Floodplain Management Ordinance Requirements


Floodplain Management Ordinance

Our nation’s floodplains are regulated by federal, state, and local regulations.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky regulates construction and development in floodplains so that buildings will be protected from flood damage.  The regulations require a floodplain permit before you start any repair, renovation, development, improvement, or construction.  Development means any changes to the property, including filling, regarding, and excavating. 

All communities participating in the NFIP have a local Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

Local Ordinance includes:

  • Authorization & Purpose
  • Definitions
  • Provisions (where it applies)
  • Administrator duties
  • Development Requirements


Code of Federal Regulations Overview

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government.  It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The 50 subject matter titles contain one or more individual volumes, which are updated once each calendar year, on a staggered basis.


Follow the links to specific sections of the CFR for floodplain regulations in Part 59 and Part 60.


Link to the 44 CFR 59.1 – Definitions.


Link to sections of the Title 44: Emergency Management and Assistance, CFR

Subpart A—Requirements for Flood Plain Management Regulations

§60.1   Purpose of subpart.
§60.2   Minimum compliance with flood plain management criteria.
§60.3   Flood plain management criteria for flood-prone areas.
§60.4   Flood plain management criteria for mudslide (i.e., mudflow)-prone areas.
§60.5   Flood plain management criteria for flood-related erosion-prone areas.
§60.6   Variances and exceptions.
§60.7   Revisions of criteria for flood plain management regulations.
§60.8   Definitions.

Subpart B—Requirements for State Flood Plain Management Regulations

§60.11   Purpose of this subpart.
§60.12   Flood plain management criteria for State-owned properties in special hazard areas.
§60.13   Noncompliance.

Subpart C—Additional Considerations in Managing Flood-Prone, Mudslide (i.e., Mudflow)-Prone and Flood-Related Erosion-Prone Areas

§60.21   Purpose of this subpart.
§60.22   Planning considerations for flood-prone areas.
§60.23   Planning considerations for mudslide (i.e., mudflow)-prone areas.
§60.24   Planning considerations for flood-related erosion-prone areas.
§60.25   Designation, duties, and responsibilities of State Coordinating Agencies.
§60.26   Local coordination.


Elevation Certificate

Cover photo for the document: National Flood Insurance Program Elevation Certificate and Instructions

A community’s permit file must have an official record that shows new buildings and substantial improvements in all identified Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) are properly elevated.  The NFIP Elevation Certificate  is an administrative tool of the NFIP which is to be used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, or support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Amendment based on fill (LOMR-F).  This elevation information is needed to show compliance with the floodplain management ordinance. 


Kentucky Model Ordinance

Two examples for your community’s ordinance, the minimum NFIP requirement and higher regulatory requirements.  


For in more information, visit the KDOW’s Floodplain Management webpage.


Need help explaining to city officials the value of freeboard?

February 2018 

The ASFPM developed a tri-fold called, “The Costs & Benefits for Building Higher.”  The terminology is relatively simple so that city officials not well versed in floodplain management can understand how communities are safer when building higher, and how their citizens can save money and increase the value of their homes.


Variances and the NFIP – FEMA P-993 

July 1, 2014

The NFIP variances procedures are designed to help local governments protect their citizens and property from flood damages.  Allowing variances to the local floodplain management standards may significantly increase the property’s flood insurance rate and decreased the community’s resilience.  Therefore, by implementing the NFIP variance procedures, a community will ensure that alternative actions are taken that protect and encourage safe development in the floodplain. 

This FEMA_P_993_FPM_Bulletin_Variance publication outlines the floodplain management variance criteria as set forth in Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations Part 60, Criteria for Land Management and Use, Subpart A – Requirements for Floodplain Management Regulations, Section 60.6 (44 CFR §60.6).





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