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Not all Superstorm Sandy homes that are affected by the state’s requirements for new Coastal A zone construction will have to go up on pilings, according to the state Department of Community Affairs.
DCA Commissioner Charles Richman said recently that the Coastal A zones are a “very small” portion of the overall A zone and are focused solely on public safety and building protection from wave action and flooding from coastal storms.
“The assertions that pilings are the only permissible way to elevate in Coastal A zones and that block construction is prohibited are incorrect,“ Richman said in a statement. “While the default elevation method in Coastal A zones is pilings, a masonry foundation can be used provided the design professional has analyzed and accounted for all of the loads in the design.”
Municipal officials in Berkeley Township and Toms River have already passed resolutions opposing the new Coastal A zone requirements, which they say are too harsh for Sandy-affected homeowners still struggling to rebuild or elevate.
The new code requirements - which take effect on March 21, 2016 - were developed by the International Code Council (ICC), after builders, architects, engineers, construction code officials and manufacturers contributed their expertise, Richman said.
ICC codes have been adopted in all 50 states in this country and in jurisdictions throughout the world. Contrary to a misperception in some communities, these new requirements do not impact flood insurance premiums at all.”
“The Uniform Construction Code is a performance code,” he said. “The requirements for construction in Coastal A zones, like all code requirements, establish standards for performance. It is up to the design professional, in consultation with the homeowner, to determine the most appropriate way to elevate the structure. And as has always been the case, any design that meets the performance standards of the code would be approved by the local construction official.
Design professionals must always consider anticipated loads, which includes wind and wave action and the ability of the soil to support a foundation, Richman said.
“This is not a new concept,” he said.
Article courtesy of Patrica Miller, Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch