CAPE MAY – Cape May City Council introduced a new flood damage prevention ordinance at its September 19 meeting. City Floodplain Manager Paul Dietrich told council that the new plan is a wholesale replacement; the existing Chapter 258 of the city code is being repealed and the new ordinance will replace it. The second reading of the ordinance with the required public hearing will take place at the council meeting scheduled for October 17.
Dietrich told the council that the ordinance comes from the state Department of Environmental Protection and that it was developed jointly by the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to Dietrich, Cape May City is one of the last county municipalities that has not yet adopted the DEP model ordinance. He said the city needed to act now in order to protect its CRS rating which is up for annual update next month.
Dietrich told the council that the DEP model ordinance represents no major change to flood damage protection programs already operating in the city. It is a necessary but not disruptive change. “Adopting this means no real change to our program,” Dietrich said.