Aug. 27, 2013
Misty Volaski, email@example.com
Starting next summer, East End residents could see their home insurance rates jump — or drop — by $1,800 or more per year.
Federal flood insurance requirements have changed for about 300 Ojai properties thanks to new flood plain designations from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The federal agency updated flood plain maps for the East Ojai Alluvial Fan, which includes the San Antonio Creek and tributaries to the east of Ojai.
Once adopted, 241 homes will have been removed from the FEMA flood plain, while 71 others will be included in the floodplain and the more restrictive “floodway” for the first time. Those inside the flood plain whose homes are mortgaged will be required to buy flood insurance, while the 241 that have been removed will not.
The new designations will also limit development and grading inside the “floodway.”
The new maps are based on an engineering study by the Ventura County Watershed Protection District (WPD). “This information (serves) to bring awareness to property owners of potential floods,” said Sergio Vargas, deputy director of the WPD’s planning and regulatory division. “When FEMA identified potential flood hazards, they want property owners to know that the (flood) risk exists … FEMA’s mission is to minimize losses of property and lives — life and safety.”
An appeal period has been established for residents to challenge the FEMA findings. Through Nov. 11, those in the new flood zone can question their inclusion in the maps. The process, however, is complicated, not to mention expensive. “Any appeal needs to be technically- and science-based,” Vargas said.
The Water Protection District and the city of Ojai have scheduled a public outreach meeting tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. at Chaparral Auditorium, 414 E. Ojai Ave. The public is urged to attend the meeting to discuss the draft flood maps, the effects these maps will have on development, the need to purchase flood insurance, the FEMA map adoption process and schedule, the FEMA appeal process, federal flood insurance requirements and more.
Visit https://s3-us-gov-west-1.amazonaws.com/dam-production/uploads/20130726-1813-25045-4679/eap_criteria.pdf to view appeals criteria for flood insurance requirements. Visit www.vcfloodinfo.com to view flood plain maps, and find additional information.
Copies of the draft maps can be viewed at the County of Ventura Public Works Agency, Third Floor Permit Counter at 800 South Victoria Ave. in Ventura between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.