Municipalities across the county are changing their floodplain regulations and remaking floodplain maps.Commissioners in Matthews and Mint Hill have held recent public hearings and are expected to approve their changes soon. Pineville approved the changes earlier this month. Charlotte made the changes last June.The changes have been requested by Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services.People who live or own property in or near a floodplain should examine the maps to see if their house or property has been moved in or out of a designated floodplain. The location of the property can determine whether FEMA requires flood insurance, and also determines what rules and restrictions apply to grading construction, and renovations or repairs. The maps show the 100-year floodplain – the area that has a 1 percent, or 1 in 100, chance of flooding in any given year.The FEMA maps show where floods are likely to occur now. The community floodplain shows where floods are likely to occur in the future based on expected development. Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services Floodplain Manager Bill Tingle says the existing floodplain maps, adopted in 2000, needed to be revised. “Land uses change over time. The maps in effect now are based on land use and topographic areas that are 15 years old. We now have better land use plans to work with, better technology, and more up-to-date topography to map the lay of the land,” Tingle said. The county is being mapped in three phases and currently Phase 1, the south/central area of the county, is the only one complete. County data shows that existing Phase 1 maps have 3,290 homes and businesses in the floodplain. The new maps would remove 1,683 of the structures from the floodplain, but take in 96 structures that aren’t currently included. Matthews currently has 52 structures in the floodplain. The new map shows 33 of those coming out, and 3 others being added. Pineville has 147 structures in the floodplain with 51 going out and 8 coming in. Mint Hill has 104 structures in the floodplain with 42 of those coming out if the changes are approved. Tingle said his department sent out letters to all the people in the Phase 1 area whose property is in the floodplain or adjacent to it. The letter explains the changes. Several public meetings also have been held to answer questions. Once the changes have been approved by the various town boards, the maps and regulations will take effect on a local level. FEMA is expected to adopt the new maps sometime in 2014.
Friday, Mar. 22, 2013
Towns remake floodplain maps
Want to know more? Visit www.charmeck.org/stormwater to find out more information and see existing and proposed maps. Property owners have until March 26 to file an appeal if they think the new map treats their property unfairly. Appeal forms are also available online.