According to the County BZA, which is relying on hydrology studies done by independent consultants hired by Berg;
"Potential offsite flood impacts of the project have been analyzed, and no significant impacts from the project related to a FEMA 100 year storm event on the bay flood plain will occur. For sub 100 year FEMA level storm events along the Petaluma River, where water should not overtop the existing levee system protecting the property, there will also be no significant offsite flood impacts from the project" (from UPE08-0110: BZA Resolution Denying first Sierra Club Appeal, dated July 28, 2011.)
The project was given an "exception to the grading ordinance for fill in the Special Flood Hazard Area" by the County.
Part of the logic behind this exception is that things are being measured against a FEMA 100 year storm event. I'm no expert in this area and can't speak to the flaws or merits of that, but some have said the risk parameters should be wider than FEMA 100.
Part of the logic too is that the parcel is cut off from the Petaluma River's existing and functional floodplain by the levees.
But the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations have criticisms of all of this that warrant consideration. Hopefully someone with that organization, or someone much more knowledgeable on hydrology and wetlands will comment.
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