Borough Board votes down raising homes in flood-prone zones

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The borough doesn’t want to raise the stakes on its homes.

The Borough Board recently voted against a freeboarding requirement that would elevate homes in flood-prone zones an additional two feet higher than FEMA standards.

“Our concern was the requirement to go above and beyond the recommended base elevation,” said Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10.

Additionally, areas such as Howard Beach are still awaiting zoning resolutions from FEMA and a specific elevation requirement that comes with each zone. Preliminary zone and evacuation maps are expected to be released by the end of the summer.

Braton said another concern of the Borough Board was finalizing the freeboarding requirement before individualized elevation requirements are made final.

“It wasn’t necessary that we approve this at this point in time,” she said.

Although the southern region of the borough is no stranger to elevating homes, an additional height requirement will impact people who are in the process of trying to rebuild after Sandy, Braton said.

Borough President Helen Marshall disapproved of the proposal as well, “until there is some consideration of providing financial assistance to homeowners” that will allow them to comply.

The proposal was presented by the Department of City Planning and the Department of Buildings, which are carrying out an executive order, according to the borough president’s office.

 

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