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Yesterday, FEMA published new and in most cases less restrictive Flood Maps for the Jersey Shore. You can visit their website and type in your address to see if your flood hazard designation has changed Click Here.
In general it looks like thousands of new and existing homes on the barrier islands in Atlantic and Ocean Counties will no longer be required to meet the more restrictive “V” (velocity) zones and will be returned to “A” (rising water) designation. Of course every location is different so please visit the FEMA website to learn exactly how your home will be affected.
So what does this mean to people who own homes at the Jersey Shore: If your home is in a Velocity Zone and your home is non-complying and was “Substantially Damaged” or if you wanted to make a “Substantial Improvement” it will be a lot easier and less expensive to make your existing home comply.
For non-complying homes in “V” (Velocity) zones, one must not only elevate the structure to the new height above sea level, but remove the old foundation and construct a new open foundation that will permit ocean waves to flow freely under your house. In many instances, this requires the house to be moved off of its foundations and away from the site to permit the replacement or change in foundation type. This can be quite expensive and in many cases more than the structure is worth. In many instances this points to New construction rather than elevating and renovating.
For non-complying homes in “A” zones, one most only elevate the house and then extend the existing foundation up to new required height. Crawl spaces need to be filled so that the inside area below your house is as high or higher than the grade outside your house. Additionally flood vents must be installed to permit flood waters to enter your crawl space to equalize and reduce the hydronic pressure acting on your new foundation. This is a much easier process to comply with and is much less expensive than converting to an open foundation system.
Of course every lot and house are different and must be evaluated individually. If you have any questions about how these new rules affect your shore home you may contact me for a free consultation.
Please note these new maps are published for public review and comment only and have not been adopted by FEMA yet. That is they are not law so things can still change.
Todd Allen Miller, Architect
QMA Design+Build, LLC
5000 Boardwalk, Suite 2
Ventnor, NJ 08406
(609) 822-4949 – phone
(609) 822-4429 – fax
QMA Design+Build, LLC
518 Central Ave.
Ship Bottom, NJ 08008
(609) 494-5100 – phone
(609) 494-5105 – fax
NJ New Home Builder License #037561
NJ Home Improvement Contractor #13VH01107300
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