Ordinarily, New York City or other governmental entities might take over the tasks of restoring a middle-class neighborhood like this. But Sea Gate, with its 850 homes on Coney Island’s western tip, is not an ordinary neighborhood. It is a 113-year-old private, gated community, where the razor-wire-topped fences and armed security checkpoints that keep outsiders from its streets, beaches and parks serve as a constant reminder that the residents of this community have chosen to live somewhat apart ….
But the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy to Sea Gate, in Brooklyn, and another gated community, Breezy Point, in Queens, was so monumental that residents who are already struggling to figure out how they will pay to rebuild their homes say they cannot afford to pay the additional cost of repairing communal infrastructure. So neighborhoods that have long held the rest of the city at arm’s length now seek the financial embrace of the city, state and federal governments.
That turnaround has been ill-received among some on the other side of the fence from Sea Gate ….
Charles Brecher…at the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission said, “We should help people in disasters but we should hold people responsible for what they’ve agreed to be responsible for,” ….
Even as the communities put together formal requests for assistance, residents like Yidel Lax, 62, an artist whose house was flooded, are unwilling to part with the community’s most prized feature. “The only reason that Sea Gate is what it is is because it’s private,” he said. “Otherwise, it wouldn’t be Sea Gate.”
I’m fairly sure that what made Sea Gate what it is were the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, and lucrative real estate deals. A convenient oversight.