Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency (ZCFR) is a much-needed permanent overhaul of zoning regulations that work in conjunction with flood-resistant construction standards to better support post-disaster recovery and promote long-term resilient solutions for New York City’s floodplain communities. The measure provides clear and simple rules that treat all building types similarly in order to guide long-term resilient design by proactively preparing the City’s neighborhoods to withstand the increasing risks of future storms, floods, and rising sea levels.
No single flood event demonstrated the vulnerability of NYC’s 520 miles of coastline like Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The resulting historic storm surge flooded neighborhoods well beyond the FEMA-defined 1% annual chance floodplain. In fact, it inundated nearly half of the lots further inland in the 0.2% annual chance floodplain. Sandy left many of the area’s buildings severely damaged and in need of upgrade to comply with NYC Building Code standards for flood-resistant construction. However, the storm’s aftermath uncovered many impediments to resilient building, particularly conflicts between Appendix G Building Code flood resistant construction standards and the City’s zoning regulations.