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INCREASED RED TAPE OVER WETLANDS WILL ADD TO COSTS OF BUYING A HOME

As a small developer of single family homes in the towns of Amherst, Grand Island and Hamburg, I am supporting County Legislator Mike Ranzenhofer's resolution in opposition to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's expansion of wetlands regulations.

Having to oblige the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is enough of a delay without having to add another bureaucratic review to an already long and costly process.

Although some wetlands are meaningful and necessary for protection against flooding, the Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and now the DEC want to further stifle development by designating wetlands down to one acre and less in size. This is based upon hydric and hydric inclusion soils, amounting to 50 to 70 percent of some of our towns.

The cost of the delineation studies, the cost of carrying the project and the cost of reengineering if a wetland is found are passed on to the poor guy who wants a new house.

The costs and delays will add 10 to 15 percent without reengineering costs and will push people out of the housing affordability market.

What's $2,000 or $3,000 more on the cost of a house at a 12 percent fixed 20-year mortgage? It will add $1,336 to $2,004 to the financing cost of a home. That's not too much, some will say. But on a basic home with a $120,000 mortgage, the monthly payment of $1,321 will rise to from $1,335 to $1,341 per month. And this is for a small house.

Every little bit that we have to add on to the cost hurts the home buyer. Enough is enough.

RICHARD F. BROX
Amherst

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