Archive for Thursday, March 28, 2002

Floodplain decision to wait for maps

March 28, 2002


New city floodplain regulations will wait until maps are created showing which areas would be affected.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission spent two hours on the topic Wednesday, but it deferred a decision until members can see the maps. That should take about two months.

That decision came after a series of speakers asked the commission to see the maps before approving the policy.

"As great a proponent as I am for these regulations, I think we need to be responsive to those concerns," Commissioner John Haase said.

The proposed regulations would allow development in the 100-year floodplain, but only if property owners produced a hydrological study showing their plans wouldn't make the floodplain bigger.

Those rules would be employed in a "floodplain overlay district" that would include the floodplain plus 2 feet of elevation designated in maps created last year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency

That drew some criticism from some people who said hundreds of properties outside the FEMA-designated areas but within the overlay district would be subject to get expensive flood insurance as a result.

Commissioners said they want to find out if that was true.

"I don't think we can make a policy decision in a vacuum," Commissioner Andy Ramirez said. "I think that's important information to have before we make that leap."

The issue will be tabled for three months to give the public a month to digest the maps.

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