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FEMA Model Ordinance for Flood Loss Reduction & Fish Habitat

Not Applicable
U.S. Federal
Urban | Suburban | Rural
This model ordinance provides a framework for flood loss reduction regulations for use by any state in conjunction with affected counties or municipalities. Section one explicitly delegates State authority to local governmental bodies to adopt regulations to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of residents. Flood losses occur because of the cumulative effect of obstructions in special flood hazard areas. The purpose of the model ordinance is to promote the public health, safety, and welfare by reducing losses due to flooding by maintaining streams, to the maximum extent possible, in their natural state. The section also provides a list of methods for reducing flood losses. Section two defines the terms used throughout the model ordinance.

General provisions are listed in section three. This section identifies the areas to which the ordinance shall apply and its general requirement, i.e., that no land or structure be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without compliance with the ordinance and associated regulations. The Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for affected areas are automatically incorporated in the ordinance through this section. The penalties for noncompliance are identified. A disclaimer is included that asserts areas outside the special flood hazard area are not immune from flooding and that the State, its employees, or Federal Insurance Administration are not liable.

Paragraph 4.1-1 states a permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any special flood hazard identified in Section 3.2. The remaining paragraphs in Section 4 set forth the requirements and procedures for obtaining a permit and identify the program administrator, her duties for permit review, and requirements for the granting of variances. Section 5 sets forth general flood hazard reduction standards for anchoring, construction materials and methods, utilities, subdivision proposals, and review of building permits. Specific standards are listed for residential and nonresidential construction, manufactured homes, and recreational vehicles. Additional standards for riparian ecosystem protection are also included.