TO: MAYOR WYTHE AND HOMER CITY COUNCIL
FROM: RICK ABBOUD, CITY PLANNER
DATE: July 22, 2013
SUBJECT: Homer Flood Code
Introduction: The flood maps and accompanying code regarding regulation of the floodplain allow citizens of Homer to qualify for federally guaranteed flood insurance. Additionally, Homer’s participation allows the city qualify for federal funds funds for disaster assistance and hazard mitigation. Dotti Harness-Foster worked on a longer staff report that explains some of the changes in detail. I will provide a general overview with as little of jargon as possible.
Maps: FEMA initiated a new study of the Homer Spit. As a result of the study (and some of my own analysis and input), new maps have been produced that more accurately portray the actual flood risks prevalent from the base of the spit till the end. The maps before you nearly always show a new risk that is less than that of the previous maps, which is an accurate measure of the current conditions.
Several notices of all the property owners in the areas subject to change have gone out with invitations to attend a workshop with FEMA and to attend subsequent meetings and a public hearing at the Planning Commission. All response we have had with land owners have been positive.
Code: Accessory structures did have the non-qualitative reference to “low cost” removed. Then the Attorney removed the standards from the definition as it is poor procedure for writing code. My further review shows that “accessory structures” are not referred to anyplace else in code and therefor would be regulated as any “residential” or “nonresidential” structure would and is probably not necessary to address. I will review this further as we adopt the next revised maps in the next year.
Amendments adding the term LiMWA (line 55) adds language recommended by FEMA as does the reference to “previously site” violations on lines 65-66.
The last changes amend the reference date of the new maps and bring the standard for nonresidential construction up to that of residential construction making the code consistent. The changes in code will help us prepare for admission to a program that can reduce the costs of flood insurance for the citizens of Homer.
The requirements for adopting title 21 have been addressed as follows.
Per HCC 21.95.040, the Planning Department shall review each amendment to title 21. This review is complete and addressed in memorandum 13-01 to the Planning Commission.
Additionally, Per HCC 21.95.060, the Planning Commission shall review each proposed amendment to title 21. This review is now complete. At the July 17th Regular Meeting, a motion was approved to forward the changes to the flood code to the City Council.
The Homer Advisory Planning Commission and Planning Department recommends adoption of the amended Flood Prone Areas.
Staff Report 13-55
Planning Commission Minutes