NEWS FLASH from Monroe County, November 18, 2022

Monroe County is coordinating efforts across departments to ensure floodplain management ordinances are consistent with Florida Building Code and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements and in anticipation of the new FEMA flood maps adoption. At its Nov. 15 meeting, the Board of County Commissioners adopted amendments to the County’s existing regulations based on the FEMA State Model Ordinance. The amendments are critical for the County to remain in good standing with the NFIP and to maintain Community Rating System (CRS) insurance discounts for NFIP policyholders.

“The most important thing is that we stay in compliance and do not jeopardize our National Flood Insurance Program protections,” said Monroe County Planning Director Emily Schemper.

In summary, the updates to the floodplain management regulations include the following:

  • Update Land Development Code, Chapter 122
    • Eliminates obsolete or unnecessary regulations in conjunction with the Florida Building Code and Florida Division of Emergency Management
    • Applies to all buildings and structures within any flood hazard area to meet or exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
    • Designates the Building Official as the Floodplain Administrator
  • Update Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6 – Buildings and Construction, Article II
    • Addresses Building Official’s authority and duties as the designated Floodplain Administrator
    • Continues to require FEMA Elevation Certificates
    • Retains limits to the size of enclosures below elevated dwellings (299 square foot enclosure limit)
    • Requires a V-Zone and Coastal A Zone Construction Certification Form
    • Reestablishes minimum and alternate engineered foundation requirements
    • Requires non-conversion agreements for enclosures below elevated buildings
    • Requires replacement of exterior mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems, equipment, and components are located at or above the base flood elevation identified on the map that was effective when the building was originally permitted
  • Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code amendments to increase the maximum height of residential buildings to 40 feet, only effective after the updated FEMA flood maps are adopted.
    • Addresses the difference in elevation required in updated FEMA flood maps
  • Amendment to Land Development Code Chapter 138: ROGO/NROGO
    • Updates scoring of pending ROGO permits when new FEMA flood maps are adopted
    • Requires ROGO/NROGO applicants to submit plan revisions before permit issuance, demonstrating full compliance with the current Florida Building Code and the updated FEMA flood maps.

At this time, there is no timeline for when the new FEMA flood maps will be adopted. Monroe County appealed several areas of FEMA’s preliminary maps and is still awaiting final decisions. Visit www.monroecounty-fl.gov/floodmaps to view preliminary and appeal maps or learn more about flood map changes.

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