Big changes are underway with respect to the regulation of the Boulder Creek floodplain for property owners in downtown Boulder. What was already a somewhat confusing situation has become even more so with the City of Boulder’s submittal to FEMA of a new floodplain study for Boulder Creek.
The new floodplain study proposes substantial, and in some locations, radical changes to the existing floodplain modeling and mapping that the city has been enforcing for many years. In many cases, the new floodplain study presents a case of “good news” and “bad news”. The good news is that we recently became aware of buildings that are being removed from constrictive “Conveyance and High Hazard flood zones.” However, the bad news is that these same buildings are now projected to have substantially deeper flood depths when compared to the existing floodplain mapping. Also in the bad news category is the fact that the city will be enforcing both flood studies (whichever is more restrictive) until FEMA completes its review and adopts the new flood maps.
Although the city has completed their own public notification and review process prior to submitting the new study to FEMA, property owners should be aware that there will be another opportunity to appeal the new study and how it will affect their properties as part of the FEMA adoption process. But the FEMA 90-day appeal period will not occur until the agency, along with the State of Colorado Water Conservation Board, have completed a review of the new study and have determined that it is acceptable and ready for adoption. In the meantime, affected property owners should become educated on how the new floodplain study along with the city’s existing floodplain regulations will impact their properties, both physically and monetarily.
Flatirons has a highly experienced staff of both surveyors and engineers who can help people understand how both the existing and new floodplain studies and regulations will affect their properties. If you’re a property owner, investor or even a renter, you owe it to yourself to contact us to discuss how we can help you defend against not only the inevitable flood, but also any unfair and inaccurate floodplain mapping and regulations.