Speaker, New Jersey Future and APA New Jersey, New Jersey Planning & Redevelopment Conference/2023, "Upstream/Downstream: Redevelopment or Retreat? Flood Protection Rules, Planning, and Mitigation"


June 23, 2023 | 10:45 AM - June 23, 2023 | 12:00 PM EST

This panel discussed Flood Protection at three scales: state (Inland Flood Protection Rule), regional (Watershed Planning) and local (municipal fiscal impacts).

Regulations at the state scale will help New Jersey residents and businesses prepare for increasing flood risks. The Inland Flood Protection Rule is expected to be adopted in 2023, and will include a change in the methodology for calculating stormwater runoff on particular sites. This regulation also updates rules for redevelopment of existing impervious areas.

Watershed Planning at the regional scale will help communities recognize that watersheds are natural systems that do not align with political boundaries. Regional planning helps municipalities, counties, and property owners recognize their impact on downstream neighbors and seek relief from past practices at upstream sites. Regional tools like the MS4 WIP and stormwater utilities require Watershed Planning.

Mitigation strategies at the local scale can be studied to learn the impacts of flood disasters and homeowners’ responses on municipal finances, property tax revenue and fiscal health. Public policy supports buyouts and elevations in New Jersey localities at inland and coastal (pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy) locations. The results echo through real estate markets and public finances, with impacts on local fiscal health and expectations for gap-filling financial flows by state and federal governments. Spillovers from local actions are not only an environmental issue but also a fiscal issue.