Potential renters and buyers in San Francisco will now have access to the latest information about the city’s low-lying areas prone to flooding before deciding to move into a property, following a vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors on Feb. 13.
Supervisors voted unanimously to require homeowners or landlords of city properties to disclose to buyers or tenants whether the property is within a flood risk zone.
“This legislation is meant to protect consumers and provide them with information so they can decide what flood risks mitigation measures to take,” Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee said in a news release. Yee sponsored the legislation.
The flood risk information is based on a new map created by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which identifies more than 4,000 properties that are vulnerable to storm runoff occurring during a 100-year storm — a term used to describe an extreme storm that has a 1 percent chance of happening during any given year.
SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly Jr. said, “In this era of climate change, when weather patterns are increasingly more uncertain, we want to provide as much information and assistance as possible to our residents regarding flooding in San Francisco.”
According to the SFPUC, in addition to the flood risk map, the agency has also identified neighborhoods with the greatest flood risks and prioritized projects in those areas. Proposed upgrades to the flood-prone neighborhoods total $700 million.
The projects in the flood areas are in addition to other improvements the SFPUC is working on, such as upgrading in the city’s sewer system and addressing seismic reliability and aging infrastructure.
Throughout the year, the SFPUC and the San Francisco Department of Public Works routinely work together to clean pipes and clear storm drains to prevent flooding during major storms.
Then, before and after a storm happens, the SFPUC installs temporary flood barriers at 17th and Folsom streets in the Mission District to help minimize floodwater in the low-lying area. The SFPUC also gives out free sandbags to residents and, through the Floodwater Grant Program, reimburses property owners up to $100,000 for improvements made to prevent flooding.
If the legislation is signed by Mayor London Breed, the SFPUC’s next step will be to mail written notices to all property owners within the flood risk zones, informing them of the new disclosure rules.
Story originally published by Bay City News.