SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It could be until next spring that a building ban is lifted in the Natomas area of Sacramento.
A building ban has been in place since 2008 due to a high flood risk in that area. President Obama signed a bill June to build up the levees that protect the city.
But Sacramento says it could take nine more months before FEMA will approve it.
That has a lot of people who live there asking, why is lifting the building ban taking so long?
“I’ve been waiting years for them to actually finish some homes that are over there,” said a resident.
It’s been six years since any new construction went up in Natomas and people who live here are still waiting.
“We don’t have control over exactly when we receive it. It’s in their hands,” said Linda Tucker, City of Sacramento Media & Communications Specialist
Tucker with the city of says FEMA must first approve an updated flood protection map for Natomas, which typically takes several months. Ninety days after that, building can begin.
“We are on a fairly fast track,” she says.
Tucker says new construction could get the green light in about nine months. But that’s not great news to David Gordon who not only lives in Natomas, but is also in the construction business.
“That’s a lifetime in the construction field. That’s nine months of not being able to provide for your family,” said Gordon.
Tucker says the city is preparing for the building restart, going over construction now stuck in pause.
“We need to figure out in a very fair and transparent manner how we are going to handle those applications as well as be ready and staffed up to take new applications,” said Tucker.
But for people like Gordon, the day he starts seeing building in his neighborhood again can’t come soon enough.
“We’ve been waiting long enough. Get it done. Let’s get everything built up and let’s get it done right and let’s make this place better than what it is,” he said.
If the decision comes this spring, the city says building could start by summer 2015.
We reached out to mayor pro tem Angelique Ashby, who says the timeframe for new construction is “exactly what we expected”.