Secaucus is updating its city code to be on the same page as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
The Secaucus City Council voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance that would repeal the chapter on “Flood Damage Prevention” in favor of adopting a chapter on “Flood Management Regulations”. floodplains”.
Mayor Michael Gonnelli was absent from the June 28 meeting, with Third Ward Councilman Bill McKeever chairing the meeting in his place.
New floodplain management regulations relate to the adoption of flood hazard maps, the appointment of a flood plan administrator, and the provision of severability and an effective date.
Floodplain City Code Update
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified special flood hazard areas within the Secaucus boundaries. These areas may be prone to periodic flooding which can lead to loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption to commerce and government services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and attenuation of the tax base, all of which have negative effects on affecting public health, safety and general well-being, according to the proposal arrangement.
The ordinance notes that the city administers and enforces state building codes, and those building codes contain certain provisions that apply to the design and construction of buildings and structures in flood-prone areas; and zoning codes that ensure safety against flooding and contain certain provisions that apply to land development.
According to the order, the Secaucus is required, within 12 months of the delineation of any floodplain, to adopt rules and regulations regarding the development and use of land in the floodplain that at least conform to the standards promulgated. by the NJDEP.
Anyone who violates the order or fails to comply with any of its requirements is subject to a fine of up to $1,500, imprisonment for up to 90 days, or a period of hard labor. general interest not exceeding 90 days. Anyone who unlawfully disposes of solid waste in a floodway or floodplain that fails to comply with the order or any of its requirements will be subject to a fine of $2,500 to $10,000 in conviction case.
Align regulations with the NJDEP
After the meeting, City Administrator Gary Jeffas outlined the gist of the ordinance.
“NJDEP demanded that cities update their floodplain management to just meet the standards the state set they wanted to see,” Jeffas said. “It was a long process. Our city attorney worked hard to get it done and send it to the DEP.
Now that it has been sent to the DEP, the city is awaiting approval in time before the ordinance is released for final adoption.
“They review it, make sure it meets their standards and has everything in it, give us the OK, and then we pass it,” Jeffas said. “He’s updating our management of the flood plan so it’s consistent with state requirements and what they want to make sure every city has.”
The council also voted to pass ordinances updating police fees for additional services, limiting the number of vape vendors in town and also updating retail establishment licenses.
The next Secaucus City Council meeting where a public hearing on the ordinance may be held. For more information, visit secaucusnj.gov.
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