Duluth revamps flood plain ordinance

Under a widespread edict from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Duluth on Monday scrapped its flood plain ordinance in favor of a new one.

The city's existing ordinance, established in 2002 through the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District's model, was found to be in noncompliance by FEMA, City Planning and Zoning Director Ken Suddreth said.

"This is what FEMA asked everybody to do," he told the City Council at its regular meeting. "This basically is an ordinance that everybody understands and assures that everybody is in compliance."

In the new document, the agency had added some new legal issues and reworked the terminology, Suddreth said. There also will be two different types of certifications.

"We are in essence in control of future conditions," he said.

Among the requirements, FEMA is seeking to reduce damage by requiring houses to be three feet above the flood line for building purposes. The vote to approve was unanimous.

In other business, the council:

•Authorized the hiring of Parson Brinckerhoff to complete parts B and C of the city's Comprehensive Plan, an item already budgeted for $50,000.

•Waived fees and approved location requirements for signs for Duluth's planned three-day Breast Cancer Walk.

• Approved submission by Bron Cleveland of a grant application for improvements at Rogers Bridge Park under the State Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program. The move also authorized City Administrator Phil McLemore to execute the application for $100,000. The amount is included in the FY07 budget, and the city has designated Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds for the project.