People living in Fort McMurray are questioning the province's new rules for flood areas in Alberta.

The province is planning to limit disaster relief for homeowners in floodways and banning new development.

"That's going to be concerning," says Nick Sanders, president of the local chamber of commerce.

Much of the downtown is in the new flood zone including a $127-million arena set to open in two years, the downtown fire hall and major retailers sauch Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Staples.

Sanders hopes the new rules won't slow down the growth of a city that desperately needs to expand.

"It's such a thing as we have one dry-cleaner in town that services 76,000 people," he said. "That's not enough."

Homeowners too are worried.

More than 400 people were forced out of their houses in June when the Hangingstone River overflowed its banks.

So far, 24 Fort McMurray homeowners have applied to the province for disaster relief, many living in the new floodway zone where the new rules mean they won't be able to apply for financial help again.

Although Shannon Walsh doesn't need financial assistance this time, she worries about the impact of the province's new policy on her and her neighbours' future.

"They want to pay for the rest of the mortgage on my home?" she asked. "We just moved here and we're locked in for at least five years.

"Who is going to purchase our home if we were to sell?"

Municipal officials will meet with their MLA in coming days to talk about the new rules.

With files from CBC's Marion Warnica