Benton Co Commission to Meet Tuesday, Will Discuss Changes to Floodplain Standards

Flooding in Corvallis’ Timberhill Area; photo by Charles Weaver

With the help of the community, changes are coming to the Benton County Development Codes’ floodplain management standards.  

In order to comply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Flood Insurance Program, and the NFIP’s Community Rating System, the Benton County Planning Commission will meet this Tuesday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss updates.  

Community feedback is welcomed and needed in order to complete any updates, and a public meeting will be held August 17.  

Chapter 83 proposes to reorganize according to the Oregon Model Floodplain Ordinance’s format. Additionally, language will be added to adhere to FEMA and NFIP, and the NFIP’s CRS program, which will allow accessory structure wet flood proofing. The updates will also clarify standards for land division approval, including septic and drain field requirements for siting of non-flood plain land. Finally, standards for constructing residential non-flood plain access paths will ease.  

Chapter changes to the code will be made to better align the Benton County Code to others in the state, as well as to simplify and clarify language throughout. Specific chapter changes can be found on the Benton County website. 

These changes will also provide Benton County residents with a 15% flood insurance discount insurance must be federally backed and buildings must be in a chartered floodplain.  

Benton County residents can provide feedback on these proposed changes by either testifying in-person at the hearing, or testifying via email. Note that the Commission may or may not read every letter before the hearing. 

Send testimony emails by 5 p.m. July 20 to Toby Lewis at toby.a.lewis@co.benton.or.us.  

Please see the full outline of the proposed changes here. 

By: Rebekah Harcrow