Develop & Build Responsibly

Prior to any building, please contact or submit a request for a permit from the Building Department. Land development changes the natural hydrologic system and forces water to find a new path from the earth to the atmosphere in response to the altered landscape. Impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, streets, and parking lots contribute to stormwater runoff by preventing rainwater from soaking into the ground. These structures along with drainage systems including gutters, storm sewers, and lined channels can make flooding and erosion worse.

Since floodplains are naturally subject to flooding, building in these areas only intensifies the effects of land development. In areas where water drains off, rapid development can cause properties and structures previously unaffected by flooding to become vulnerable. As a result, flood hazard areas have greater building restrictions and require permits before alterations can be made. Development without a permit is illegal and should be reported to the City. All floodplain building and development need a local permit.

New Development and Construction Rules in Floodplains

  • Detailed site and architectural plans showing enclosures, elevations, foundation openings, floodproofing, storage calculations, grading, flood profiles, etc.
  • Can’t raise base flood elevations more than 0.01 foot
  • Can’t reduce flood storage capacity or change flow characteristics to the depth and velocity of flood waters
  • Verification of “No Rise” conditions
  • Coordination with FEMA through Letters of Map Changes upon any significant floodplain changes
  • New and Substantial Improvements to residential buildings in the floodplain shall have the lowest floor at least 3 feet above the base flood elevation.
  • Creation of new residential lots shall have sufficient buildable area outside of the floodplain to prevent encroachments

View the City’s Floodplain Ordinance.

To report illegal floodplain development or to ask about permit requirements, please call our building department at 678-691-1200.