Westport Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin says that — despite the implication in today’s “06880” story that the P&Z is considering a change in flood zone regulations — the pre-application hearing resulted in a resounding “no.”
Piers and pilings will continue to be the only options for homeowners living near the water.
On Thursday, 2 local design professionals presented a potential amendment to the current flood regulations. The changes would have permitted filling properties to FEMA-mandated elevations, in lieu of raising residential dwellings on piers or pilings.
P&Z staff and commissioners expressed concerns about the effect of foundations and basements on subsurface draining, and neighboring properties on lower grades.
They also addressed the impact of future sea level rise, and the departure from best practices that support raising flood-prone structures over raising the grade of flood-prone lots.
Staff and commissions noted that fill in flood zones is specifically discouraged by FEMA regulations.
Current zoning regulations regarding fill and basements in flood zones will not change, Dobin emphasized.