Bad start- microphones don’t work, commission members too deaf to (a) notice or (care). These are the people who brought us FAR, of course.
Coastal areas only are affected by new FEMA rules.
Base flood Elevation changes- old Greenwich, you’re f’d
Flood zone houses any part of town- “your insurance premiums will go up significantly”. You betcha.
The 50% rule (I’ll explain later) is going down to 30% in the future. Want a new bathroom? Plan on tearing down your house.
David Ogilvy is sitting on the floor(photo later) in direct violation of the FEMA minimum height level.
Question posed(sorry Walt, no answer to amount needed to bribe for a variance) – are these new maps “final”? Answer: it’s the federal government, nothing is final. Build now, regret later.
BTW- your furnace and generator will be joining the rest of your family on those stilts.
Katie Deluca – another politician’s child who’s found employment with the town* – is not answering a question – incapable or duplicitous? Both?
Wrap up: 466 homes in Old Greenwich are being moved into flood zone with these new maps. Once there, they will all be by definition “non-conforming”, which means that anything done to the existing structure- new windows, new roof, interior walls moved, kitchen updated, etc. cannot exceed 50% of the market value of the house – not the land and house, just the house, less the cost of all improvements made since 1986. If your house is worth $350,000 and you added a $50,000 addition in 1986, a new $75,000 kitchen in 1996 and $75,000 again in a redone master bedroom bath in 2010, you are already over your limit and should you want to install new storm windows, say, you’ll have to tear your house down and start anew. That ought to send the value of older homes soaring.
Why does our own P&Z go back to 1986 in calculating prior improvement costs instead of using FEMA’s much more lenient policy of a one-year look back? “Because we’ve always done it that way”, explains Ms. Deluca. Pressed for a reason beyond mere tradition, a P&Z member contributes a stirring story of a mother and her infant trapped on the second floor of their house in another town during Hurricane Sandy. That must not be allowed to happen here, she insists (apparently the mother and child were safely rescued, and no reason for their ignoring evacuation orders in the first place was supplied) so Greenwich P&Z intends to force property owners into compliance and damn the cost. Presumably the P&Z will be banning assault rifles on the same “if it saves the life of one child” theory of regulation, but they didn’t bring it up at tonight’s meeting.
So there you have it: if your home was built before July, 2013 and is now or will be reassigned to one of our two newly-redefined and expanded flood zones you are officially non-compliant and must meet the P&Z’s rules for future improvements. What that means is that older homes -I’d guess anything built before 1985-1990 cannot economically be expanded or improved and must remain as they are now, until replaced with the new FEMA House model, which is one built on stilts. Stay put, and you will soon be surrounded by giant homes looming over you and blocking your views and your sunlight. Move, and expect to get the land value of your property and not a penny more. Your house is now officially obsolete. Just like its FAR and lot coverage regulations, the P&Z has just confiscated your property and your wealth and isn’t planning to compensate you for your loss. You will be entitled, however, to use the town dump to dispose of your current residence.
Long range, the goal and the vision of our P&Z and the federal government is a waterfront of homes on sticks, like the quaint native fishing villages seen in old WWII movies. That will be different from what we see today.
*Katie Deluca, I am informed, is the daughter of John Blankley, former candidate for First Selectman, future member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, raising the question, is there anybody working for town government who isn’t related by birth or marriage to a town politician?