From Guest Blogger: J Sommers
Last night, we got more of the sit-and-wait-since-we-are-powerless-but-oh-so-hopeful attitude regarding house lifting grants from the evil FEMA empire, V/AE zones change decisions from wise politicians, thoughtful reductions in our insurance premiums by kind-hearted insurance companies and donations from scores of private developers lining up to lift the entire town. That and the Brooklyn Bridge will be extended to Highlands.
The Council got together with the Zoning Committee and the Planning Board to discuss how to unravel their brilliant decision from last year to convert half of downtown to mixed use (I suspect heavily supported by the town’s business gurus) thereby precluding all significantly damaged homeowners of single residences in that area from being able to rebuild to get back into their homes and from being eligible for any grants due to nonconformity! Way to go guys! One of the last brilliant ideas of the night was to allow each homeowner to get in front of the zoning board to ask for a variance because of course we want to provide as many incentives as possible for the non-existent businesses that have no intentions to set up shop in Highlands over the needs of the residents who are holding on to the hope that there’s hope for Highlands.
In other unconfirmed news, it appears that HBP engaged a marketing person to do PR for the town in order to entice developers to come in and what better way to give Highlands its 15 minutes of fame than to play up the one idea that the mayor has latched on to lift the town. It would be interesting to see all those amazing presentations sent from as far away as Japan firsthand and to see whether anyone explored anything beyond filling my 1st floor with sand!
Speaking of outlandish ideas, a call to action to put pressure on OEM, politicians, FEMA and anyone else involved in the process to permit retroactive application of grants to lift homes has been dismissed notwithstanding the fact it would save taxpayers, insurance and the feds money in the long run. To quote the mayor, “We don’t want to publicly embarrass our senators”! Really?