City of Lambertville Council members approved several new ordinances at last week’s meeting. Many of them were simple ordinances.
However, one of the only ordinances they didn’t approve was a flooding ordinance.
When Hurricane Ida rolled through Lambertville in 2021, it hit the riverfront city hard, causing flooding and damage.
If approved, the flood ordinance would’ve designated a floodplain administrator and adopted a flood hazard map, among other changes surrounding flooding concerns.
The ordinance is currently in a jam. It needs revisions and they need to change the language in the ordinance for it to be approved, officials said.
Councilmember Evan Lide said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) language not being approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) makes no sense to him.
Council President Steven Stegman called passing this ordinance “a herculean task” during the council meeting.
A handful of flooding victims were in attendance at the city council meeting.
Bill Neely, a six-year resident of Lambertville, works in historic preservation in New York City. He wanted to own a historic home, so he bought one on Klein’s Court in Lambertville and he said he loves the town and the people he’s met so far.
His house was affected by the flooding. There was four feet of water in his cellar and approximately 8 to 12 inches of water on the first floor, which damaged finishes, walls, rugs and much more, according to Neely.
He’s been repairing the house and is trying to meet the flood ordinance, which brought him to tonight’s meeting.
“My concerns about this are just how unclear it is in terms of what is really required from a property owner,” Neely said.
Lambertville has not provided him with any form of financial relief as of this writing, per Neely.
Neely believes the city is doing the best it can to mitigate flooding risks.
“I’m not sure the city can do much. I mean, the water really this time was a result of the creeks overflowing. I’m not sure that Lambertville has the capacity to manage stormwater runoff upstream from miles outside of the city.”
In other news, the Lambertville city council approved several ordinances and proclamations. The bulk of these ordinances are related to waste management in some way, shape, or form.
Council approved an ordinance related to covering dumpsters, refuse containers and pods. Basically, put a lid on your trashcan or dumpster for the common good of Lambertville to maintain the city’s cleanliness it’s become known for, according to officials.
Another ordinance they approved establishes a yard waste collection and disposal program. Garden waste such as weeds, branches and grass clippings will be collected. The ordinance states all garden waste has to be contained in order to be picked up.
Another ordinance created rules and requirements for cleaning up after pet solid waste. Yes, pet solid waste is what you think it is.
Councilmember Benedetta Lambert called the pet waste issue “offensive.” This issue is especially felt on Swan Street. Every councilmember reiterated the owner’s responsibility of picking up after their pet when this ordinance was discussed at the meeting.
In other news, councilmembers approved a wildlife feeding ordinance that forbids people from feeding wildlife (birds, squirrels, etc.) in any public park.
They also approved an ordinance related to the Lambertville Human Rights Council. Lambertville will be appointing a LGBTQ+ Liaison to the mayor, which will be appointed by the mayor himself. This is among other human rights initiatives detailed in the ordinance, which is a testament to the city’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.