Tag Archives: FEMA

[CLARIFICATION] P&Z: No Full Basements In Flood Zones; Piers, Pilings Remain Only Options

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.

A raised home on Compo Cove.

Fortunately, Westporters Can Get Flood Insurance Discount

Floods are a fact of life in Westport.

Fortunately, homeowners in certain areas can buy flood insurance.

Unfortunately, it’s expensive.

Fortunately, FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency — offers discounts. They’re based on rankings of each community. #1 offers the highest reduction; #10 the least.

Unfortunately, Westport is #8.

Fortunately — thanks to efforts implemented by the Planning & Zoning Commission — that’s up from #10.

The high water mark on an “06880” reader’s garage is very high. This was last October.

Fortunately too, the Westport Progress Report on Floodplain Management is available online. It enables residents to receive a 10% reduction on their flood insurance.

Unfortunately, the report itself is not available online. You’ll click on the town website, and see that the online document merely tells you the next step to complete to receive the information.

Fortunately, I’ve cut and pasted the relevant information:

A copy of the CT South Western Regional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (2016) is available either in person at the Westport Planning and Zoning Office (Town Hall, Room 203), or by clicking here.

Unfortunately, the link above does not bring you where you want to be. I think this is the relevant document: https://westcog.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/HMP-2016-WestCOG-South-Plan.pdf

Fortunately, there are no floods in the immediate forecast.

Not Just Geico: Town May Help Homeowners Save 10% On Flood Insurance

It may not be as compelling as Fire and Fury. But the Westport Progress Report on Floodplain Management could do something the Trumpland bestseller can’t: Save you 10% on your flood insurance.

According to Planning & Zoning director Mary Young, the annual report can lead to efforts by the town to secure that reduction for residents.

Flood insurance is offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to communities that participate in the Community Rating System (CRS). Their classifications (ranked from 1 to 10) determine that amount of flood insurance rate reductions offered.

A ranking of 1 offers the highest reductions. Efforts thus far by the Planning & Zoning Commission have elevated Westport’s ranking from 10 to 8.

More efforts — including revised zoning regulations that might result in lowered premiums — are planned.

Hurricane Irene flooded downtown Westport, — and many other spots — in August 2011. Flood insurance relief may now be at hand for homeowners.

Young adds:

Westport residents are fortunate to live in a community that participates in the CRS program, thus enabling them to receive flood insurance from FEMA and reductions in their flood insurance rates. Many communities prone to flooding do not have the resources to participate in CRS.

Only 14 of the state’s 169 municipalities participate in CRS. Westport joined in 1995. Surrounding communities in Fairfield County that participate in CRS ranked near Westport. They range from 7  (Stamford) to 10 (Norwalk).

“Rigid requirements would need to be imposed to raise Westport’s ranking from 8 to 1,” Young says. “Such requirements may be perceived as overly restricting private property rights. Therefore, more modest steps to improve Westport’s ranking will be under discussion by the P&Z.”

(Click here for the Floodplain Management report. Click here for more information on the CRS ranking system, and Westport’s comparison with other communities. )

Storm Insurance Deadline Looms

Next Tuesday (July27) is the deadline for requesting storm disaster assistance from FEMA.

No, not last night’s tornado.

This deadline is for the nor’easter last March.

For information, click here or call 800-621-FEMA.

No word yet on disaster relief from yesterday’s weather.

Let’s hope it’s the last one we worry about for a while.

Remember last March?