Legislature Passes Automatic Variance Bill for Sandy Rebuilding

June 25, 2013 | No Comments
Posted by Paul H. Schneider

Both houses of New Jersey’s Legislature have unanimously approved the so-called “Automatic Variance” law to make it easier to raise buildings to the new FEMA base elevations.  The law applies to the rebuilding of any structure destroyed or damaged by Superstorm Sandy, as well as to existing structures that survived Sandy.  A structure of the same vertical and horizontal dimensions as existed immediately prior to the storm (October 28, 2012) may be raised to the new FEMA base flood elevations plus an additional three feet, or to any higher elevation required by the DEP’s Flood Hazard Control Act rules, notwithstanding any contrary law limiting such elevation.  No waiver or variance may be required.  The law also authorizes construction of a staircase needed to reach the new elevation.  The new law takes effect when signed by Governor Christie.

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