Flood policy could alter streetscape

The new federal flood maps that add thousands of homes to the high-risk flood zone could affect not only residents’ wallets, but the very look of the town, Marshfield Town Planner Paul Halkiotis said. Because residents with mortgages will have to buy flood insurance if they live in the high-risk area, they have a financial incentive to elevate their homes for lower rates. But residents who do not have a mortgage, including older people who’ve paid off their homes, may choose not to elevate, potentially creating “kind of an odd visual” of high and low buildings, he said. Halkiotis warned that the situation could also breed friction among neighbors, as elevated homes block others’ ocean views or cast long shadows where once there was sunlight. “We’re trying to figure out all of the swirling ripple effects,” he said.