The FIMI beach project is progressing in the eastern Fire Island communities. It has been completed from the Fire Island Light House up to Ocean Bay Park. This constitutes well more than half of the project. The stretch of Fire Island remaining is from Ocean Bay Park to Davis Park including The Pines. Here the real estate process that underlies the project is taking longer than expected because of the large number of house, deck and pool relocations that have to occur. I spoke with Gail Lolis, the lead attorney and coordinator for Suffolk County, which is overseeing the project and is the local sponsor. Gail said the real estate work in the eastern communities is extraordinarily complicated and asks that the community be patient a while longer. The County's efforts to move houses, decks, and pools back from the path of the dune is delayed by the Brookhaven building procedures.
The current phase of relocation work is referred to as the civil work component of the whole project. A complete set of mitigation plans for the impacted homeowners has been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and, obviously, by Suffolk County. We had hoped that level of review would be sufficient. The problem is that the Brookhaven Department of Environmental Preservation, as administrator for the Coastal Erosion Hazard Area (CEHA), has denied the permits. The matter will now be heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The Army Corps has submitted a strong letter supporting the relocations, and indicates that the proposed work will in no way compromise the structural integrity of the new dune. The County, the Corps, and all their consultants have been working very hard to prepare for the BZA hearings and to answer all points raised by the CEHA denials.
The BZA hearings for Davis Park were last week, and went reasonably well. The majority of the Pines applications will be heard by the BZA on March 8th. Tad Paul will send an email to all ocean front owners giving them information for sending letters of support to the BZA. Since the hearing will focus on very narrowly defined legal issues we do not think we will need a large homeowner presence. Gail assures me the project will happen, the issue is the extent to which impacted homeowners will be accommodated by mitigation measures worked out by the homeowners with the County.
We remain confident that sand placement will begin in the eastern communities by late in 2017 and will be completed in all communities by the summer of 2018. When in that lineup the Pines will get sand is impossible to predict. We are assured that once sand placement begins it will not stop until the project is completed. There may have to be adjustments in how the contractor moves forward, but the Corps is trying to give the contractor maximum discretion in order to get the project done.
Even as we continue to push for the federal FIMI project, FIPPOA itself is undertaking a great deal of construction in the Pines:
We are in the process of getting approval and a contractor to replace the trap bags from the January nor'easter. This work has to be completed by the Piping Plover season which is April 1, so it is crunch time on this project.
Photo courtesy of Dennis Murphy
I am very pleased to report that the Dolphin Project, consisting of three clusters of five mooring poles at the entrance of the harbor was completed in January. This has been a project long sought by FIPPOA as they help to protect our harbor from winter ice floes. The project was completed in January. New Solar powered navigation lights have also been installed on the dolphins.
And the Harbor Project is also making good progress. Rob Maag, The Town official to supervising the project, reports there have been no major
hiccups and the project is on schedule. The ferry dock is about 50% complete and the vinyl bulk heading to the west of the ferry pier is completed. Work on the harbor plaza is actively underway. Pilings and related substructure in the harbor plaza have been completed. The contractor has taken steps to protect the cherry trees, including sinking boards in front of the cherry tree planters to prevent soil from leaching out. All work on the harbor plaza should complete by the time homeowners return in early April. Work on the freight dock will resume after the summer season and will be completed by year's end. During the harbor project, the Sayville Ferry is docking on the east side of the harbor opposite the Pantry.
The Boulevard Project to build the contractor enclosures along inthe Harbor area isalso nearing completion. Our work now spans from Walter Boss's new enclosure on the East side to the LaFountaine enclosure on the West side, with a few more yet to be built. I anticipate that returning homeowners will be very pleased to see that central part of our community cleaned up. And as I reported in my February newsletter, we are also trying to clean other areas of the Greenway and to get abandoned vehicles removed.
And lastly, I can report that the Suffolk County Marine Bureau has purchased a new state of the art police boat. The Marine Bureau tells us it will be a great improvement for transporting patients whenever that is necessary.
FIPPOA's 2017 membership drive is underway. If you have not already do so, please join as an
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