Permits for Darien demolition continue year after Sandy struck
Published 11:30 am, Thursday, November 7, 2013
It was only fitting that on the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy slamming the Northeast coast with rising flood waters and turbulent winds that the Planning and Zoning Commission approved three houses in the Darien bay for elevation or demolition.
"It's not the last time we'll have to approve houses to be razed or elevated or replaced," Chairman Joe Spain said at the Oct. 29 meeting. "It's just interesting that we're having three being approved on first anniversary of the storm."
The three homes -- two on Plymouth Road and one on Baywater Drive -- are not the last of the Darien homes to be demolished or razed. The Building Department has eight pending demolition applications.
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Since January, 38 homes have received permits for demolition.
A drive around the bay area reveals that several homes are not yet habitable. Many are in the final stages of construction, while a few others remain empty wooden skeletons on cement slabs.
Federal money is still coming to the state to assist homeowners who were affected by Sandy in the form of $65 million, which was announced Oct. 28.
"With this funding, Connecticut has now received over the last year an unprecedented $500 million in aid from the federal government to support recovery and relief efforts in order to support residents, local education systems, small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities," according to the release from the state.
"This additional $65 million will provide a tremendous boost to the efforts currently underway to help residents and communities that are still feeling the effects from this historic storm," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in the release.
Projects in Fairfield, New London, New Haven and Middlesex counties and the Mashantucket Pequot tribal area are eligible for assistance. Eligible expenses are those not covered by insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or any other sources of funding, according to the report.
Sandy made landfall around 8 p.m. Oct. 29, 2012, near Atlantic City, N.J. The storm brought winds up to 85 mph as it passed over Connecticut. More than 7.5 million people lost power along the East Coast. More than 90 percent of homes were without power in Darien, according to CL&P.
A survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research examined resilience following last year's storm, and found that among those living in the hardest-hit neighborhoods of New York and New Jersey, 79 percent said they favored government funding to help victims of such disasters rebuild in the same neighborhood.
That doesn't mean they're opposed to policies encouraging relocation, though they are a bit less likely to back them -- 59 percent were in favor of state governments purchasing homes in disaster-stricken regions so residents can move to a safer area.
That pattern is similar to the poll's findings nationwide: 65 percent support funding for rebuilding in the same location and 53 percent back government assistance with relocation.
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