature) to be a permanant feature. Rather, they shift over time as the ocean and winds move them. Look at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It was built over a quarter mile from the shore, and a hundred years later waves lapped at its base. People now build homes within a few feet of the shore, and expect them to remain. Chances are, some of these people will return to find not only their home missing, but also the lot it was built upon.

Building in these conditions is no different than building in a floodplain, on a fault line, or on an avalanche-prone slope. New construction should not be allowed, and once existing structures are gone, they should not be rebuilt.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I agree with Cardinal's explanation. The city I work for recently bought and removed 2 homes damaged by 100 year flood events. As others come on the market we plan to continue that project.

One first ring Milwaukee suburb, in conjunction with the regional sewer district, recent bought and razed and entire neighborhood including my grandmother's old home.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
I agree with Cardinal and Chet. Also one of the reasons why this thread is a concern. It seems such a basic decision to not approve development in these coastal and floodplain hazard zones.

We are currently arguing with someone whose house burnt down during a bushfire last year. None of the neighbours were affected because their homes were setback further from the fire source and they were managing their properties to minimise ground fuel. These folk want to rebuild on the same footprint. You could excuse the oversight from 30+ years ago when the house was first built but why would you do it again. All authoritive advice is to move the house forward to the same alignment as the neighbours. We are considered the bad guys in all this by the way.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
you guys just f in hate everybody don't you?

Why characterize people who have produced and achieved and are able to purchase a second home for fun or profit as "pricks or yuppies or a-holes?"

What's the point?

I would argue that they are following the rules. So change the rules.

Stuff like this completely deligitimizes the good frank discussions on the board sometimes.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,134
Points
28
gkmo62u said:
you guys just f in hate everybody don't you?

Why characterize people who have produced and achieved and are able to purchase a second home for fun or profit as "pricks or yuppies or a-holes?"

Because they drive up prices so much that the coastal areas have become virtually inaccessable to middle class families, whereas 25 years ago, hotels and vacation homes were much more affordable for renting.

Worse, their huge monster houses and hotels block everyone else's view of the shore. Live a few blocks inland and you can't see anything because some huge monstosity is blocking your view of the sunrise.

If that doesn't reek of yuppie I don't know what does.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
a**h***s

Remember: "Everybody is an a** h*** in their own special way."
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Coastal areas and accessible to middle class?

Sounds like an oxymoron to me.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
I went to the Outter Banks a few years ago.. rented a house literally on the beach in Nags Head.

The house was built on stilts.... and swayed in the wind. You could see how during high seas that ocean went under the house. At high tide... the sea was about 50 feet from the house.

The house behind the one we stayed in was about 10 feet from the one that we stayed in. They had a huge picture window facing the house we stayed in.....just waiting for a storm to level the house we were in... opening up their view of the ocean.

I was sickened by how they built out on the dunes...and put these huge sandbags adjacent to some beach homes to keep the waves from crashing against their foundations.

It was just really really bad....no respect for nature.

The nice point is that they don't have leash laws... and my dog had a blast. It was also really cheap to rent the house for the week. But,, if it rains,, there isnt much to do... and I found the area distrubingly mono-culture. ...very,, very white.

BTW... I dont think the house I stayed in exists anymore....
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,709
Points
46
gkmo62u said:


I would argue that they are following the rules. So change the rules.

They follow the rules because they make the rules. It is their money that sways political opinion and it is that opinion that makes the laws.

We live in the United States... with a government not run by the people for the people, but run by the rich for the rich.

I am a planner because at least, I can try to make a difference in the lives of people around me. And at the end of the day (someday) I will be able to come home from work, kiss my wife as we cook dinner and play with the kids, knowing that I worked hard, and worked smart to get what I have around me. Not because of money from a pig farmer in Iowa... who needs that money more than the rich people on the shore.

I am in favor of business and some corporations when they make a positive difference in the lives of the people around them.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
All I take away from this thread is....

I do not make a salary capable of buying a beachfront property. Therefore, I hate those who are and I will disguise my hatred by saying things like "it's bad for the environment" and "the rich make the laws."
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
Mike D. said:
All I take away from this thread is....

I do not make a salary capable of buying a beachfront property. Therefore, I hate those who are and I will disguise my hatred by saying things like "it's bad for the environment" and "the rich make the laws."
Amen, brother.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Mike D...... I kinda disagree... I have gone to the shore for years... Jersey, Cape Cod, Long Island... and I have never seen such a mess as I did on the outer banks. My grandparents owned on the Jersey Shore... my parents own in the Florida Keys.

Houses in the outerbanks aren't that expensive....definately in the budget to retire to. Maybe not the 6,000SF beach fronts... of course I live in one of the most expensive areas in the country....so everything seems cheap.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
679
Points
19
This whole thing reeks of Hazard Mitigation. I'm actually surpirsed its not been mentioned, or are other states not really doing this? The whole impetous behind HM is the fact that FEMA is tired of rebuilding these very homes(the floodplains, the beach homes, and business' that locate in environmentally questionable parcels) that routinly get rebuilt. It's been millions out of our collective pockets for years, and finally something is being done about it. Serioiusly, is Minnesota that only state doing this???? It makes terrible sense of rthe coast states to do it as well, especailly the hurricane prone ones.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
tsc said:
Mike D...... I kinda disagree... I have gone to the shore for years... Jersey, Cape Cod, Long Island... and I have never seen such a mess as I did on the outer banks. My grandparents owned on the Jersey Shore... my parents own in the Florida Keys.

Do we have the same parents? Mine live on the beach in Jersey and have a condo in Key West too. Far from rich, just a lifetime spent working and saving, and definitly "middle class"

Shore towns, and the Keys, etc. are more "permanent" for lack of a better word. The stuff in the outer Banks is made to wash away and it is expected to. Bottom line as someone said before, the houses there are "legal" DEP, Army Corps, FEMA, etc don't stop them from being built.

