Building in the flood zone of Hoquiam has some new restrictions beginning next month. The city council last night adopted an ordinance changing their flood zone policies.

Administrator Brian Shay explained, “The biggest change from our old ordinance [is] the base flood elevation that someone would have to build to, our old code says one foot. [this] just changes it from one foot to three.”

Shay said that in order to be eligible for The National Flood Insurance Program from FEMA, the city had to adopt the stricter floodplain management regulations.

The city’s building department has been notifying contractors for months, building permits for new construction, or where the work is more than %50 of the value of the home will now require that the first floor of the home be 3 feet above the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88), not Mean Sea Level, which was previously used.

After a second reading, the new ordinance was adopted unanimously last night and will go into effect on February 1st.