Homeowners should have the right to appeal their flood designations, Toms River officials say.
The Toms River Council is letting residents know it supports Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez in their efforts to give homeowners the right to appeal their flood designations.
The appeal would involve designations made under the Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps (ABFE), not the potentially revised maps that could be issued in August.
The council adopted a resolution on Monday Feb. 12 reflecting that stance.
A copy of that resolution can be found here.
"The township firmly believes that property owners should be able to challenge these designations as soon as possible in light of the financial hardship residents are experiencing," Toms River officials said on their website.
On February 4, township staff participated in a conference call with FEMA staff and representatives from the Governor’s Office of Disaster Recovery for the purpose of continuing an ongoing dialogue concerning the Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps, officials said.
The discussion also involved township’s concerns with respect to the ABFE maps.
Following the discussion, Toms River officials say they formally advised FEMA that as a result of the adoption of the ABFE maps by Governor Christie and the state, and as a result of council's discussion during the FEMA Informational Workshop at Toms River East High School, the township "has reassessed our position with respect to requesting further study and analysis by FEMA of the ABFE maps."
FEMA representatives have advised the Township that the ABFE maps are “conservative” and that the current designation in Ortley Beach as shown on the ABFE maps is not likely to change.
For that reason, the township will continue to concentrate on and reaffirm itsrequest to FEMA for the reduction and/or the elimination of the "Velocity Zones on the mainland, ocean and bayfront areas in Toms River, officials said.
"It is our sincere hope that the Velocity Zones, which pose such a financial hardship on the resident of Toms River will be reduced and/or eliminated once the final modeling takes place and that information will be included on the revised maps due out in August of 2013. This request includes the reduction of all velocity zones in the township that are not justified by the current scientific analysis, or the wave-action analysis currently being performed by FEMA as part of the map revisions process," officials said.