March 12, 2006

Va. Pilot Letter re: Pilkey

Noted this letter in the Sunday Virginian Pilot. A considered response to Pilkey and Coburn:
Finally, Pilkey and Coburn suggest retreat from the beach. Retreat to where? The Outer Banks is mostly built up. There is no room to retreat. One could argue that we never should have allowed development on the Outer Banks. But it has been done, and before it started many years ago, the population had an insufficient understanding of shoreline dynamics.


At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Callis' letter begs for a response, so here it is.
First of all, it is interesting to note that Mr. Callis, who hails form Suffolk, VA. appears to be a builder/developer; and, for sure, he was a $$$ contributor to losing side on the sales tax referendum. Now, with that said, I challenge Callis to get me a creditable political statistician from anywhere in the country that will not say that an 80% vote with a 30% turnout is not indicative of a winning majority, even if 100% of of the voters had turned out on election day. Incidentally, Callis should also let readers know how poorly voters in the City of Suffolk turn out for their own city elections. :)
Secondly, I have to disagree with Callis about coverage by local newspapers. Thank goodness for their coverage; especially considering the terribly poor job our county commissioners and our former beach nourishment committee did in "educating" the public about beach nourishment. It's hard to write articles when all you hear is, "its our way on no way."
Third, many in the anti-beach nourishment community are getting tired of hearing...."there's no room to retreat..." especially while that song is being sung, developers such as Callis and others are busily building in the same ole way, like there' no tomorrow.
Fourth, does anyone remember Mayor Renee Cahoon saying (at last workshop) that she would agree with Pilkey "if it were the '80's."
What will Cahoon be saying ten years from now. Wonder if Cahoon thinks the Outer Banks economy didn't amount to much during the 80's. My, how we forget.
Finally, for Callis to compare nourishment on Virginia Beach with the Outer Banks is ridiculous. For years, Va.Beach has trucked sand onto its beach each year; much in the same manner we have been trucking sand/dirt in for the berm projects. To compare the short-stretch projects on Va.Beach and even Ocean View with what is proposed for the Outer Banks is like comparing one of our mini-hotels to a shanty.
I say the people spoke loud and clear on Feb. 7th. and if the local special interests don't think so, they should get to work and (1) push for another referendum and/or, (2) pay their own high-dollar lobbyists in Raleigh to get a fairer tax passed.
Fat chance of that, huh?

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason our communities will not accept retreat as a viable option is that becuase someone, somewhere, will be a "loser" and loose their home/property. retreat is definately a viable option. retreat would save the towns and their residents a fortune and would honestly bring the dangers and risks of building on the oceanfront to the surface. people purchasing and selling real estate should be better educated on the risks and the risks that you assume when you purchase high-risk property on the dynamic oceanfront. The tax monies spent on continually "bailing out" people from these risky endeavors coulod be better used to develop better shoreline management strategies. Better educating buyers, residents and tax payers. And ultimately, a better, natural public beach, cleaner water and lower taxes/infrastructure costs. Retreat could be a good thing for Dare County, it is an option. Kitty Hawk is a good esample. Yes, it did buy peoples homes, which isn't always a popular choice. But, in the long run, every person in US benefitted. Lower taxes, a wider, natural beach for everyone to enjoy and lower insurance payments. We have the opportunity now to accept the fate of the ocean's eminent domaign and to pro-actively deal with better solutions, to better address the effects of erosion and to come up with sound local legislature the backs a retreat plan and provides a better approach to just slapping band-aid over sand bags and the cost of the bn projects is just way too prohibitive to protect our 60+ miles of natural beaches on the outer banks. And even with bn, there will still be some "losers" who will see their property succomb to the mighty ocean. Something our towns still refuse to acknowledge. That 30 million could be used to purchase affected property, used to stabilize dunes after the property is procured and develop an intelligent solution that really protects public infrastructure.



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