Conservation Director Alicia Mozian and Town Engineer Peter Ratkiewich, announced the following policy aimed at assisting property owners in the repair and rebuilding of their homes damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
“This policy is specifically for properties located in areas which are solely within the jurisdiction of the Waterway Protection Line Ordinance and will remain in effect until August 1, 2013," said Mozian.
Pursuant to Section 30-90(b) of Article IV the Code of Ordinances, “Waterway Protection,” Section 30-90 “Permitted Uses,” a building or structure located within the boundary of the Waterway Protection Line Ordinance that was destroyed due to natural causes, may be replaced or repaired under the following conditions and with the following provisions:
- The repair or replacement must commence within nine months after the damage or destruction occurred. Therefore, work must begin no later than Aug. 1, 2013.
- A permit is required from the Conservation Department and plans must be approved by both the Conservation Director and the Town Engineer.
- Said building or structure shall not be extended or expanded, except to raise the finished floor elevation to conform to the requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Section 31-1 of the Westport Zoning Regulations entitled “Floodplain Regulations.” Allowance for stairs and landings to accommodate the newly raised structure will be included in this allowance.
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Provided these requirements are met, applications for repair or replacement will be issued permits administratively rather than having to appear before the Flood and Erosion Control Board and Conservation Commission at a public hearing.
Homeowners uncertain if their property falls solely within the sole jurisdiction of the Waterway Protection Line Ordinance, please contact the Conservation Department. Waterway Protection Line Ordinance should contact the Conservation Department.
This policy is for repairs and in-kind replacements only. All other projects will be assessed for the level of permitting required.
This policy does not eliminate the need for homeowners to secure permits from the Westport-Weston Health District, (if the property is served by a septic system), the Planning and Zoning Department or the Building Departments.
“In light of the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy which may serve as a bench mark to measure future storm events, owners should seriously consider raising their homes so that the lowest habitable floor is at least one foot above the 100 year flood elevation,” Mozian said. “Two feet is even better.”
Residents with questions should contact the Conservation Department at 203-341-1170.