Flood-plain meeting location changed

BOULDER – A proposed new flood-plain map will be discussed at the Boulder Municipal Building in a meeting on Monday, Feb. 27, to make sure there’s room for everyone who wants to listen.

The meeting will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at the municipal building, 1777 Broadway, in Boulder. The meeting previously was scheduled for the smaller 13th Street Conference Room at 1720 13th St.

Much of Boulder’s central business district is in the 100-year flood plain. The proposed new map shows 107 buildings would be removed from the 100-year flood plain as a result of work the city has done to reduce potential future flooding from Boulder Creek. The map shows 72 buildings that previously were not in the flood plain that have been added into the zone.

Some 574 buildings would remain in the 100-year flood plain, including buildings on several blocks of Boulder’s central business district, homes in neighborhoods east of downtown, Boulder High School and other buildings along Arapahoe Avenue near the creek.

“This is a more accurate map. It more accurately reflects what we believe would happen in a major flood event,´ said Robert Harberg, utilities project management coordinator for the city of Boulder. “Based on our new mapping and modeling techniques, we want to inform the public and property owners of flood hazards along Boulder Creek.”

The new map is online at: http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/files/Utilities/Flood/BC_building_overview_FEMA100yr_1_30_12.pdf

Monday’s meeting is not the first discussion of the new map, Harberg said. Work has been going on in Boulder since 2009, according to city documents. The new map could be approved by city council members in May or June, according to city documents.

Business owners and homeowners pay higher insurance premiums if they’re in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s, or FEMA, Flood Insurance Rate Map, which was last updated in 1983, according to city documents. The new city map may take the place of the existing FEMA map, according to documents.

City workers also regulate new development and redevelopment in the flood zone separately from development in other parts of the city, Harberg said.

While a 100-year flood may not sound like an imminent threat in Colorado, previous floods have been deadly. The Big Thompson flood near Loveland in July 1976 killed more than 100 people and destroyed more than 50 businesses. It started in the Big Thompson Canyon west of the city.

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