Preventing Flood Damage Through Intermunicipal Project Review & Floodplain Overlay Districts

APA New York Upstate Chapter


Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 9 p.m. EDT

Brighton, NY, United States

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This session will include a presentation, discussion, and hands-on activities designed to educate those in attendance about the ecological purpose of floodplains, the No Adverse Impact approach to flood plain management, New York General Municipal Law § 119-u, and the Model Intermunicipal Floodplain Overlay District Local Law. These disparate pieces come together to identify how NYS GML § 119-u allows New York State municipalities to implement the No Adverse Impact approach to Floodplain management across jurisdictions in a home rule state.

The session will start with an introduction to floodplains and floodplain management from a local town engineer and certified floodplain manager. This portion of the presentation will focus on the hydrology of floodplains and the impacts to flood flows and flood storage that can occur due to human development or land use choices that can improve or hamper flood mitigation efforts. Context will be provided at the municipal, intermunicipal, and watershed scales.  

The next presenter will introduce New York General Municipal Law § 119-u, which allows municipalities to create an “intermunicipal overlay district for the purpose of protecting, enhancing, or developing community resources that encompass two or more municipalities.” The presenter will then help those in attendance understand how to utilize intermunicipal overlay districts in the context of the Model Intermunicipal Overlay District Local Law which is designed to allow municipalities to enter into intermunicipal agreements to ensure floodplains remain viable avenues for flood flows and flood storage.

Combined, the materials promote the No Adverse Impact approach to floodplain management by encouraging neighboring municipalities to coordinate and implement a new planning and development review process to reduce flood damage to downstream properties.

The final part of the session will require participants to act as municipal officials who need to administer a Floodplain Overlay District Local Law. They will be presented with a site plan and as a group those in attendance will need to identify the flood plain concerns, undergo the floodplain referral process, and communicate with the sending or receiving municipality. In addition to educating those in attendance on floodplains and hydrology; the intermunicipal overlay district adoption process; the overlay district local law; those in attendance will learn how to administer and apply what they have learned in a real world scenario.


John Gauthier

John Gauthier is an Associate Engineer with the Town of Greece Dept. of Public Works and acting Town Engineer. He has been employed by The Town of Greece for the past 15 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Detroit, Master of Science ... Read More

Jayme Breschard Thomann

Jayme Thomann, AICP, CFM, is a Senior Planner at Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC) in Rochester, New York where she has provided comprehensive planning support to a nine county region since 2006. Jayme’s focus areas are water resources and historic preservation planning. Water resources planning includes ... Read More

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