Examiner: Floodway Coalition relieved over ordinance revisions

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In a story about the recently revised floodway rules, Michael Reed of the West University Examiner offers an interesting peek into the thoughts behind Ready-Fire-Aim! governance:

Property owners could not build within the floodway in Houston prior to 1985, when variances began to be granted regularly. As flooding problems grew, the city began considering lot-height restrictions and culvert requirements for large developments.

Many property owners, however, were caught by surprise when updated federal flood insurance maps were adopted, and the 2006 amendment to Chapter 19, prohibiting new construction within the city’s floodways and restricting repairs to existing homes, was adopted.

“We knew it wasn’t perfect when we passed it,” but something needed to be in place to protect people concerning mitigation, Councilwoman Melissa Noriega said of the ordinance at the July 9 session.

Those changes led to coalition lawsuits, one of which it won that has been appealed.

Successful legal challenges do sometimes have a way of bringing revisions to Ready-Fire-Aim! problems.

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Kevin Whited
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