Flood zone regulations updated for FEMA compliance

For the purposes of complying with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements for flood zones, the Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) unanimously adopted revised regulations at its April 18 meeting.

The change affects Section Residential Construction of the zoning regulations. The existing regulations required that residential structures have their lowest floor “elevated to or above base flood elevation,” and that a licensed professional engineer or land surveyor certify that this requirement was met.

The change adds a paragraph stating that the documentation proving that the plans meet this requirement be submitted to the P&Z office “for acceptance on the standard FEMA Elevation Certificate form.”

Another addition to the regulations is the requirement that, “For construction involving foundations in flood hazard areas, upon placement of the lowest floor including basement and prior to further vertical construction, such documentation shall be submitted for approval by the Planning and Zoning Office.”

Finally, the revised regulations require that “Updated documentation in the form prescribed above, and marked Finished Construction shall be submitted prior to final inspection.”

In a memo outlining the changes, City Planner David B. Sulkis wrote that the requirement for submission of elevation documentation on the FEMA form is “for the city to maintain good standing in the Community Rating System (CRS)” and also to align this documentation with “newly enacted requirements in the 2016 State Building Code.”

The board also unanimously voted to include the updated FEMA flood maps in its regulations. John Grant, chairman of the board’s Regulations Subcommittee, explained that this is required because Milford participates in the national flood insurance program.

On a related topic, the board approved two different special permits and coastal management site plan reviews, allowing construction of single-family homes. Both properties are within 25 feet of the high tide, and the new houses will be constructed on piers to elevate them out of the flood zone.

Matt Ranando received approval for a new house at 33 Blair St., which is located on a 0.23-acre lot in an R-5 zone. The current 720 square foot bungalow, dating to 1940, on the property will be demolished.

Arthur Seckler III received approval on behalf of property owners Patricia and Saul Englander for a 0.07-acre property at 30 Field Court. The existing 760 square foot storm-damaged bungalow from 1939 will be removed. A 468 square foot bungalow with carport from 1980 will remain.