The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 16, 2010

Town Meeting to weigh Flood Hazard and Wetland Zoning update

Passage of Warrant Articles 25 and 26 is imperative to residents’ access to the National Flood Insurance Program, said Town Administrator Tim Goddard at the April 12 Public Hearing held by the Planning Board. The pair of Articles involve the town’s acceptance of the new format for maps defining flood hazard areas: the Middlesex County Flood Insurance Rate Map. Failure to revise this definition could result in Carlisle’s suspension from the flood insurance program. Goddard will present information during the May 10 Town Meeting Meeting for Article 25, “Wetland/Flood Hazard District Zoning Bylaw amendment,” and Article 26, “Location of Districts Zoning Bylaw amendment.”

Having reviewed the maps and definitions, Planning Board Chair David Freedman, board member Marc Lamere and Administrator George Mansfield concurred that the format change is of no practical consequence since 1980 data for “100-year flood events” used for the present definition is the same as that used to create the new definition and maps to be dated June 4, 2010.

Lamere offered the comment that the presence of beavers in an area can modify actual flooding and is not represented on insurance rate maps. He also said that the recent two major rainstorms resulted in flooding in excess of the “100-year” benchmark. He suggested that the resulting flooding was characteristic of a 400-year flood.

Selectman Chair Tim Hult cautioned that passage of the Articles would maintain residents’ access to flood insurance program but “insurers can do whatever they want.”

With no public comment the hearing was closed. ∆

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