Gloucester Floodplain Zoning Regulations
January 10th at 1:33pm.
The Gloucester Planning Board held a meeting on January 5th, 2023, to discuss new floodplain and zoning regulations related to residential development. The proposal includes expanding the boundaries of the Floodplain Overlay District. The Floodplain Overlay District would now consist of the Federal Floodplain District and the Future Flood Risk District. Please see a summary of each district below:
- The Federal Floodplain District includes all special flood hazard areas designated on the City’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) issued by FEMA (includes 1%-chance regulatory floodplain)
- The Future Flood Risk District includes areas projected to be subject to future flooding with 2.4 feet of sea level rise. The exact boundary of the Future Flood Risk District is defined by the Massachusetts Coast Flood Risk Model (MC-FRM) “2.4 Foot Sea Level Rise” map.
In addition, the following would be prohibited in VE Zones (areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event with additional hazards due to storm-induced velocity wave action):
- New construction of a residential dwelling
- Movement, alteration, or expansion of an existing residential dwelling or structure so as to increase its lot coverage in the VE zone
Additional regulations in AE Zones (Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event) would include:
- Residential or accessory construction lot coverage cannot exceed 10% of the AE zone within the lot
- Movement, alteration, or expansion of an existing residential and/or accessory structure cannot cause the lot coverage of all structures to exceed 10% of the AE zone within the lot.
After the Planning Board provides a recommendation, the City Council will hold a public meeting to discuss the proposed amendments.