by Lisa Tome
The Town of North East is doing its part to get ready for new flood plain regulations which could impact numerous properties in the county.
An open house will be conducted March 4 to provide an opportunity for residents and property owners in Cecil County to review updates to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps and FEMA's Model Ordinance. The open house will be held at the Emergency Operations Center, Department of Emergency Services Building, 107 Chesapeake Boulevard, Suite 108, Elkton. The meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. You can attend anytime during that span. During the open house, those who attend will learn about the current maps, what the maps mean to them, what options are available to those impacted, and how to get more information. To review a copy of the Town of North East Draft Flood Insurance Rate Map and Model Ordinance, go to the northeastmd.org website and click on the Planning and Zoning tab. The Town of North East will adopt the model ordinance no later than April 22. It will be effective May 4.
North East Planner Betsy Vennell said that in North East, parts of Walnut and Cherry streets, a portion of North East Isles, part of Washington Street, part of South Main, and those who live in town park will be impacted. Vennell also urges residents to check their current status. Some of the maps have changed and some properties previously in the flood plain, may no longer have that classification.
"Some have been taken out witt the new maps. Check your current status. It could have an impact," said Vennell.
North East will review and discuss the proposed regulations and maps on February 4. A Town of North East Planning Commission hearing is set for April 1. The commission will make a recommendation to the mayor and commissioners. The North East mayor and commissioners will hold their public hearing on April 8 and will likely adopt it at that time.
Although this is the way North East is handling this issue, the entire county will be impacted. Check with your town or county government to see if you will be affected by these changes. The following websites are also recommended to help determine the status of your property: floodsmart.gov, www.r3coastal.com, www.maps.riskmap3.com, msc.fema.gov