The city commission took a final vote Monday to change its construction rules in a way that will qualify property owners for a bigger discount on federal flood insurance.
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The move is meant to improve the city's flood rating, thus making property owners eligible for bigger discounts under the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program, to counteract recent federal laws that otherwise would cause rates to rise by eliminating subsidies.
The proposed city ordinance would generally require that all new construction or substantial improvement of any existing structure "shall have the lowest floor elevated to one foot above the base flood elevation or, for non-residential structures, be flood proofed so that below one foot above the flood base level the structure is watertight," the agenda for Monday's commission agenda said.
The administration hopes that, by changing its ordinance, its ranking will improve to a 4, which would entitle properties in a SFHA to a 30 discount. That would moderate increases caused by recent federal legislation, which established what's known as "actual-risk-based" flood insurance rates, eliminated subsidies for non-primary residences and scheduled an end to subsidized rates over time.
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