Recent Community Meeting on Floodplain Class 5 Status
City staff recently held a community meeting to detail new FEMA Class 5 Status achieved by the City. This classification means residents in the flood plain could see as much as a 25 percent decrease in flood insurance rates. The meeting was videotaped in order to share information with residents unable to attend.
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The City adopted several revisions to the floodplain ordinance on January 13, 2014, that went into effect on January 28, 2014 (Ordinance 1544). These changes involved adopting new state regulations and new floodplain maps and incorporating minor changes to update the language in the ordinance to current standards.
There were two new state regulations that the City adopted. They are:
- The freeboard requirement is the minimum height above the flood elevation for most buildings. This requirement has been set at two feet for critical facilities.
- Certain areas that are removed from the floodplain by using fill materials, would still be regulated as if they are still in a floodplain with respect to freeboard. This basically means that basements would not be allowed in those areas.
The City also adopted the new floodplain maps, the Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) with an effective date of February 5, 2014. This has the following impacts:
- 82 parcels, not buildings, are being removed from the floodplain.
- 267 parcels, not buildings, are being added to the floodplain.
- Any buildings that have mortgages and are added to the floodplain will be required to get flood insurance. Buildings that are removed from the floodplain would no longer be required to have flood insurance, but could keep their policies.
Determine your flood risk at FloodSmart.gov
The Community Rating System (CRS) Manual was revised in 2012. The City’s current program under the old CRS Manual has a Class 6 rating. This results in a 20% discount for residents with floodplain insurance. The City’s program is being reviewed with the new CRS Manual to see if it can be raised to a Class 5, which has a 25% discount. Only two other communities, both much larger than the City, in Colorado are currently rated as a Class 5 or above.
Congress approved the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 in an attempt to make the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) solvent again after the impact of Katrina, Sandy, and other large storms. The biggest impact is that some rates could be going up substantially, so keeping or improving the discount is seen as critical by the City.
For more information, contact Mark Westberg, Projects Supervisor, by phone (303) 235-2863 or by email.