Sea Walls + Flood Barriers

seawalls and flood barriers

The City of Hollywood, FL updated its seawall ordinance (O-2022-01) on February 2, 2022 to establish tidal flood protection regulations, and creating section 150.30 to establish construction and infrastructure standards for seawalls and tidal flooding barriers that account for projected sea level rise.

Sea level rise is currently increasing the frequency, depth, and spatial extent of tidal flooding across tidally influenced areas of Broward County.

Seawalls and shorelines that are below rising water levels allow the trespass of water onto adjacent properties, causing flooding threats to infrastructure, public health, and safety; and on June 4, 2019, the Broward County Board of Commissioners approved Item 39, a motion to draft an amendment to Chapter 39 of the Broward County Code of Ordinances to establish regionally consistent minimum seawall and top-of-bank elevation standards for tidally influenced areas, excluding oceanfront beaches, in the unincorporated area of Broward County to improve flood protection under conditions of sea level rise; and

On January 7, 2020, the Broward County Board of Commissioners enacted an amendment to the Broward County Land Use Plan creating Policy 2.21.7, requiring tidally influenced municipalities to enact regionally consistent elevations for seawalls, banks and berms, and other appurtenant infrastructure (i.e., boat ramps) consistent with the findings and recommendations of the United States Army Corps of Engineers/Broward County Flood Risk Management Study for Tidally Influenced Coastal Areas within two years and

these standards shall be consistent with Chapter 39, Article XXV-Resiliency Standards for Flood Protection of the Broward County Code of Ordinances, which shall serve as the model ordinance, and shall not be applicable to oceanfront beaches or shorelines seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line.

Broward County’s Code Amendment to its Chapter 39 and Policy 2.21.7 are to serve as a model code and planning foundation for municipal adoption of regionally consistent minimum standards and a basis for resilience investments across the community and the proposed changes in this Ordinance provide for effective natural measures to protect and stabilize the City’s waterfronts by permitting living shorelines.

Living shorelines can provide a natural alternative to “hard” shoreline stabilization methods like rip-rap or bulkheads and provide numerous benefits including nutrient pollution remediation, essential fish habitat structure, and buffering of shorelines from waves and storms; and

City staff along with City’s consultant have reviewed and evaluated the County’s ordinance and Policy 2.21.7 in conjunction with the City’s analysis of such standards for areas within the City, and recommend the adoption of this Ordinance.