Only three days before a federally mandated deadline, the Leesburg Town Council on Tuesday night adopted updated floodplain maps. The action brings the town into compliance with FEMA regulations but left some residents uncertain of the impact on their properties.
Following a public hearing, the council unanimously adopted changes to the town’s Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision and Land Development Regulations, Design and Construction Standards Manual, and Town Code needed to continue the town’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The new maps required all Loudoun’s towns and the Board of Supervisors have completed or are working through related regulatory updates. The deadline to complete the work is Feb. 17.
During Tuesday’s hearing, residents from two neighborhoods raised concerns about the map changes.
The floodplain increased on some lots in Prospect Hills, sparking concerns that the property owners may not be able to expand their homes or construct outbuildings. While there are appeal procedures in place to challenge the floodplain boundaries, the Town Council is not authorized to make changes.
Residents on Monroe Street also raised concerns about Town Branch flooding that occurs behind their homes, suggesting that a berm might address the problem. However, such an effort is not so simple, with alterations to floodplain boundaries requiring engineering studies and approval from FEMA.
Details about the floodplain update can be viewed at leesburgva.gov/floodplain.