Jacksonville City Councilmembers File Bill From Storm Resiliency Committee

May 9, 2019

Councilmembers Lori Boyer and Jim Love have filed a bill they hope will better prepare Jacksonville for sea-level rise and flooding.

The legislation comes from the city’s Storm Resiliency and Infrastructure Development Review Committee.

The ordinance (2019-331) would do three main things:

  1. It would establish a 25 foot floodway setback, prohibiting development within 25 feet of floodways, which are the low-lying areas near rivers and streams where building is regulated to protect upstream areas from increased flooding.
  2. It would raise the minimum elevation for the bottom floor of new developments in special flood hazard areas from one to two feet.
  3. It would require AASHTO Class A-3 Soil, or fine sand, to be used as fill in developments in floodways or floodway setbacks. Other more permeable soil types commonly used as fill can slow groundwater flow and raise groundwater levels in surrounding areas, increasing flood risks.

Related: Jax Resiliency Committee To Recommend Building Regulations

If City Council approves the legislation, it would go into effect as soon as it’s signed by Mayor Lenny Curry.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.