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Supervisors approve scaled back floodplain ordinance

It was a packed courthouse Tuesday night for the second public hearing regarding Mathews County’s floodplain management ordinance. However, only a handful of citizens spoke, and the board unanimously adopted the ordinance, which was scaled back to meet the minimum requirements imposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The first public hearing on the matter, held on Sept. 23, also drew a large number of residents, many of whom strongly opposed the ordinance as it was then proposed, which not only met all the federal requirements to ensure that residents would be eligible for federally-subsidized floodplain insurance, but also exceeded those requirements in several areas. 

Those requirements, which many residents said they felt were onerous, placed the same requirements for building in the V and VE zones as in the Coastal A, or high hazard zone; would require one foot of “freeboard” (an extra foot of elevation above the base flood elevation) for all new...

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