Thursday, March 09, 2006

More Money Than Brains

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"There's no dumbass vaccine"
Jimmy Buffett

I'm not sure if you can tell in this "shooting while driving" snapshot, but these houses are perched on a tiny spit of sand between the ocean and the estuary. If you squint, you can see the ocean beyond the last house on the left. There's maybe a hundred yards of sand between the ocean and the back bayou at an average tide.

The rich folks who built these houses chose the old A1A roadbed for their construction site. This is the same stretch of A1A that was abandoned due to erosion and frequent washovers when the Atlantic gets fiesty during nor'easters and hurricanes. Yet, they made a conscious decision to build their homes on that narrow roadbed with saltwater on both sides.

When the inevitable happens, they will scream for your tax dollars to "do something about this situation".

It's a little less than 12 weeks till the start of hurricane season.

21 comments:

kevin said...

That looks like the stretch between Summer Haven and Marineland. That is someplace to put a house that you don't want to keep.

Rurality said...

Maybe you should show them a picture of what Dauphin Island looks like nowdays...

Anonymous said...

What idiot in the state let them build there?

The MacBean Gene said...

As I always said, the U.S. tilts to the southeast and everything loose slides to Florida. This is one of those situations where any comment is inadequate.

drtet=(FR.)gone at high tide

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I just heard yesterday that some insurance companies are now refusing to insure homes that are being built in areas that are constantly hit by hurricanes & being destroyed.

Of course that still won't stop these people from building, and like you said, screaming for our tax dollars when something happens.

doubleknot said...

Those people must have money to throw away cause that is what is going to happen to those houses. You are right then they will be asking for help. I feel like the one comment - who in the world let them build there. In my part of Florida they are building six story condos on the beach I can just imagine what that is going to be like if another series of big hurricanes hit us.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

I have always thought that people who choose to live in places like this (or along the Mississippi flood plain, or any other high risk location) should sign a waiver saying that they accept full responsibility for their actions.

roger said...

the national flood insurance program is run by fema. any mortgage holder would certainly require flood insurance, so it's probably a done deal. they are already insured.

the original construction AND the insurance-paid-for reconstruction both add to the gross national product. a win-win situation for the economy.

not.

Floridacracker said...

Kevin,
That's it.

Rurality,
Exactly...it must give them some sleepless nights.

Anon,
We have a Bush for governor.

Mac,
10-4

Abandoned,
An insurance company will collect premiums for years and then cry foul when you actually need it.

Doubleknot,
It's absurd I agree.

RD,
I agree. We're not saying you can't live there, but you are on your own.

DPR,
You had me going for a moment.

Likes2mtnbike said...

Those are the same people who build on the beach and then say, "It's MY PRIVATE beach." Like you quoted: Dumbasses!

kevin said...

There are some houses that have been there a long time, at least since the '60's and are still standing. Along Vilano also, it used to be where poor people lived because they couldn't afford to live nearer to town. As far as hurricanes go, we just haven't had one in a long time. We had a tropical storm (Charlie) a couple of years ago and most of those houses were already there. We get far more damage, in the form of erosion, from northeasters. I'm still waiting for the houses on Porpoise Point to blow away.

Also, I don't think the governor has much to say about where you can build. That's a local thing, and we all know money talks. It bothers me when people can build where I used to get tickets for driving but that's what has happened.

Floridacracker said...

Likes2mtnbike,
That is the big battle...keeping access for all not just for those who can afford million dollar 1/4 acre beachfront lots.

Kevin,
True, St. Auggie seems to be in a lucky spot, but it will happen. You are right about money talking and the local county commissioners seem to have never met a development they didn't love.
As for the gov, he's not in the fine details, but if he came out hard on slowing coastal construction there would be some trickle down effect in permitting and zoning exceptions to growth management plans.

We'll never know because we'll never have a FL governor who goes against development.

Skink is a fictional character.

Laura said...

Do you remember when (then) Governor Graham put a moratorium on building in certain coastal areas? I remember when Hutchinson Island in Stuart was one of the designated areas. They didn't enact the moratorium on the Keys fast enough either.
Florida is going to pay dearly in the long run if they don't enact a stronger enviromental policy where coastal building is concerned.

I'm going to stop now before I take up your entire comment section with a post of my own!

John Cowart said...

Hi Cracker,
Odd that I'd find your site through Gene in Oregon when I live just a few miles away. I'm a Jacksonville native with an interest in local history.

I've really enjoyed reading through your archives a bit.

Re today's photo & post: Doesn't the Bible say the man who builds his house on the rock is wise? And the man who builds on the sand is a Floridian?

Floridacracker said...

Laura,
I think the debt paying started in earnest the summer of '04 and will continue for a long time.

JohnC,
I love that last quote. Welcome aboard Pure Florida.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

"Nobody told me. Looked like a fine place for a fine house....Yes, indeedy."

Floridacracker said...

Hoss,
"We're filing a lawsuit 'cause nobody took us by the hand and said, 'YOU'RE A DANG FOOL IDIOT!'. How were we supposed to know on our own?"

Hick said...

I heard on the news this morning that the weather gurus are predicting 17 named hurricanes this season.

How do those people afford insurance? I live in the forest and the fire insurance costs just about kill us every year. It's getting harder and harder to find someone who will insure us and then they require that we clear 50 feet around our property. I don't get it and I don't want to pay for these idiots. Makes me mad.

rick said...

Remember when we drove cars and trucks on the dunes? We know thats not good for the beaches so now you get arrested for that, but the people with money have persuaded the local politicians its OK to bulldoze the dunes and build there temporary (cause mother nature will cleanse itself) homes.

Floridacracker said...

Hick,
Plenty of insurers are dropping Florida.

Rick,
You are exactly right.

TDharma said...

I find that often times with money comes arrogance and ignorance. Ignorance of the natural world, arrogance that "huh, I can put my house ANYWHERE." And, in the end, it's really the stupidity of the planning dept. or commission that let's people actually obtain permits to build there.