County's '150-mph wind speed line' shifts east

The move realigns Flagler with its neighbor counties to the north and south.

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Last summer, Flagler County set a "150-mph wind speed line" for its category IV buildings — the buildings that have to be constructed to withstand emergencies, such as hospitals and fire stations. 

Given three options — setting all of the county east of the line, making the line follow U.S. 1, or setting the line parallel to the coast east of U.S. 1 — county opted to have the line follow U.S. 1.

Now, it has decided that wasn't the right decision: The University of Florida's GeoPlan Center has used scientific data to come up with a wind speed line that's farther east, and GeoPlan's line has been adopted by Volusia County and St. Johns County, leaving Flagler as the odd one out. 

There's also another complication: A hospital is planned for the Matanzas Woods area, and hospitals are category IV buildings. Building to the high, 150-mph standard would add significant construction costs.

If the hospital or any other company with a category IV building challenged the county to legally defend the current, U.S. 1 based boundary, that could be hard to do because the U.S. 1-based line isn't science-backed and doesn't parallel the coast, said county Growth Management Director Adam Mengel.

"This jog in the line is hard for us to defend," he said. The commission opted to shift to the GeoPlan line.



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