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Islip Town code amended to ease home raising after Sandy

Firefighters walk through flooding at Main Street and

Firefighters walk through flooding at Main Street and Degnon Boulevard in Islip as a result of superstorm Sandy. (Oct. 30, 2012) Credit: Mario Gonzalez

The Islip Town Board this week voted to amend town code height restrictions, making it easier for homeowners flooded during superstorm Sandy to raise their homes.

Town officials said the way town code was written restricted residents in FEMA-designated special flood-hazard areas from elevating their homes to avoid future flooding.

The town board held a public hearing on the amendment at a February meeting but said it wanted to wait for input from the Fire Island National Seashore, since Fire Island homes would be affected.

“It is important that we get this done as quickly as possible,” said West Islip resident Bill Jacobs. “We’re waiting to do the rest of the restorations to our homes until after we lift.”

Before the amendments, town code provided a 37-foot height restriction on homes in Residence A, AA and AAA districts. In Residence B and BAA districts the restriction was 30 feet, and was measured from the ground in both cases, which is usually below FEMA’s flood lines.

The amendment allows homeowners in Residence Zones A, AA, and AAA to build up to 35 feet and those in B and BAA up to 28 feet, measured from FEMA’s flood lines instead of the ground.

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