More FEMA Map info

After spending some time searching through the revised FEMA maps, a few observations:

1) The elevations are much more conservative than stated on the preliminary maps released in December.  In many locations near or on the bay, the homes built in 2013 sit higher than will be required from this point forward.

2) Most sections are classified as AE zone.

3) There are new “Special X” zones in locations of higher ground elevation (mostly close to Dune Drive/Second Avenue, and toward the beach).  Not certain if this will result in lower flood insurance premiums for those locations.

4) Still searching for any homes classified as V-zone.  On the preliminary maps, there were large sections on and near the bay classified as V-zone, requiring new construction and renovations to conform to higher elevations and breakaway walls around the pilings (instead of the typical block foundation crawl space).

If you look up your shore property on the FEMA Maps (click here), you will see both the estimated “curb” elevation (ground level), and the required Base Flood Elevation.  A Flood Elevation Certificate for your property will provide the exact figures for the curb elevation.

If you are planning to build new or substantially renovate (more than 50% of the structure value), these elevations will apply.  For example, if your curb is 5 feet, and the Base Elevation requirement is 8 feet: building permits will require the first living level to be approximately 2 feet over the base flood elevation; therefore, 5 feet off the ground.  If your curb elevation is higher (many locations are 8 to 9 feet) the structure can be lower to the ground.

For specifics, talk with a surveyor and/or the building official for your community.


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