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Protecting Property From Flood Hazard

Protecting Property from Flood Hazard

VIDEO ON HOW TO USE FLOODPLAIN SOFTWARE

Build Responsibly

The Highlands Borough is in northern Monmouth County, New Jersey with an historic waterfront community located on Raritan Bay within the Raritan Valley region.  Our scenic Highlands Borough is a commuter town of New York City in the New York metropolitan area.  The eastern part of Highlands Borough is on a high bluff that overlooks Sandy Hook Bay, the entrance to New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean.  Atop this bluff are the historic Navesink Twin Lights.

Historical flood events in Highlands, based on a recreated model of the flood, 1,335 properties were impacted by Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge in October 2012.  As Highlands feel the effects of a changing environment, events of all kinds (heavy rain and wind) will affect more properties within the community.  Highlands Borough participates in the National Flood Insurance Program NFIP and is following community floodplain management ordinances.  NFIP is intended to furnish as an insurance alternative to disaster assistance and reduces the rising costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

The Highlands Borough has invested in Forerunner Floodplain Management Platform software for public education and administration of Floodplain Management Regulations.  Residents can access FEMA Flood Maps and property profile information.  Highlands Flood Information.

Identify Flood Risk Strategies

Borough Zoning and Land Use Regulations Chapter 21 Floodplain Management Regulations (Ordinance 22-1) June 15, 2022. provide compliance with federal NFIP regulations to reduce flood damage.

Chapter 21.109 Floodplain Management Regulations Scope and Administration provide in combination with the flood provisions of the Uniform Construction Code, Residential Code, Rehabilitation Subcode, and related codes, and the New Jersey Flood Hazard Area Control Act (hereinafter “FHACA”) shall be known as the Floodplain Management Regulations.

Highlands Floodplain Administrator/Construction Official, Stephen Winters swinters@highlandsborough.org reviews all construction activity in the Highlands Floodplain and is available for questions.  The Building and Construction Office is located in Highlands Municipal Building, 151 Navesink Avenue, Highlands, New Jersey 07732 (732) 872-1224

Floodplain Development Permit must be completed, and our team will guide you through the process to build responsibly and in compliance with Highlands Floodplain Management Regulation Ordinance.  This process lowers your flood risk and will determine if it will lower your flood insurance costs.  All these proactive measures work towards Highlands Borough eligibility for Community Rating System CRS insurance discounts.

In all SFHA, special flood hazards areas, development may not occur where alternative locations exist due to the inherent hazards and risks involved.  Before a permit is issued, the applicant shall demonstrate that the new structures cannot be located out of the floodplain and that encroachments onto the floodplain are minimized. 

New structures and substantial improvements of existing structures located, in whole or in part, in a special flood hazard area shall be designated and constructed to safely withstand flood loads reaching the flood protection elevation. 

Flood damage resistant materials shall be used below the elevation of the lowest flood required by the Floodplain Management Regulations adopted on June 15, 2022.  Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing fixtures and components shall be at or above the lowest floor elevation requirements.  New electric panel boards shall be at least two feet above the flood protection elevation.  The flood protection elevation is the base flood elevation plus one (1) foot of free board.

Additional standards may apply to Substantial Damage and Substantial Improvements of structure located in the special flood hazard area.

Build to be safe from flooding now and in the future.  Retrofit homes or businesses in flood zones, do not build in the floodway.  Since half of Highlands Borough is in a Special Flood Hazard Zone, you should be aware that the question is not if we will have a flood due to a hurricane, high tide/windstorm, but when!

There are various techniques that can be used to floodproof existing structures and thereby reduce or eliminate the potential of future flood damage.  This flood proofing process is known as “RETROFITTING”.

The FEMA Design Manual for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Structures is a resource.  It details the retrofitting alternatives. such as:

  • Raising or relocation of a structure.
  • Use of levees or flood walls.
  • Sealing of a structure and the protection of utilities.

Some of the preceding measures may not be practical in certain circumstances, but our Highlands Borough qualified licensed NJ Construction Official is prepared to guide your decision.  If you are contemplating new construction, you must contact the Floodplain Administrator and Building Department to determine what special land use and building regulations are in effect to comply with federal flood insurance standards.  This information is available to anyone at no cost.

Floodplain Development Permit

Non-Conversion Understanding Letter

Non Conversion Agreement