The Mayor and Council adopted changes to the city's floodplain management requirements and procedures to comply with Federal and State regulations. The city worked with Maryland Department of Environment and FEMA to update the floodplain ordinance to maintain participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Two significant changes to the city's current regulations are required:
- Establish a new Floodplain Permit process, with more rigorous tracking and record-keeping requirements for permitted floodplain disturbance.
- Eliminate previously allowed exemptions from floodplain regulation for public facilities and projects, utilities, fences and play/seating equipment.
The current FEMA flood risk maps for Rockville are being updated and do not accurately reflect today’s risk of flooding.
Property Owners Impacted by Floodplains
The 100-year floodplain impacts approximately 246 parcels of land, based on a gross inspection of the city’s GIS floodplain maps. Some parcels are permanent open space, such as city parkland, street rights-of-way or private open space like golf courses. Many others may have a small portion or corner of the property touching the floodplain or may simply be next to it upon closer investigation. Based on 2014 aerial photos, 16 structures (including garages and sheds) appear to be built within the 100-year floodplain.
In 2014, FEMA listed only seven flood insurance policies for lots located where 100-year flooding is expected to inundate part of the existing house or other main buildings (all built before the 1978 start of city floodplain laws). However, an additional 153 property owners choose to purchase flood insurance for added security, even though their parcels are outside of the mapped 100-year floodplain. For these owners, flood insurance is very affordable and provides them with extra coverage in the event that flooding extends outside of the expected floodplain zone. Single-family-detached lots account for 89 percent of the flood insurance policies in Rockville.