Local Floodplain Management for new FEMA Flood Maps, Local amendments to Accessory Dwelling Ordinances, Broadband Internet Expansion in the region.
This week we will check in on some trends around the Northwest Michigan region where a number of local municipalities are updating their ordinances or working on real estate issues of importance. Specifically related to Floodplain Management/National Flood Insurance, Accessory Dwellings, and Broadband Internet Expansion.
1. Local Floodplain Management for New FEMA Flood Maps.
FEMA recently completed new Flood Maps or Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) in the Northwest Michigan region. These new FIRMs will go into effect for the localities list below starting on April 19th, 2023. You can check out the FEMA’s floodplain mapping website HERE as well as find more information on the Flood Hazard Mapping process HERE including the ability to submit data to amend or revise the floor map after your community adopts the maps. New FEMA FIRMs go into effect in the following localities on April 19th, 2023:
- Acme Township
- Blair Township
- East Bay Township
- Garfield Township
- Paradise Township
- Peninsula Township
- Traverse City
- Whitewater Township
2. Local Amendments to Accessory Dwelling Ordinances
Over the past couple of weeks, a number of local governments have begun to consider amendments to their accessory building or dwelling ordinances. Below is a list of recent and current proposed ordinance changes for accessory units being considered by local governments in our region. Let us know if you are aware of additional accessory building or dwelling ordinance amendments!
- The East Bay Township Zoning Ordinance Steering Committee as a result of a Zoning Audit is considering a list of potential updates to their Accessory Buildings Ordinance Text (can be viewed in their March 15th Zoning Ordinance Subcommittee Meeting Packet on pages 2-4). The specific Accessory Buildings Ordinance text changes can be viewed in the March 15th Zoning Ordinance Subcommittee Meeting Packet on pages 18-23.
- The Elmwood Township Planning Commission has passed the following amendments to their Accessory Dwelling Ordinance listed on pages 34-40 to be considered by the Elmwood Township Board.
- The Paradise Township Planning Commission has recommended amendments (page 3) to #20-05 Accessory Dwellings which they are returning to the Paradise Township Board for review.
3. Broadband Internet Expansion in the Region
Antrim, Benzie, and Leelanau have been continuing efforts to increase Broadband Internet access across their respective counties with the following updates so far to date:
- The Antrim County Planning Commission submitted a letter of support on March 7th, 2023 for Great Lakes Energy Truestream’s application to the ROBIN (Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks) Grant Program (grants were due by Tuesday, March 14th at 4 pm) to provide broadband connectivity to the southern and central parts of Antrim County. View the Letter of Support in the March 7th, 2023 Antrim County Planning Commission Meeting on page 11.
- Benzie County has already committed up to $1,500,000 to assist with connecting close to 2,000 homes working through Cherry Capital Communications. Benzie County is recommending additional funding for these efforts totaling 30% of American Rescue Plan Act Funding (ARPA) which equates to $1,035,251 and is also seeking a grant from the State of Michigan for the Realizing Opportunities with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant program. View the Benzie County Memorandum with recommendations in the March 14th, 2023 Benzie County Board of Commissioners Meeting Packet on page 37.
- Leelanau County was last provided an update on their Broadband Expansion Project at their January 17th, 2023 Board of Commissioners Regular Session. View the presentation HERE. You can view more information including upcoming broadband coverage projects in the Leelanau County area HERE.