The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have finalized new floodplain boundary maps for Rock County including the City of Janesville. The floodplain map revisions will update and replace those established as part of a 2008 Flood Hazard Study. The new mapping has occurred as a result of past flooding along the lower Rock River watershed and as an effort to increase the quality of studies used to determine floodplains and mitigate flood risk. Floodplain boundary maps established by FEMA are used by public officials, lenders, realtors, insurance agents and the general public to determine a parcels flood risk, whether flood insurance is needed, and if special building requirements are necessary.
Preliminary versions of these maps were released in September 2013 depicting the proposed boundary changes. Following issuance of the new maps, the City notified by letter approximately 1,065 owners of property affected by the floodplain maps, posted the maps on the City’s website, issued a press release and hosted a public open house in October 2013 where the preliminary maps were made available for public review and comment. Officials from FEMA, DNR, the City of Janesville and Rock County attended the meeting to assist residents and property owners impacted by the map changes. FEMA’s current Flood Hazard Study and mapping process is now complete and no changes to the maps are possible at this time. Following local adoption of the floodplain ordinance and maps, a separate process is available directly through FEMA for property owners to pursue potential removal of their property from the floodplain according to an amendment process (Please visit the following website for more information: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/19871).
As required by Federal Law, the City must adopt the new FEMA floodplain maps by September 16, 2015, as a condition of continued eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The City of Janesville has prepared an ordinance to adopt the map revisions and update the local floodplain zoning ordinance to ensure compliance with state and federal regulatory agencies. The City Council is scheduled to introduce the ordinance at their July 13 meeting, refer the matter to the Plan Commission for a public hearing on August 3, 2015, and schedule for a City Council public hearing on August 10, 2015.
FEMA has posted digital copies of the finalized floodplain maps and materials to the following website: http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata
In addition, the Planning Services Department has prepared City parcel maps that incorporate the revised floodplain boundaries. Click here to view the maps. Please contact the Planning Services Division at 755-3085 for additional information regarding floodplain zoning regulations.