By Bob Balgemann


The proposed expansion of the village’s Floodway Conservation Overlay District at and near the Rock River was supposed to be back on the planning and zoning commission (P&Z) agenda Monday night.

But that won’t happen as the village intends to give the issue a more thorough look before reaching a decision. Mayor Jerry D. Bolin announced July 5 that the study should take at least six months to complete.

Once that’s done a recommendation as to whether the district should be expanded, eliminated or left as is will be approved and brought forward.

The Floodway District originally was created in 2011 to do the following:

* Prevent property owners from making investments likely to be destroyed by flooding. The district initially affected 149 properties along along and ajacent to the Rock River.

* Maintain flood storage and flow capacity in  the floodway, so as not to expanding flooding events.

* Continue improving floodplain management practices to drive down costs of flood insurance villagewide.

Mayor Bolin said expanding the area covered by the Overlay District and potential development within the floodway is a complex issue, which involves state and federal agencies, the National Flood Insurance Program, the Community Rating Service and property owners.

“Given this level of complexity, it is best to move slowly and fully explore all of the implications and impact on the community,” he said. He added that it is the intent of the village’s administration “to terminate the current petition at the next planning and zoning commission meeting.”

Understanding the issues

In the six months or more to come, he said the village would be in contact with state and federal agencies to get a full understanding of the following:

* How other communities are applying regulations when faced with similar situations.

* Requirements of both the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

* The full impact of the flood insurance program and the Community Rating Service.

The catalyst for all of this was the June 2008 flood, which damaged many properties along and near Shore Drive. In response to the possibility of future floods, the village approved  the Overlay District that specifies what kind of construction activity is allowed within that area.

During a preliminary meeting with P&Z on June 27, village staff presented a zoning map amendment, prompted by a change in the floodway maps issued by FEMA.

About 25 residents took issue with the expansion and expressed related concerns that night.

Residents asked for the point of the amendment, how it helped them, whether FEMA was making the village do this, and whether they would be able to replace aging septic systems, or if a sanitary sewer line was being installed in their neighborhoods.

Recurring statements were that the village does not help them, that they know how much of their property floods, while FEMA does not, and that there already are DNR regulations for what they can build in that area.

In addition, concerns were expressed about too presence of too many geese around there, who is responsible for clearing logs from the river and whether it can be assured that the dam in Rockford works properly.

Some P&Z commissioners also wondered if FEMA was requiring the village to amend the Overlay District, which led to the motion to table this issue until Monday’s meeting. But given the announcement made by Mayor Bolin on July 5, the matter will be on the table for the next six months, and probably more.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.