Incorporating NFIP Requirements into Local Ordinances and Regulations

As a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), your community is required to follow various rules, such as requiring permits for all development in the V and A zones (as mapped on your community’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps). Development includes “any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.” Adding NFIP requirements to your local bylaws/ordinances and associated regulations can help increase compliance, ensure your community remains in good standing under the NFIP, and decrease unnecessary confusion among permit applicants, as well as boards and departments.

FEMA recommends adding the following language to local regulations:

The base flood elevations used for the purpose of administering this ordinance shall be established by the Building Official (or Floodplain Administrator) using Stillwater elevations (SWEL) and methodology described in FEMA’s Flood Recovery Guidance for _________ Parish, dated ______. The Flood Recovery Guidance shall also be used by the Building Official as the basis for determining the landward boundary of the floodplain.