Properties in the Floodplain

What should I do if my property is in the floodplain?

Knowing your flood risk is the first step to flood protection. The risk for flooding can vary within the same neighborhood and even property to property, but all properties are at risk of flooding and should consider taking the actions below. 

Purchasing Flood Insurance

If you have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender and the building(s) on this parcel are within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), then by federal law, your lender must require you to carry flood insurance. Most homeowners and renters' insurance policies do not cover flooding. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to take effect. The time to buy is before a disaster. and should take steps to reduce your flooding risk.

If you live in a high-risk flood area and have received federal disaster assistance – including grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – you must maintain flood insurance in order to be considered for any future federal disaster aid.

Learn about the types of flood insurance and how to purchase.

Reducing Your Risk of Flood Damage

There are many actions that can be taken to reduce your flooding risk that will depend on your property. View the city’s Flooding Relief webpage for additional resources on flooding relief, preparing for a flood, and flood protection measures.

Building in the Floodplain

If you are planning a construction project on your property and it is in the floodplain, you may need a Simplified Floodplain Permit or a Floodplain Variance and Floodplain Permit. View the permit applications and documents here.

A Simplified Floodplain Permit is required for the following types of work in the floodplain:

  • Public utilities
  • Public facilities owned or operated by the city
  • Minor landscaping installation and maintenance
  • Split-rail fences or other non-obstructive fences
  • Play or seating equipment
  • Patios, decks, paths and paving less than 1,000 square feet (must not raise the surrounding grade by more than 1 foot)
  • Recreational Vehicles stored in the floodplain

Floodplain Variance and Floodplain Permit is required for the following types of work in the floodplain: 
Note: Structures includes principal structures and accessory structures, such as garages or sheds.

  • Dredging, excavating, filling or grading the land
  • Construction of new Structures
  • Substantial Improvement of Structures, including repair of Substantial Damage to Structures
  • Construction, repair or substantial improvement of gas or liquid storage tanks that are principally above ground
  • Placement or replacement of Manufactured Structures, including Substantial Improvement or repair of Substantial Damage to Manufactured Structures
  • Erecting or installing a Temporary Structure
  • Alteration of a Watercourse, including stream relocation, stream stabilization, or stream restoration
  • Subdividing or re-subdividing lots that contain Special Flood Hazard Areas