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Floodplain Management

Floodplain management involves the designation of flood-prone areas and the limiting of their use to those compatible with a given degree of risk. It is also aimed at minimizing modifications to streams, reducing flood hazards, and protecting the water quality of streams. As such, floodplain management can be seen as a subset of the larger consideration of surface water and stormwater management within the City of Austell.

Stormwater management has traditionally been involved with the protection of downstream areas from flooding by mitigating the cause of increased flows, whereas floodplain management has dealt with mitigating the effects of floodwaters. However, new emphasis on water quality, nonstructural approaches and watershed management has caused stormwater management and floodplain management to overlap, particularly in regard to the use of riparian areas for mitigating stormwater quantity and quality. The development of riparian buffers and greenway corridors along streams and rivers can preserve floodplain areas and protect their function in safely conveying floodwaters and protecting water quality. Floodplain regulations and development restrictions, particularly when based upon the full build out 100-year floodplain, can greatly reduce future flooding impacts, preserve habitat, and may allow the City of Austell to waive stormwater quantity control requirements for larger storm events.

Flood Control Structures

Local businesses and newly constructed subdivisions having detention ponds are the responsibility of the owner or Homeowners Association. Prior to acceptance of a subdivision for perpetual maintenance, a Stormwater Management Facility Maintenance Agreement is signed.

Legal Authority

Flood hazard areas within the City of Austell are subject to periodic inundation which may result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood relief and protection, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare.

Flood hazards can serve important stormwater management, water quality, stream bank protection, stream corridor protection wetland preservation, and ecological purposes when permanently protected as undisturbed greenspace areas.

Effective floodplain management and flood hazard protection activities can:

  • protect human life;
  • minimize damage to private property;
  • minimize damage to public facilities and infrastructure such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges located in floodplains; and
  • minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general project.