Local Floodplain Coordinator’s Responsibilities

User Notes for Post-Disaster Inspection Notices

Download the Word document for Post-Disaster Permitting Notices 

Typical Floodplain Coordinators Job

The duties of the local floodplain administrator are included in Article 4, Section 4 of your local ordinance.  Specifically, the administrator’s must:

  • Familiarize yourself with community’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance requirements;
  • Maintain a surveillance of community’s entire flood hazard areas.
  • Require a permit for any activity in the community’s Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs): this includes new and substantially-improved structures, filling, bridges, etc;
  • Assist applicants as needed to complete the floodplain permit application;
  • Review application form for completeness and determine the applicability of the ordinance;
  • Provide a copy of the ordinance and floodplain map to applicant;
  • If proposed activity is not located in a SFHA, you may issue construction permit;
  • If proposed activity is located in a SFHA, refer applicant to Kentucky Division of Water for a State Stream Construction Permit (KRS151.250). Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) will be provided on state permit.
  • Upon receipt of a copy of state permit, you can transfer BFE to local permit and Section B, Item 6 on Elevation Certificate.
  • If the applicant meets all requirements – issue a floodplain construction permit.
  • Perform on-site inspections of permitted project to verify that the project is in compliance with the ordinance. This may include:
    • initial survey to verify location in relation to area of special flood hazard;
    • verification of elevation of lowest floor or top and extent of fill area and;
    • a final inspection to check that development is in accordance with all provisions in the ordinance and approved plans;
  • If applicant meets all requirements, issue a final inspection report.
  • Require and maintain a copy of Elevation Certificate from applicant;
  • Provide public information regarding the requirements of your flood damage prevention ordinance;
  • Investigate floodplain complaints and /or issue Notice of Violations;
  • Promote public awareness of the community’s floodplain management program;
  • Notify state NFIP coordinator of any changes in community status, corporate limits or changes in floodplain administrators 
  • Make floodplain determinations
  • Notify applicants of required permits
    • Assist applicant with state floodplain application
  • Once federal and state permits have been obtained, review local floodplain permit application
    • A local permit should be Issued or denied based on the local application & the community’s ordinance
    • Inspect development (during and post construction)
    • Ensure compliance/issue stop work orders
    • Conduct additional inspections as needed
    • Compile documentation for community records
      • Plans, permits, maps, certificates

NFIP requirements include

  • Elevation of new and substantially improved residential structures above the base flood level.
  • Elevation or dry floodproofing (made watertight) of new or substantially improved non-residential structures.
  • Prohibition of development in floodways, the central portion of a riverine floodplain needed to carry deeper and faster moving water.

These requirements are the most cost-effective way to reduce the flood risk to new buildings and infrastructure.  Structures built to NFIP standards experience 80 percent less damage than structures not built to these standards and have resulted in $1.2 billion per year in reduced flood losses.

In addition to protecting new buildings, the NFIP substantial improvement and substantial damage requirement ensures that flood protection measures are integrated in structures built before FIRMs were developed.  A building is considered substantially improved or substantially damaged when the cost of improving or repairing the building equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building.  When this occurs, the community, which makes the determination, must ensure that the NFIP requirements are applied to these building so that they are protected from future flood damages.


Quick Links


Local Inspection Procedures Step-by-Step

Inspection Phase 1 – Before Construction                 

Note: Click the hyperlinks

  • Require and verify that temporary reference marks are present.
  • Verify that the floodway boundary is identified (staked out) Technical Bulletins.
  • Take photos of the property.


Inspection Phase 2 – During Construction

– Fill Inspections:

  • Fill material is clean and properly compacted.
  • If building on top of fill, elevation of fill should be verified prior to starting construction. – Footing Inspections:
  • Check for required setbacks from watercourse.
  • Check that the location of the building is where the plans indicate it will be located. – Foundation Inspections:
  • Check for proper elevation of lowest floor.
  • Example of a Bad flood vent

    Check to ensure that there is no confusion between flood openings and ventilation requirements. – Crawl Spaces

  • Inspections:  
    • Ensure that flood openings/vents are present.
    • Ensure that the interior grade is at or above the exterior grade.


