Cedarhurst has eliminated a requirement that village homes most susceptible to flooding must have attached garages.
Homeowners in the FEMA designated AE flood zone may now replace their garage doors with a waterproof wall and seal off other openings on their ground floors.
“The board decided that given where these homes are, it would be prudent to allow homes to be renovated that way,” Deputy Mayor Benjamin Weinstock said at the Monday board meeting.
The goal of the law had been to have homeowners park their cars off the street.
Any homeowner interested in making the change can submit an application to the village planning board with the building plans and a $500 fee (see attached document for further rules). Had the village not changed the law, this kind of construction would have required a zoning variance.
Steven Schlachter, who was at the meeting, said Superstorm Sandy brought 3.5 feet of the water into his home.
“Having the foundation continue where the garage door is would have stopped the water,” he said.
Matt Gorlin, who lives nearby, saw his ground floor “completely wiped out” and also plans to replace his garage door with a foundation wall.
“Hopefully,” he said, “it’ll protect my family and property.”
The Village of Cedarhurst has also extended the waiving of all building department and zoning fees for the repair and replacement of buildings damaged by Sandy until April 1.