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Updated: 01/11/2014 08:00:02AM



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Impending increases in flood insurance rates have received the lion’s share of attention in recent months, but a proposed change in county building codes within the 100-floodplain could saddle homeowners with crippling costs if their homes are damaged or destroyed in a future hurricane, flood or other disaster.

The change, one of many in the draft floodplain ordinance, would require homes within the floodplain (or A zone) that are damaged in excess of 50 percent of their values to be rebuilt 1 foot above the required base elevation. The additional elevation is known as freeboard. Commercial construction and homes within the hurricane velocity zone already fall under this requirement. The new requirement would affect homes in more than 110,000 acres of the county, including all of Punta Gorda and most of the Cape Haze peninsula.

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