It is the responsibility of local communities to adopt floodplain management regulations through their ordinances and court orders. Through the adoption of sound floodplain management principles, communities are to ensure that wise use and building practices are followed in the development of floodplains. This also requires stringent monitoring and enforcement of floodplain regulations. This is critical after a flood as well to prevent unauthorized rebuilding in the floodplain that does not meet existing requirements and to encourage relocation through federally funded buy-out programs. Sound floodplain management can work only as long as the local communities adopt and enforce their local regulations. This can only be accomplished through greater cooperation and partnerships between communities.
In addition to increased funding and technical assistance needs, communities need to be provided the flexibility to use all management tools appropriate to address local problems and concerns. However, counties may be at a disadvantage in developing effective floodplain management programs. As an incentive to have communities adopt higher standards than those set forth in minimum federal guidelines, FEMA has instituted the Community Rating System or CRS. Under CRS, insurance rates are reduced for those individuals who reside in communities that have adopted more protective requirements. The maximum premium reduction potential for an individual is 45 percent. While this incentive for lower premiums is gaining momentum in towns and cities throughout the state, the county governments in Texas do not have this option. Under state law, Texas’ counties are restricted to the adoption of only the minimum criteria set forth by FEMA for program participation. This not only denies county residents lower insurance rates, but it also denies county governments the regulatory flexibility to address local flood conditions that may warrant higher standards. Coalition counties may want to discuss this with their legislators if this discriminatory effect of state law hampers the achievement of coordinated floodplain management goals within the basin.
Need for Affected Stakeholder Involvement
Meaningful participation by affected stakeholders will be critical to the success of the coalition. These stakeholders include, but are not limited to, developers, building associations, economic development councils, and environmental and public interest groups. These groups need to be identified and a process developed to provide them an opportunity to review and comment on the work of the coalition.
Coalition Non-Member Stakeholder List
- State Agencies
- Federal Agencies
- Environmental Groups
- Local Distrcits
- Economic Councils
- State Legislators
- Unsigned Cities/Counties