Hearing Set for Proposed Floodplain Ordinance Revisions

The Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, Nov. 21 on proposed changes to the city’s floodplain management ordinance that would create a more rigorous process for approving construction in the floodplain and would remove previously allowed exemptions to what can be built there.

The hearing will be held during the Mayor and Council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave.

The floodplain is land near a stream that could be inundated by a so-called 100-year flood — a flood that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. The city’s ordinance, which bans new development in the floodplain, was last updated in 1992. Changes in federal and state regulations require that it be revised.

The proposed revisions include a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirement that property owners in the floodplain obtain a permit allowing the city to set conditions on new construction, review and approve construction plans, inspect construction and obtain FEMA-required documentation. They also will eliminate previously allowed exemptions from floodplain regulation for public facilities and projects, utilities, fences and play or seating equipment.

To learn more and find an online map to assist homeowners at www.rockvillemd.gov/floodplain.