The Long Branch Council introduced an ordinance on Tuesday night that would require new homes and homes rebuilt after being damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the city's flood zone to be built 2 feet above the base flood elevation.
The city needs to review and adopt FEMA's recently released Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) maps and incorporate them into the ordinance to get mitigation funds from FEMA.
The ABFE shows that Long Branch's flood zone has increased and insurance for homes located in these areas is expected to increase. However, raising a home will help lower the cost of obtaining flood insurance, officials have said.
Long Branch Code Enforcement Officer Kevin Hayes said it would cost a homeowner whose home is 4 feet below the base flood elevation $9,500 per year for flood insurance after new costs come out next year. A homeowner whose house is at base flood elevation would have to pay $1,410 a year for flood insurance and a person whose home is 3 feet above the flood plain would pay $427 per year.
Hayes said when it comes to raising your house to the new flood elevation levels, homeowners with flood insurance can apply for Increased Cost of Compliance funding, which can provide up to $30,000. Homeowners who suffered flooding from Sandy and don’t have flood insurance aren’t eligible.
The council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance during its Jan. 22 meeting before voting on whether to adopt it.