FLOOD HAZARD OVERLAY: City passes change to ordinance

COLUMBIA CITY — The Common Council of Columbia City agreed to amend the Zoning Ordinance revising Chapter Eight Flood Hazard Overlay District at their meeting Tuesday.David Sewell, the executive director of the joint planning and building department, said Columbia City’s Plan Commission recommended the approval of the amendment to Floodplain regulations in the Zoning Ordinance to make them consistent with state and federal requirements.“What the ordinance is in a nutshell is if you’re going to build in a flood area, you can do that, but you have to build two feet above the established flood level for that body of water,” said Sewell.Sewell said the request originally comes from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.While the amendment deals with areas designated as a flood zone or a flood hazard area, Sewell said Columbia City is very fortunate in that respect.“We really don’t have any areas other than along Blue River that are either open ares or park land so I don’t know if we have ever had an application of someone wanting to build within a flood zone area,” said Sewell. “In Whitley County, around the lakes is where we use their ordinance primarily.”Sewell said along with the ordinance will be new maps of areas designated by the state.“When we get the maps, we may be back before you for an update,” said Sewell.Other than adding more pages of definitions, Sewell said the provisions of the ordinance are still the same as before.