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With New FEMA Maps, Some Are Out of the Flood Plain

Posted on 12 December 2008

Richard Warren rounded out his tour of presenting the new FEMA flood maps at the Sag Harbor Village Trustees Public Worksession, on Tuesday, December 9. Thanks to FEMA’s multimillion-dollar effort to update Long Island’s flood maps, using a new digital data system, NAS 1988, and special topography analysis with a type of radar analysis, many Sag Harbor homeowners will find themselves out of the flood plain. Using these new maps, the village will see a 47% reduction in the number of homes in the flood plain. Warren advises these homeowners to retain their flood insurance.

One purpose of Warren’s visit was to advise the board on how and when the village should adopt new flood plain management laws that adhere to the new federal and state building standards. Time is of the essence for adopting these laws, he said. There is a 90 day appeal period, which began in November. The board has six months, from the end of the appeal period, to adopt the new laws. If there are no appeals, the new laws could take effect by August. However, if an appeal is filed, it must first be resolved, and then the board would have six months to update its law.

Before the end of this six-month period, the Board of Trustees must present a draft of the laws to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The laws must be passed at least one month before the end of the six-month final map adoption period. FEMA mandated this extra month to review the laws and to correct any errors.

As the worksession drew to a close Sag Harbor Village mayor Greg Ferraris asked Warren if these new laws would affect the new zoning code, which the board hopes to adopt before June. Warren assured Ferraris that the updated FEMA flood maps wouldn’t significantly affect the new zoning code because the adoption of the flood plain regulations are on a different schedule than the new zoning code. Later, Warren added that after the adoption of the new maps, article 16 of the new zoning code would have to be adjusted: “I look at this as more administrative changes that are needed to reflect the new refinement of the flood maps. It’s more important that we make sure the proper maps are being used by the building inspector.”

Ferraris was also concerned about the homeowners who would now be inside the flood plain, when they had previously been outside of it. Ferraris suggested that the board mail out letters to these homes alerting them of their new flood status. He hoped to put it on the agenda for the March meeting.


 Above image: Worksessions attendee review a slide from the FEMA flood map slideshow presentation, as Richard Warren explained who would be in and who would be out of the flood plain. 


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