REDINGTON BEACH — Working page by page, Redington Beach commissioners tweaked several proposed ordinances in a meeting that lasted about three hours Dec. 16.
The ordinances were introduced as the commission was finally able to give final approval to a 2019 ordinance that increased the allowable amount of residential hard surface to 65 percent, a change that had been sought by many residents of the community.
If approved on final reading, the ordinances would overcome objections by officials with the Department of Economic Opportunity to perceived issues created by the change in order to offset the potential increase in stormwater runoff.
As a package, the ordinances are meant to create mandatory “peril of flood” policies for:
• development and redevelopment principles and strategies and engineering solutions
• encouraging the use of best practices
• identifying site development techniques and best practices to reduce losses from flooding
• create consistent requirements for flood-resistant construction.
One ordinance would change the rules regarding site plans so that smaller projects would no longer require a complete site plan to get a building permit. Rather, a “site sketch” could be submitted, defined in the ordinance as “a generalized drawing.”
In addition, building officials would be allowed to waive the requirement for any particular item to be on a site plan or sketch.
The ordinance also would create specific regulations for landscaping, rather than the undefined “guidance” in existing code.
One ordinance would repeal and replace all of Chapter 10 of the building code, which deals with floodplain management. In a report, Town Planner Bruce McLaughlin noted the current code encompasses “provisions governing mountain gorges in the Pacific Northwest, riverine situations in the plains states and the Gulf Coast.” Action on the ordinance was tabled to give the Planning Board the opportunity to hold additional public hearings.
Another ordinance would create a stormwater management utility fee. The fee is now cemented into the code; the change would allow the amount of the fee to be raised or lowered simply through passage of a resolution by commissioners.
The proposals add substantially to sections of the code in order to come into compliance with the town’s Comprehensive Plan, with the overarching intent of adopting a Standards Detail Manual. The manual will provide guidelines for developers and contractors, and best management practices “unique to the town’s character.”
All of the ordinances, aside from the one tabled, were approved on first reading.