Flood Hazard Area Protections Control Development

Hekemian's expert engineer stressed that the proposed development must comply with flood hazard area protections established by the DEP, but left residents asking, "What does that mean?"

Monday's special meeting of the zoning board of adjustment was devoted solely to the continuation of the controversial United Water property development hearing.  and supporters from the neighboring towns of Oradell and Bergenfield.  

Central among the concerns of the crowd was the issue of flooding. Angered by his reliance on DEP flood maps that date to 1980, members of New Milford's grassroots group , not only questioned his position on the validity of the 1980 map as a tool for determining flooding, but again questioned his position on the flooding of that property. 

Throughout the months of testimony, terms such as "flood hazard," "floodway" and "flood fringe" have been used in connection with the United Water property. But what do those terms mean and how do they affect the development of that property?

Dipple said the site is engineered for a 100 year storm event, meaning that the site is designed to handle 8.3 inches of water in a 24-hour period, but what exactly is a 100-year flood event? A 100-year flood is the level of flood water expected to be equaled or exceeded every 100 years on average. The DEP describes it as a flood that has a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any one-year period.  

Dipple had  and that infiltration systems will be installed above and beneath the property to carry the water away from the property. That was countered by board attorney Scott Sproviero who suggested that practical experience may show that there will probably be events of flooding on the property. 

During Monday's meeting, Dipple agreed that overdevelopment may have played a part in exacerbating flooding; however, he said that the adoption of the storm water management rule in 2004 has enacted stringent laws designed to establish control on how development occurs in these areas. Stormwater rules are implemented by the NJDEP requiring the control of runoff from a site that is the subject of a site or subdivision application. For new development, this includes runoff quantity controls, runoff quality controls, and buffers around Category One waters--waters protected from any measurable changes in water quality because of their exceptional ecological significance, exceptional recreational significance, exceptional water supply significance, or exceptional fisheries resources. The Hackensack River is a Category One body of water.

Flood hazard area permits were established in response to development that increased the intensity and frequency of flooding by reducing flood storage, increasing stormwater runoff and obstructing the movement of floodwaters. It was purposed to foster responsible development of land that is currently undeveloped. 

Now, in order for a developer to construct in an area near a floodway, a flood hazard area permit from the NJDEP must be obtained. A floodway is designed to stand between you and the full force of a flood; a flood fringe is the outer portion of the flood hazard area. A flood hazard area is comprised of the floodway and the flood fringe. 

According to the NJDEP, the purpose of obtaining a flood hazard area permit is to ensure that the proposed development does not increase flooding. One way this is done is by requiring that the development be built at an elevation that is above the flood hazard area.

Dipple previously testified that elevation 14 is the regulatory flood elevation for New Jersey, and said that the elevation of Madison Ave. is 15, elevation for the proposed supermarket floor is 16, the parking lot in front of the proposed supermarket is elevation 15 and the area near River Road is elevation 23.

Flood Hazard Area rules emphasize limiting development near rivers and streams, in floodways and on flood fringes, as the most effective way to minimize damage caused by flooding. 

Do you think these protections are enough? 

Let Patch save you time. Get local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. It’s simple and fast: sign-up here.

