Frederick works on floodplain ordinance update

Ryan Marshall, The Frederick News-Post, Md.
·2 min read

Apr. 8—Frederick residents and businesses will soon have a chance to weigh in on an updated ordinance to help them get discounted rates for flood insurance in flood-prone parts of the city.

An update to the city's floodplain ordinance would bring it into compliance with current Maryland Department of the Environment, Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Flood Insurance Program standards and regulations.

The city's mayor and aldermen got an update on the proposed ordinance at a workshop Wednesday.

Updating the ordinance to current standards will upgrade the safety standards for structures within a 100-year floodplain, and could mean better rates on flood insurance, Scott Helgeson, manager of the city's engineering department, told the participants in the workshop.

The city has been part of the National Flood Insurance Program since the 1970s, requiring that new development and construction must comply with certain floodplain regulations.

In 2012, the city became part of the NFIP's community rating system as a Class 7 category, which gives residents a 15 percent discount on flood insurance premiums within a 100-year floodplain, and a 5 percent discount in other areas, according to a report prepared by city staff.

Updating the floodplain ordinance will improve the CRS rating and provide even more discounts on insurance premiums.

Flooding has been an ongoing problem in various parts of the city for decades, leading to the development of Carroll Creek Linear Park and other projects to help limit the damage.

In 2015 and 2018, flooding caused significant damage to parts of the city, along with less widespread damage from smaller storms.

In December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented the city with plans that would reduce flooding at four key points around the city, with a separate proposal coming for the downtown area.

The areas that were studied included Motter Avenue, Kline Avenue, Detrick Branch at North Market Street near Rosehill Manor and a tributary to Carroll Creek at West Patrick Street, near Frederick middle and high schools.

In January, it was announced that the city would receive a $1.5 million grant from FEMA to make repairs to a pump station that will help control flooding in the city.

The money will go to repairs to the city's stormwater Pump Station No. 3, a key part of Frederick's stormwater management system that moves water from densely-built parts of the city to a man-made stormwater retention pond.

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