– Flood Openings/Vents Inspections:

  • Ensure that the required number of vents/openings are present, their location, and size & height are compliant no greater than one foot above grade.
  • A minimum of two openings with a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area. (Ex. 1,000 sq. ft. home shall have 1,000 sq. in. of flood openings)
  • Cheap flood vents are acceptable

    Openings should function automatically, with no action required by property owner – Manufactured Home Inspections:

  • Properly anchored and secured.
  • Pilings must be permanent and reinforced, NOT dry-stacked block.
  • Consult Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas (FEMA 85). – Non-Residential Buildings:
  • Flood-proofed buildings are required to be designed and certified by a licensed engineer (Note: After completion, a Flood-proofing Certificate must obtained).
  • Take Photos.


Inspection Phase 3 – Final Construction

  • Utility out of compliance, not raised

    Verify that utilities and other building elements are at or above BFE.  Note: things that are frequently overlooked include electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures, and duct work, these must be elevated at or above BFE to meet the requirements of your local ordinance.

  • Check for approved use of enclosed areas below the BFE (Note: Parking, limited storage, building access and crawl space).
  • Check flood openings/vents.
  • Check that the fill has been placed according to approved plans.
  • For solid walls, again check to ensure that the exterior grade is at or below the interior slab or earthen crawl space.
  • Verify that flood-resistant materials are used below the BFE, and that the walls and floors of approved enclosures are not finished.
  • Verify that manufactured homes and permanent fuel tanks are properly elevated & anchored.
  • Collect a finished construction Elevation Certificate from the builder/owner.
    • Non-Residential properties may also require a finished construction Floodproofing Certificate – Document compliance and take photos.


Local Enforcement Procedures Step-by-Step

Step 1: Identify violation

  • Document & describe the violation
  • Confirm and note Latitude and Longitude
  • Take photos
  • Attach a copy of FIRMette
  • Refer to Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance to determine what violation has occurred

Step 2: Contact the Division of Water

  • Forward the violation information to the appropriate Division of Water Regional Office.
  • KDOW has enforcement and remediation procedures that work concurrently with local actions

Step 3: Issue “Stop Work Order” or “Notice of Violation”

  • Communities may use the state’s sample notice of violation form (see appendix) or develop a local stop work order/notice of violation (NOV) form.
  • Reference on the NOV/stop work order what section of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance was violated.

Step 4: Issue a letter explaining to the fullest extent possible what needs to be done to remedy the violation

  • Discuss with the community’s attorney.
  • Issue citation by certified letter with reference to the section of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, the remedies required to resolve violation (elevation or flood proofing certificate, state and local permit, documentation that the floodway was not impacted, etc.), and suspension date (seven days from date of letter).
  • When a citation is issued, the person to whom the citation is issued shall respond to the citation within seven (7) days of the date the citation by either:
    • Carrying out the remedies and corrections set forth in the citation.
    • Paying the civil fine set forth in the citation.
    • Requesting a hearing before the governing body or appeals board.
  • If the person to whom the citation is issued does not respond to the citation within seven (7) days, that person shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing, and the determination that a violation occurred shall be considered final.


Remedial Action Examples

  • Fill in the Floodway without permit: Remove the fill or allow it to remain if a floodway analysis is completed and a ‘No Rise Certification’ is approved by FEMA.
  • Fill without a permit: Demonstrate that local drainage will not impact adjacent property(s).
  • Building not Elevated: Demolish and start again, elevate the structure in compliance with the local ordinance, or Section 1316.

Step 5: If not resolved, precede with court actions

Forward citation to the community’s attorney for prosecution of the violation

Step 6: Request a Section 1316 (flood insurance restrictions on structure)

Section 1316 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, which states that no new flood insurance coverage shall be provided for any property that FEMA finds has been declared by a duly constituted state or local zoning authority or other authorized public body to be in violation of state or local laws, regulations or ordinances that are intended to discourage or otherwise restrict land development or occupancy in floodprone areas.

  • Submit request with appropriate documentation through the Division of Water to FEMA for the property to be reviewed under Section 1316
    • Name, address, or legal description
    • Declaration that property is in violation
    • Community authority statement to enforce
    • Evidence of notice of violation
    • Statement in reference to Section 1316
  • Flood insurance will be unavailable for that particular property



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