If you allow they will come.
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,704
Points
25
Odd this hurricane thing, it has been a nonnews item for me, havent turned on the news in days, and have only been following it via comcasts homepage snapshots. But there is some major weather moving thru the mid atlantics, right now!

Hope Plannergirl has found a friendly fortress to invade and hunker down unitl Izzy blows on by.

Be careful out there folks!
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,343
Points
31
New Braunfels, TX, a city near me, has experienced severe flooding 3 times in the last 10 years. There's this one house that sits on the banks of the river that has been washed away every time. The best one was in 2002: the local news showed the house floating down the river as a split screen-one screen showing it floating down the river live and the other screen showing a recording of it floating down the river in the same place in 1998. They finally put the brakes on letting them rebuild a fourth time. The people that owned the house said that it was their money and if they wanted to waste it on rebuilding, they should be allowed to do that. The nice folks at FEMA pointed-out to them that taxpayers are the ones paying the bill to clean up the rich homeowner's mess, so them rebuilding was costing everybody.

People here are having a hissy-fit because FEMA is updating the floodplain maps. HELLO?!?! Maybe it's because the past three flood events have reflected a change in what should be considered a "100-year storm event"! I don't care if you're filthy stinkin rich, constantly having to rebuild has to get real old real quick!
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
751
Points
21
Over one-half of my coastal city is mapped floodplain. There are almost no floodways as it is mostly slack-water due to heavy rains at high tides. We don't allow any buildings in our V-zones.

Since 1978 my city has had two NFIP claims for a whopping total of $20. We get 100mph winds and heavy rains and surf all winter long - we don't call 'em hurricanes, just norwesters.

I would venture to say that residents of my city pay well in excess of 200k (probably much more, just a quick guess) in flood insurance premiums per annum. We are having a heck of a battle right now with unnumbered A zones and homes being built on sand ridges 30-40 feet above interdunal lakes that fluctuate 1-2 ft. per year. The lenders are requiring flood insurance and (imho) thanks to huge payouts to repetitive losers (or winners - depends on how you look at) along the eastern seaboard and the gulf, we catch no breaks.

Yea, we're tired of subsidizing the rebuilding - so stop it!
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,709
Points
46
Mike D. said:
All I take away from this thread is....

I do not make a salary capable of buying a beachfront property. Therefore, I hate those who are and I will disguise my hatred by saying things like "it's bad for the environment" and "the rich make the laws."
Ok I think that I may have miss represented… I am not happy that my tax dollars go to that. I would love to own water front property. I am not saying all people are like that, but those who can afford to rebuild without assistance are the first in line to get federal money.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I have no problem with people owning a second home. I grew up with one, and have talked here of ideally wanting a third home. If anyone can afford it, let them own as many homes as they want. However, it is not right that they build in a place subject to frequent and predictable damage and expect me to subsidize their losses. Personally, I would prefer that people not build on the beach for all of the environmental reasons others might cite. If they are allowed to build, then they should accept all of the risk.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
tsc said:
I went to the Outter Banks a few years ago.. rented a house literally on the beach in Nags Head...
... I dont think the house I stayed in exists anymore....
I used to go there often when I was living in Newport News. I enjoyed the beaches in the national seashore, but agree that the tourist areas were bland.

I heard on the news that the storm had hit the Outer Banks hard, and the highway along Hatteras Island had been washed away. If that is true then I am sure many of the homes and businesses are gone as well. (Most of the buildings are between the highway and the seashore.)
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,063
Points
54
hey tsc and Mike D
my mom also has a second home on the jersey shore
have either of you been to Long Beach Island?

has anyone attended EMI in Emmitsburg, MD and taken both or either the NFIP and CRS classes?
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
gkmo62u said:
you guys just f in hate everybody don't you? ....
.... I would argue that they are following the rules. So change the rules.
Stuff like this completely deligitimizes the good frank discussions on the board sometimes.
I'm not sure I was your target gkmo62u but I think you are well off the mark. I think it is good planning (and common sense) to prohibit development where it will be a danger to the occupants and others (by contributing to storm detritus), reduce scenic beauty (cliff tops and dunes) or waste community resources. Even if a rule hasn't been written to specifically prohibit such development, a planner's education and experience should tell them it's a bad idea when the applcations to rebuild are lodged.

I don't really hate anyone - at least not for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm also professional enough to ensure it wouldn't cloud my judgement if I did hate someone.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

Cyburbian
Messages
216
Points
9
Rem said:
I'm not sure I was your target gkmo62u but I think you are well off the mark. I think it is good planning (and common sense) to prohibit development where it will be a danger to the occupants and others (by contributing to storm detritus), reduce scenic beauty (cliff tops and dunes) or waste community resources. Even if a rule hasn't been written to specifically prohibit such development, a planner's education and experience should tell them it's a bad idea when the applcations to rebuild are lodged.

I don't really hate anyone - at least not for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm also professional enough to ensure it wouldn't cloud my judgement if I did hate someone.
Huge ditto!!!!!!!!! well said.....
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
My outrage was due to the use of expletives and class bias to attack owners of certain properties near water.

I suggest that if we want to debate the location of such homes in close proximity to floodplains, etc... that debate was worthy of our time.

I disagree only in that we as planners love rules--25 foot setback, 30 sf sign, and if somebody exceeeds it our heads explode.

All I am saying is that if regulations permit the construction or rebuilding of certain properties in danger prone places, then there's not much we can do, except if we so choose, lobby to change the rules to prohibit it.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
Fair enough. The timing of our first posts led me to assume I had offended you. Obviously not.

No worries. :-}
 
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