Ulises August 03, 2012 at 01:57 AM
This land is in a flood plain and our officials know it. The Planning Board's 100 year flood map clearly shows that and that's why our officials removed that map from their website this week. It's so obvious whose side our official are on, that would be the developers side.
Hometownpride August 03, 2012 at 07:56 AM
Our so called Mayor is CORRUPT!!!! Aside from being amoral she sits there with her beady eyes glaring at us poor residents....while we struggle to question Dipple...why? He is just a man getting paid ALOT of money by a developer...his job is too convince the town that he can build this site by "all the rules and regulations" requied of him...DESPITE them being conveniently in place ...as loopholes, so land can be developed at whatever cost to the citizens of its towns!!!! Subrizi knows this too, she is not a moron, she just acts like one....yes,,,who else would waste tax payers dollars to do a study to see if the land is "good enough " for mixed use development....BOTTOM LINE is Dipple gets paid by his client so his shoprite won't flood..he has "modern technology" but the residents in the surrounding areas whose homes were buily before 2004 DO NOT and will flood as a result!!!! And yes Mr Dipple you have done your job protecting your client, but as a person you have FAILED along with OUR MAYOR!!!!! HERE THAT YOU ARE A FAILURE SUBRIZI ...you failed yourself, your family who should be this town who you were elected to protect...grow a set, forget your wallet and your so called elected "friends" stand up for what is RIGHT!!!!!!! I know you know what is RIGHT...you have the power, why would you hurt us, this town, your friends, .....who do you think you are?????!!!!!! Your name will live in shame, that will be YOUR destiny......THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!
Donna Colucci August 03, 2012 at 11:53 AM
hometownpride if you had a real name I would call you that, however since you nameless, you are a bully. First off, if you were at the Zoning Board meeting like many, many were, as myself, you would know that OUR mayor is NOT on that board. Second, you are a mean spirited person that needs to cool off. "Poor Residents" are you kidding me? I believe most of the residents in New Milford do NOT pity themselves or expect pity from anyone....Poor Residents? I am sure you don't mean that they are penny-less? Give me a break...and i really don't care how many of you bull dogs attack me after my post...that is why so many people WON'T post on here...
Hometownpride August 05, 2012 at 05:12 AM
I am NOT the bully here, Hekemian is. I've attended many zoning board meetings. Sorry you need interpretation when I say "poor residents"..you sure you were at meetings cause from what I witnessed it was ordinary citizens trying to do the extordinary without a law degree, requested to voice their researched views in the form of a question & many times, were cut off or had the ideas but were not pronounced "in legal verbiage" to say things as favorably as they could. Mean spirited? Where I come from it's called "telling it like it is"...Have you ever seen your grandmother's antique table floating down the street? Were you taken out in a boat at 2am with a cut on your knee that got infected from the bacteria in the flood waters & as a result had to have 3 operations? Did you ever see the foundation of your home crumble & have to vacate it permanently & still have to pay the mortgage & taxes?Did you ever wake up to see your 5 year old daughter's bed floating with no power & her so scared. Did you ever live in a town where the last bit of open space is devoted to a park where the residents can walk, jog, meet up, picnic and come together as a community...if this was EVER your situation, I wonder what sort of letter you would write & more importantly, wonder what sort of gratitude you would feel if there were folks in your town that banded together to prevent this happening to others,,well I am one of them & if that makes me a bully & mean spirited, that makes you confused!!!!
Donna Colucci August 05, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Oh yes, who ever you are, you are mean spirited and I can tell you I DON'T need any interpretation of any of your words. Your comment...."FAILED along with OUR MAYOR!!!!! HERE THAT YOU ARE A FAILURE SUBRIZI ...you failed yourself, your family who should be this town who you were elected to protect..." If, again, you had a REAL name I would call you it, but again since you don't, the only fitting name would be coward. You call names from behind a screen. Who are you? Step into the light...Why not use your name? I would think you have NOTHING to hide, so why hide? You have no idea where I come from, or what I do or how many times I WAS taken out of my home in a boat as a child in the middle of the night. I've seen my favorite things float by, etc... my dog trying to swim against the tide...Give me a break AGAIN! I do not hide behind my computer. Again, I certainly am NOT confused. I sit at ALL the boro's meetings to educate myself so when people ask me questions I can answer INTELLIGENTLY. I do not harbor anger or hatred, it only creates wrinkles.
Ulises August 05, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Donna, I happen to agree with Hometownpride. Who cares what this person's name is. This person is obviously in disagreement with our M&C and so are many others. I can relate to all the things this person has said, from standing up to all theses expert witnesses and not saying/asking the right questions, to dealing with the horrors of having you home filled with 62 inches of waste water (I don't have a basement, this ground level). It makes me upset that, you, whom I like, is reacting this way over a name? Everything this person said is true, including all that was mentioned about the Mayor. I voted for the Mayor because her team campaigned on stoping DeBari from building this land up and they all lied and that's why I'm on the record calling Subrizi a liar to her face. You have no idea what's like to have to get the Patch involved so the Mayor could finally send DPW to help after Hurricane Irene; 11 days of trash and rodents all over my street because the mayor wanted to save a buck? I have no enjoyment in putting my name on the Patch after that fiasco and exposing the truth and I was attacked by many, including you, for not putting my last name, but I'm real and so is Hometownpride. And, Donna, your husband is a nice guy, I like him too, but he's a Councilman, on the side of developing this land, and your not helping him and he's going to have a tough reelection because he sides with his boss, Subrizi. SOD!
Donna Colucci August 05, 2012 at 02:32 PM
It not about the name, it's about the hatred...and it is useless to continue this conversation...very sad indeed.
Ulises August 05, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Indeed, this whole thing is sad. However, for many of us trying to fight this David and Goliath battle, we've become friends (from all political backgrounds), developed strong bonds, making this fight worth it even if at the end we lose - there's a greater since of community in New Milford because of SOD's efforts. That's something the Democrats and Republicans have never done, and they've been around a lot longer than just a few months.
sumdumfuk August 05, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I agree, can't see anyone that is in favor of this getting re-elected. If this does go through, the legacy of those that let this happen will be tarnished forever in New Milford. If people think folks are angry now, wait until the next storm that causes flooding. Not a matter of if, but when. And really wait to see the anger, when people get their tax bills after another couple of hundred kids get pushed into our schools.
newmilford1967 August 05, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Your making your husband look bad.Your not a member of council or the mayor stop making excuses for them!!!!!!
Hometownpride August 06, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Let me clear a few points here, Do I hate the mayor? NO. Do I hate what she has the potential to do to this town. ABSOLUTELY. Are you aware what the definition of "harbor" is? It means.."a secret thought or feeling in one's mind"...see I do not "harbor" any hatred or anger cause I let my feelings out...right here in fact as you read...it is not a requirement for me to give my name but I assure you I am just one person who represents the opinion of many in this town,...And I suppose you are a person who has never been angry? Anger is a natural human emotion ...you know one you feel when compelled to call another, mean, a hater and a coward. (HYPOCRITE!!!!) And OH, husband is a counciman eh? Perhaps it is YOU, who should step into the light...... but I digress..my point here was to SAY NO to this SHOPRITE, BANK & APARTMENTS!!!!!!!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »