Mayor Bloomberg signs building code bills

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Eric Ulrich

Living and working in Queens flood zones will be safer thanks to new building codes and zoning resolutions recently signed into law.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed several bills intended to strengthen the city’s infrastructure on November 20. Councilmember Eric Ulrich sponsored one bill he hopes will ensure that future construction meets “the highest level of resilience.”

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are the official flood maps which FEMA utilized to detail areas of special flood hazard, base flood elevation, flood boundary and floodways.

This new legislation, along with new building codes, requires FEMA to use FIRMs as the baseline standard moving forward when building. The bill references them as the “best available flood maps.”

“Until now, many property owners in flood zones were unsure about how they should rebuild. By adopting these maps, we will allow homeowners and residents affected by Hurricane Sandy the opportunity to rebuild their communities stronger and more storm resilient,” Ulrich said.