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BUILDING IN A FLOODZONE

Whether you are building a brand new home or embarking on a large substantial improvement project, it is important to make sure you are fully prepared for and informed about the additional safeguards required to protect your family and your property from devastating flood loss. We cannot prevent a flood, but we can be proactive and reduce the amount of damage they cause by retrofitting existing buildings, requiring that new buildings meet the City standards, and encouraging compliance with FEMA guidelines.

Requirements for new construction and substantial improvements in an SFHA (Zone A and V):

  • finished floor must be elevated to at or above base flood elevation;
  • must be designed (or modified) and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads;
  • must be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage;
  • must be constructed with materials resistant to flood damage;
  • must be constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities that are designed and located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding;
  • water supply systems must be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the system.

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Useful Documents

Openings »

Floodproof Residential »

Floodproof Non-Residential »

Elevators »

Free of Obstruction »

Below Grade Parking »

Wet Floodproofing »

Corrosion Protection »

Breakaway Walls »

Fill »

Crawlspace »

Coastal Construction Manual »

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Additional Zone Specific Requirements

Zone A

  • Fill is allowed.
  • Garage can be located below BFE if properly vented


Zone V

  • Fill is prohibited
  • Structures must be elevated using piers, pilings or columns
  • Areas below BFE must be used solely for parking, access or storage and must be constructed with breakaway walls

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Additional Info

Development is prohibited within a regulatory floodway unless you can show “no-rise” and “no adverse impact.”

The entire Flood Hazard Prevention Code, which contains requirements for specific standards, subdivision proposals, floodways and coastal high hazard areas, can be found in the City's Municode, Chapter 14, Article V.