I find myself dismayed by the recent argument in Ocean Ridge about the temporary closure of the Anna and Edith streets beach crossovers. Nearby residents, largely from Hudson Avenue, expressed their anger about the closures at the December Town Commission meeting, and it was shocking to witness the utter lack of sympathy for people who are their neighbors and whose properties were deemed to be in imminent danger of collapse.
Rest assured that the residents now constructing seawalls to save their properties from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean would probably prefer their beach to be enormously wide and the ocean to be nothing but calm, which would save them hundreds of thousands of dollars, but such luck has not come their way. Instead, they are spending a fortune to save their homes and benefit the town at the same time by extending the seawall to protect the crossovers as well.
The neighborliness with which the project is being executed seems exemplary, but there was little shown in return. Those who made public comments are likely to say they support the project but not the closures; despite being a bit contradictory, it is likely a genuine sentiment from some.
But the vitriol from residents claiming the houses looked fine to their eyes, and the project was too much an inconvenience for them, was outrageous.
Consider the four months (now half over) of walking or cycling an extra third of a mile to the still-open Corinne Street beach crossover — a heart healthy choice — and remember to thank your neighbors for footing the bill to protect the Anna and Edith streets crossovers come hurricane season.

Connor Glendinning
Ocean Ridge

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  • Is the project completed?  How did it end up?  I put a lowball bid in on the house but no dice.  The seller thinks he has gold there.  We'll see. 

  • Is it safe to buy one of those houses?

  • It would be helpful if you could give us a summary of what is actually happening there.  We've seen the pictures, they are scary.  What is happening to the beach there and the properties?  What is causing it?   Could it happen elsewhere along our beaches?  What is the remedy?  Are those homeowners footing the entire bill?  How much is it?   I think if people had a better understanding of the situation, they might express more empathy.   Kindly fill us in if you would. 

    • The dune was heavily damaged in front of those houses, and the beach was significantly impacted by successive storms. Groins nearby probably don't help either. The Florida DEP determined the properties to be at risk of collapse, so building seawalls was the sensical next step for those affected. Poor communication about the closures from the Town resulted in some public outcry, which prompted Town Hall to issue a statement describing the peril the properties were in and the details of the construction. Later, the Coastal Star published an article in December providing details of the project and the backlash, which serves as a good summary of what happened. I understand their anger in the moment, but the insulting comments from some residents during the December Commission meeting were made despite information being available. 

      • If I may, one of the beachfront properties in question was recently renovated by a flipper and is for sale on Zillow for around $5 million.  Our family was considering purchasing it.  Do you think it's safe?  Thank you. 

        • It would seem to me that the safety of the houses greatly increases with the presence of the seawall. Many of Manlapan's oceanfront homes have robust seawalls and have been there for decades. However, I am not an engineer, so it may be a good idea to speak with one prior to submitting an offer for the home. Best of luck with it!

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