BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Some homeowners in unincorporated Boulder County whose homes were damaged during September’s historic flooding may not be able to rebuild.
Land use managers aren’t granting any rebuilding permits at this point as they continue to assess the situation.
“We want to make sure people are in safe situation,” said land use director Dale Case.
Case says the flooding changed floodplains in the area, and granting permits right now could jeopardize future FEMA funding as well as raise insurance rates.
“It affects our insurance rating as a county and it affects everyone in the county’s insurance rates,” he said.
County commissioners will meet Wednesday to temporarily change land use code, which would streamline the permit process and allow rebuilding if it’s safe or rebuilding on a different location. But for some the future is uncertain.
“Do you think there will ever be a time when you are put in a position where you will have to say ‘I’m sorry, you just cant rebuild?’ ” CBS4 reporter Mark Taylor asked Case.
“I think there will be times,” Case responded.
There are hundreds of victims who have applied for the permits in the past month, and among them is Susan Schimas, who has lived in Fourmile Canyon in the foothills west of Boulder for 13 years. She is still in the process of cleaning mud out of her home.
“I had a walking bridge — it just vanished,” said Schimas.
During the flooding at her house the creek levels were waist high.
“That creek that added so much to the charm also turned out to be a big risk for flood,” she said.
Upon applying for a rebuilding permit, Schimas was told she may not get one.
“They said that they are making decisions currently about this very subject,” she said.
Schimas feels that the county has done a great job handling the situation so far, but she’s hoping she doesn’t have to move.
“This is such a beautiful place, such a special place. It’s a beautiful canyon and the community that we have here is very special,” she said.
Boulder County is currently working on a possible buy back program for those who aren’t allowed to rebuild.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.