Carolyn Moore, Minot
As a resident of Green Valley neighborhood in Minot, I am asking our city council to defeat the "advisory base flood elevation" proposal being considered at today's special meeting. While a sizable check from the federal government certainly sounds appealing, rules and regulations attached to this proposal are illogical, and in some cases, downright outrageous.
Especially concerning to me is how my neighborhood might physically look in a few years if this is approved. Part of the proposal stipulates lots purchased with hazard mitigation funding could never again have any type of structures built on them. Illogical: it would look odd to have random vacant lots in our established neighborhood. Outrageous: eliminating housing stock in a city still hurting for just that. And for what? The convenience of funding that came along first? Outrageous.
Another element of this proposal requires any future building (including additions to current properties) in the newly-expanded flood plain be built above a 9,600 cfs elevation. In my neighborhood, there are least two lots where homes have been demolished; if this proposal is adopted, any homes constructed on those lots would be at least six feet higher than the neighboring homes. Illogical: forcing people to build what amounts to houses on stilts (of course, garages underneath are acceptable but certainly do nothing to improve the aesthetic). Outrageous: diminishing property values of neighboring homes suddenly built "dangerously low" as compared to said homes on stilts. And for what? Getting our hands on easy money, regardless of the strings attached? Outrageous.
This proposal would do nothing but hurt neighborhoods like mine still working hard to rebuild-and improve-following the flood. We in the valley are already living in less than attractive areas for the time being as the slow work of recovery goes on. Money is a dangerous reason to base any decision on, and in this case, doing so will cripple our neighborhoods irreversibly. It is illogical to consider the odd rules and regulations attached to the advisory base flood elevation proposal-but it would be outrageous for the City to shrug its collective shoulders and approve it anyway.