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Due to the prevalence of incomplete and inaccurate information as reported in the media, it is important to inform the residents of Asbury Park about the correct facts regarding communications between the City and FEMA regarding the proposed Beach Club.
First, the March 1, 2021 letter to the City from Scott V. Duell, Chief of Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch, FEMA, did not threaten to put the City on probation, instead it merely explained the features of the FEMA Flood Insurance Program and requested information about the status of the City’ s consideration of the proposed Beach Club and its compliance with the Program. It also requested, among other things, information about the Floodplain Development Permit for the Beach Club project.
Secondly, Donna Vieiro, City Manager, timely replied to the request by letter dated April 12, 2021. The letter explained that the review by the City for compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program was premature because the construction plans had not yet been submitted to the City Construction Department. Once construction plans are submitted, they are reviewed by City staff and consultants for compliance with the most restrictive Design Flood Elevation requirements currently available, for projects within all Special Flood Hazard Areas. Ms. Vieiro’ s response also offered to provide any further information required by FEMA. The City has not received any further requests from Chief Duell (for information pertaining to the proposed Beach Club).
Typically, detailed construction plans are not prepared until applicants have received final Planning Board approval. At the time of the FEMA letter, the Beach Club application was still pending before the Planning Board. To date, detailed construction plans have not yet been submitted for review by the City or its designated Flood Plain Manager, Anton Getz of T&M Associates.
Finally, it is essential to stress that not only is the participation by the City of Asbury Park in the National Flood Insurance Program not in jeopardy, but also that, if the construction plans for the Beach Club, or any other project in the Special Flood Hazard Area, are not in compliance with the most restrictive requirements, a Floodplain Development Permit will NOT be issued by the City unless and until they do so.