Environment Politics Real Estate

FEMA Rules On Floodplain Insurance

City of Holmes Beach commissioners presented their first reading of a draft new ordinance related to building code and permitting in the city’s floodplain.

The 31-page ordinance is the result of FEMA, (We’re Here To Help You), having questions about code implementation and compliance with current standards.

On February 12th, the city commissioners put a moratorium on new building permits until a new regulations could be researched and analyzed. The March 25th meeting brought to light the draft reading.

The new regulations are expected to improve ranking with the National Flood Insurance Program system, which provides discounts for cities that participate in the government’s flood insurance program.

Community Environment

Purpose and Place

Organizers of last month’s Cortez Fishing Festival announced it netted $113,000 from the 2-day event.

Cortez fish house

Dedicated volunteers and sunshine brought in about 28,000 people. Proceeds far exceeded expectations and almost doubled last year’s $60,000.

The first festival initiated to purchase 95 acres of historic waterfront raised $98,000.

The funds created the Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage (FISH) Preserve, dedicated to retaining the character and heritage of one of Florida’s last traditional waterfront communities within a natural environment. More privately owned land may be added to the preserve as it becomes available. The old wharves, fish houses, 1912 schoolhouse and 1896 Burton’s Store are in the process of restoration.

Environment Politics Real Estate

We’re Here To Help You

As if the housing market slowdown were not enough to challenge local contractors, now Holmes Beach City has stopped issuing all building permits.

The City of Holmes Beach Commissioners decided the building department stop granting “requests for construction, reconstruction, or improvement of buildings or structures within the flood hazard areas” beginning February 12th. All building is halted while compliance is being studied and codes compared with other communities.

FEMA NFIP 50% improvement

Caught in this moratorium is a partly rebuilt 1950’s house. New walls, windows, and roof were constructed last month but work has now stopped. The city is considering that it may even have to be torn down again.


Great Blue Heron Rookery

A couple of Great Blue Herons nesting in Bimini Bay have produced 3 chicks this season. These are the first to appear out of 6 7 active nests. The most popular spot for the rookery is high up in an Australian Pine tree bordering Fiske Bayou. Two nests are in other pine trees across the bayou.

Great Blue Herons

The Australian Pine has been demonized as an exotic, invasive species in Florida, condemned because it crowds out native undergrowth, has shallow roots, and ostensibly is prone to blow over in strong winds. It is the target of systematic removal by the local authorities. In this location it appears to be the tree of choice for these nesting herons, and has been for several years.


2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review



  • High water and flooding on Anna Maria Island from TS Barry
  • Lower seasonal activity than predicted
  • Record of 2 Category 5 hurricanes
  • Record number of storms (9) in one month (Sep)
  • No major hurricane landfalls in US
  • 15 storms
  • 6 hurricanes
  • 2 major (Cat3+)