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Cedarhurst to Allow Some Residents to Remove Garages

Homeowners in flood zones can replace openings with foundation walls to prevent future flooding.

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.

Carmela Soprano February 07, 2013 at 03:40 PM
With a high water table in Cedarhurst near Peninsula Blvd., closing up an attached garage will not help. The water comes through the floors, sump pumps cannot keep up with the rising water and if the power goes out, so does your sump pump. Closing up a garage door/exterior doors can actually increase foundation damage and possibly cause a home to come off of it's foundation. Thorough engineering designs and input should be required before thinking a simple fix, such as closing up a garage and extending up the foundation would help mitigate flood damage.
Rev. Charles Bryan Baron February 07, 2013 at 05:19 PM
The new zone in Far Rockaway has a high water table as well. But that zone did not get inudated by Sandy. The Village needs to apply 2012 era innovations instead of perpetuating mistakes made in the 1950s (ie---land developer builds in flood zone, villages signs off, developer makes $ and the people are stuck with flooded housing)

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