More building in the flood plain? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

More building in the flood plain?

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Commissioners are considering an ordinance that will allow development in Floodways, the most dangerous part of flood zones.

It's a business friendly move that appeals to developers with land in floodways. They would have to follow strict guidelines to make sure the development and people up and down river won't be put in danger.  

Living on a waterfront is appealing to a lot of people. That's why the owner of Marsh Landing has been trying to expand his apartment complex. But the property presents some flood risks, especially since the area for expansion is in a flood way, but an ordinance being considered by the county would allow development here.

"while we still discourage it," said Planning Director Howard Brown.  "There's a process that they go through now to do that, it's called No Rise Certification process."

The development would still be required to be built three feed above base flood elevation, and the no rise certification would keep the development from causing problems for others nearby. 

"It just really allows for the free flow of water to ensure the structure that's going to be placed there does not prevent the free flow of water,"  said Brown.

Georgia Emergency management and Federal Emergency Management have both looked at the ordinance changes and are comfortable with the changes, but public hearings will still be held before the changes are adopted.

 County officials say the change to the ordinance will not adversely impact flood insurance rates.

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