Landlocked CB11 flood hearing

With memories of SuperStorm Sandy, like this scene from a Silver Beach street, Community Board 11 will hold June 20 hearing on city flood zoning fixes.

Water, water everywhere – else.

But that isn’t stopping pretty much landlocked Community Board 11 in Morris Park from holding a public hearing June 20 on proposed city flooding zoning changes in the wake of SuperStorm Sandy.

The board, which also covers Pelham Parkway, Allerton and Van Nest, does contain a stretch of the Bronx River flowing southward through it, and which pretty much avoided seeing its banks overflow during the hurricane.

Adjacent Board 10 to the east of Board 11 was hardest hit by the storm, with such neighborhoods as Edgewater Park, Throggs Neck, City Island, Country Club and other shoreline properties there hardest hit with flooding damage.

Costlier coverage

Congressman Joe Crowley and Councilman Jimmy Vacca recently held a public hearing on City Island to discuss new proposed flood zone maps and city zoning issues involving the possibility of homeowners having to raise their houses or see their flood insurance costs skyrocket.

Board 11’s hearing will focus on the city Department of City Planning’s proposed Flood Resilience Zoning Text Amendment that is part of a wide range of efforts by the city to recover from Hurricane Sandy, promote rebuilding, and increase the city’s resilience to climate-related events, including coastal flooding and storm surges.

Joe McManus, chair of Board 11’s land use committee, said the board DOES have a small area of the flood zone, along a stretch of the Hutchinson River Parkway.

And he defended holding the hearing on the zoning change.

Affects whole city

“It’s too important not to have a public hearing,” he said. “This is a text amendment going across the whole city – anywhere there is a flood zone.”

The amendment would apply to all buildings which meet flood resistant construction standards in the 100-year (1% annual chance) flood zone identified on the most recent Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps, using the most recent FEMA flood elevations.

Like the Mayor’s Executive Order, which temporarily suspended height and other restrictions to allow flood-resilient reconstruction, the proposed Flood Resilience Text

Amendment modifies zoning to enable buildings to meet the latest flood zone standards.

It also removes additional impediments to flood-resistant construction, and modifies regulations to mitigate potential negative effects of flood-resistant construction on the streetscape and public realm.

Zone issues

Issues addressed by the text amendment include:

 •Measuring building height with respect to the latest FEMA flood elevations

 •Accommodating building access from grade.

 •Locating mechanical systems above flood levels.

 •Accommodating off-street parking above grade

•Accommodating flood zone restrictions on ground floor use.

•Improving streetscape.

Soundview’s Community Board 9, which takes in flood-prone Harding Park, held a hearing on the proposing amendment on Monday, June 10.

Board 11’s public hearing will be Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. in Lubin Hall, Einstein College of Medicine, at 1200 Van Nest Ave.

For further information, call the board office at (718) 892-6262.

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