Shawnee County Floodplain Management

Protection Resolutions Prevention.

Floodplain Development

The Shawnee County Floodplain Management Regulations applies to all lands within unincorporated Shawnee County identified as A Zones, AE, AO, and AH Zones on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) dated September 29, 2011. No development within these Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) shall be permitted except through the issuance of a Floodplain Development Permit by the Shawnee County Planning Department.

Floodplain Development Permit

A Floodplain Development Permit is required to be obtained from the Shawnee County Planning Department prior to any development (man-made change) made to property within the SFHA. This includes buildings or other structures, filling, grading, paving, dredging, mining, excavating or drilling operations, or storage of equipment or materials. No person, firm, corporation, or unit of government shall initiate any development or substantial improvement or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a separate Floodplain Development Permit for each structure or other development.

Residential Construction. New construction or substantial improvement of any residential structures, including manufactured homes, shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated a minimum of one (1) foot above the base flood elevation. The elevation of the lowest floor shall be certified by a licensed land surveyor or registered professional engineer using FEMA's Elevation Certificate.

Non-Residential Construction. New construction or substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial, or other non-residential structures, including manufactured homes, shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated a minimum of one (1) foot above the base flood elevation or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, be dry-floodproofed to a minimum of one (1) foot above the base flood elevation. A registered professional engineer or architect shall certify as to the standards of construction. The elevation of the lowest floor shall be certified by a licensed land surveyor or registered professional engineer.

Elevation Certificate (EC)

The Elevation Certificate is the way for a community to comply with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirement that the community obtain the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved structures and maintain a record of such information. The Elevation Certificate also is required to properly rate structures constructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for flood insurance premiums. Accordingly, an elevation certificate prepared and certified by a licensed land surveyor, or registered professional engineer must accompany each application for a floodplain development permit for all structures within the SFHA. Upon completion of construction, a post construction finished floor elevation certificate is required to be submitted.

Substantial Improvement/Damage (SI/SD)

Substantial Improvement is defined as any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement to an existing structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the structure's appraised or market value before start of construction.

Substantial Damage is defined as damage of any origin (e.g. fire, flood, tornado, etc.) sustain by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to a pre-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

If the cost of improvements or cost to repair damages (from any cause) to a building in a SFHA equals or exceeds 50%, the entire building must be brought into compliance with the elevation requirement for new construction.

Cumulative Improvement (CI). In addition, a structure may be improved (remodeled or enlarged) without conforming to current requirements for elevation so long as the cumulative value of all work done within the last five (5) calendar years does not exceed 50% of the structure's market value calculated prior to the commencement of all the improvements made in the prior five (5) years. If the cumulative value of all improvements over the last five (5) calendar years exceeds 50%, then the entire structure must be brought into compliance.

County staff is available to make site visits, if requested, to review flooding and drainage issues. Contact the Shawnee County Planning Department at (785) 251-5410 for further information and prior to undertaking any activity within the floodplain.