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Village Amends Flood Damage Ordinance

New Codes for Commercial, Residential Construction

At its most recent meeting, the Village of Massapequa Park board of trustees approved a local law, one that amends its Flood Damage Prevention ordinance.

The BOT acted because it considers damages from flooding and erosion to be an increased problem for village residents and businesses.

The amendments include provisions designed to control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which are currently involved in the accommodation of floodwaters. It also seeks to better control all filling, grading, and dredging projects in the village, plus to regulate the construction of flood barriers and to qualify and maintain village participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

With the new law, the village will require a floodplain development permit for all construction in special flood hazard areas. Applicants must show the nature, location, dimensions, and elevations of the construction project, including plans for drainage facilities and storage of materials. The permit fee for the application is $500.

All construction plans for the village for coastal high hazard areas face new requirements. Commercial and residential construction projects, plus recreational vehicles must now be located landward of the reach of high tide. In addition, the use of fill for structural support of buildings, manufactured homes or recreational vehicles on site 180 days or longer is prohibited. Man-made alteration of sand dunes, which would increase potential flood damage, is prohibited.

In addition, the law covers, among other considerations, subdivision construction, improvements, utilities, elevation, foundation standards, and non-residential structures in special flood hazard areas.

All new subdivision proposals in areas of special flood hazard, for instance, must be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage. Public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems must also be both located and constructed in the same fashion. Adequate drainage must be provided to reduce exposure to flood damage.

New structures and improvements to structures in areas of special flood hazard must be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement during the base flood.

New and replacement electrical equipment, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, plumbing connections, and other service equipment must be located at base flood elevation or else be designed to prevent water from entering within the components during a flood.

Similarly, new construction and improvements on residential structures in coastal high hazard areas must be elevated on pilings, columns or shear walls so that the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member supporting the lowest elevated grade is elevated to or above 2 feet above base flood elevation so as not to impede the flow of water.

The pilings or column foundations and structure attached to new construction must be adequately anchored to resist collapse or movement due to the effects of wind and water pressures.

Non-residential structures located in both special flood hazard areas and coastal high hazard areas must be constructed with the lowest floor elevated to or above 2 feet above the base flood elevation. If not, then it must be flood-proofed so that the structure is watertight below 2 feet above the base flood elevation with walls impermeable to the passage of water.

In non-residential structures in coastal high hazard areas, flood proofing of structures is not an allowable alternative to elevating the lowest floor to 2 feet above the base flood elevation.

The village’s Zoning Board of Appeals will decide appeals and requests for variances to the new law. When hearing variance requests, the ZBA will consider, among other factors, the danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others; the danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage; the susceptibility of the proposed facility to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner; the importance of services provided by the proposed facility to the community; the necessity of the facility of a waterfront location; the availability of alternative locations; and the compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development.