04/26/05 — Duplin residents can get flood plain building tips

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Duplin residents can get flood plain building tips

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 26, 2005 1:48 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County residents who want to build in flood-prone areas will have a chance to hear how the county plans to help them cut through government red tape.

The Duplin County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing May 2 on a proposed revision of the county's flood plain ordinance. The ordinance, approved in 1988, governs what can be built in areas that are designated as being in the county's flood plain.

Residents can build in the low-lying areas now, but they have to meet a number of requirements that require time and money, such as pinpointing the location of the building site within the flood plain through a survey.

The revised ordinance would permit the county to handle much of that type of work for them.

Randall Tyndall of the county Planning Department said he can conduct flood plain determinations that are required by lenders before construction.

The revised ordinance also will include an updated version of the flood plain map. Some homeowners who were not included in the original flood plain map now fall within the regulated area. County officials said they will contact those property owners so that they will be aware of the building requirements.

Federal officials discourage building in flood-prone areas but if certain measures are taken, such as building higher foundations, property owners can still utilize their land. By maintaining such requirements, property owners can be eligible for flood insurance. If the requirements aren't in place, flood insurance is nearly impossible to get.

The revised ordinance also would allow municipalities to contract with the county to enforce flood-zone building requirements in the parts of towns that fall into the flood plain.

Six towns in Duplin -- Beulaville, Teachey, Warsaw, Calypso, Greenevers and Magnolia -- are not included in the county flood plain ordinance. Because of that, their residents are not eligible for flood insurance. Faison, Kenansville, Rose Hill and Wallace are covered by the ordinance.

"We're not trying to take away any authority from the town," said Tyndall. "We're just offering to help administer the program."