Rumson officials said they would do it and they have. They've extended the permit waiver for those rebuilding in Hurricane Sandy's wake from the end of 2012 to early this summer.
Now, residents seeking to replace what Sandy ravaged of their homes have until June 30 to rebuild existing structures that were destroyed without paying the normally associated permit fees.
A resolution approving the measure was passed at a pre-reorganization meeting on New Year's Day.
As winter was approaching, post-Sandy, residents had asked for some relief with the original deadline since many did not yet have insurance approvals and/or guidance with elevating homes to the recommended base height elevation levels.
As long as residents rebuilding stick to the replacing rather than expanding, zoning board approvals will be bypassed, permits issued expeditiously and fees waived, Borough Clerk Tom Rogers had said at a recent meeting.
"There are people out there who have a home that they wish to raise," Rogers had explained. "If you raise your home to an elevation of 13, no matter what height your home is, you don’t have to go to the Zoning Board (for approvals to proceed). You will come into Borough Hall, it will be approved, it will be driven through and you’ll be able to raise your home. If you choose to demolish or rebuild your home, if you stay within the zoning requirements of the R-5 zone in West Park or R-4 in other areas, then you’re fine …” However, if you’re expanding your home significantly, “that’s a different ballgame,” he said.
Rumson was the first municipality to adjust the recommended height for building and rebuilding in its flood prone areas to 13 feet above sea level. (Click here for a full report on the issue.)
Between Barley Point Island and the West Park section of Rumson alone, at least 200 homes adversely affected, some rendered uninhabitable, by Sandy, Rumson construction official Dennis Paris told the crowd at a recent Sandy information forum.
Throughout all of Rumson storm-related damage of some sort extended to more like 400 homes. Unsafe means uninhabitable, he added.
Paris had reiterated that home expansions to not qualify for permit fee waivers.
For more facts on rebuilding after Sandy in Rumson, click here.