Post-Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Requirements (Updated Jan. 25, 2013)
On January 24, 2013, the State of New Jersey announced the adoption of the Advisory Base Flood Elevation (“ABFE”) maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) on December 15, 2012. These maps establish new standards for rebuilding along the New Jersey coast. The new requirements are effective immediately.
The State’s adoption of the ABFE maps impacts the rebuilding process in the following ways:
Dwellings MORE than 50% damaged. Building and zoning permits will not be issued unless the dwelling is rebuilt to the standards required by the ABFE maps. These standards require raising the dwelling to the elevation for the applicable zone.
Dwellings LESS than 50% damaged. Dwellings may be restored to their previous condition; however, failure to comply with the ABFE maps risks significantly higher flood insurance rates.
Ortley Beach Property Owners. The ABFEs will be revised and final maps issued in August 2013. Property owners should consult with their professionals to determine the safest and most cost-effective way to rebuild. Again, non-compliant homes risk not only significantly higher insurance rates, but severe damage from future storms.
Mainland Property Owners. The ABFEs establish several new “V” zone designations on the mainland. Township officials strongly disagree with those designations and have registered those objections with FEMA. At present, however, the Township’s objections have been overruled with the State’s adoption of the ABFEs. Consequently, the “V” zone designations remain in place for the present time and property owners located therein must rebuild accordingly. These “V” zone designations on the mainland may “shrink” with the issuance of the final maps in August 2013, but this change is not certain.