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Any development in a flood plain carries a risk of increasing flood elevations and causing damage to the development and nearby properties. The City of Garland is committed to the concept of "zero-rise" flood plain development.
This means that any development within a flood plain in Garland must ensure that no rises in 100-year water surface elevations occur as a result of it. This is normally accomplished by balancing fill in the flood plain with excavation. A flood study must be prepared by a state-licensed professional engineer. The flood study analyzes the development's impact on the floodplain.
Prior to any construction, the flood study is submitted to and approved by the Engineering Department. These requirements apply to FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), as well as smaller flood plains within the City that do not appear on FEMA-published Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Section 3.86 of the Garland Development Code contains the requirements that must be met in order to secure a Flood Plain Development Permit.
In addition, any development project within a FEMA SFHA must conform to all FEMA requirements outlined in Section 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR), chapters 59 through 78.
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It is the area of land inundated by flood waters from a storm that has a 1% probability of being equaled or exceeded in any given 12-month period. Some smaller watercourses in Garland are not shown on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), but are still subject to inundation in a 100-year flood.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) designate most of the 100-year floodplain as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the land in the floodplain within Garland subject to a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given 12-month period and is designated as Zone AE on the FEMA published FIRMs for the City of Garland.
Per the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) all residential or commercial structures that are located within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are required to carry flood insurance in order to secure a federally backed mortgage. In addition, your mortgage company has the option to require flood insurance at their discretion.
The City of Garland cannot participate in negotiations to remove flood insurance purchase requirements from a given property.
A residential or commercial building is considered to be within the 100-year floodplain if floodwater levels during a 100-year flood event touch the exterior foundation of the building.
In order to officially remove a property from the 100-year floodplain, it is necessary to obtain a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you want to apply for a LOMA, you must first obtain an Elevation Certificate for your property.
To obtain a new Elevation Certificate, please contact a registered professional land surveyor (RPLS) or professional engineer (PE), licensed to practice in the State of Texas, who is qualified to provide you with that service. Please be aware that not all RPLS’s or PE’s include Elevation Certificates as a part of their business.
If you have a copy of an Elevation Certificate for your property, or eventually obtain a new one, the City kindly requests that you provide a copy to the Engineering Department for its records. The City of Garland participates in FEMA’s voluntary incentive program called CRS (Community Rating System) that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed NFIP requirements. As a part of the CRS, the City is required to keep records of any Elevation Certificate that it obtains a copy of. This helps reduce our community’s flood insurance premiums for property owners in Garland.
While the Engineering Department does not have an Elevation Certificate for every property in the City, it can produce copies of Elevation Certificates upon request if one is currently on file. Copies are available to the public free of charge. You may contact the Engineering Department at 972-205-2170 to request a copy.
A Floodplain Development Permit is required for all development of any type within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). These forms must be completed by the project owner or contractor and submitted to the Engineering Department for review and approval. Find out more information on the Forms page.
Zone A is the section of Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) where the 100-year water surface elevation has not been determined. Only a few small areas within the City of Garland are Zone A. Zone AE is the section of SFHA where the 100-year flood elevation has been determined, as well as a designated floodway.
Zone X (shaded) is an area inundated by the 0.20 annual chance flood, better known as the 500-year flood, with average depths of less than 1 foot or with drainage areas less than 1 square mile; and areas protected by levees from the 1 percent annual chance flood. Finally, Zone X (un-shaded) refers to areas outside the land inundated by the 0.20 annual chance flood event. It should be noted that some small creeks do not appear on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
Interested parties may contact the City of Garland Engineering Department to determine if flood plain information is available for these creeks.
Section 31.101 (N) of the City of Garland Code of Ordinances defines a floodway as the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base (100-year) flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation by more than one foot. Floodways are delineated on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). This area must be kept clear of fences, buildings, fill, or any other obstructions that could inhibit flood flows.
the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base (100-year) flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation by more than one foot
Section 31.104 of the Code of Ordinances specifies requirements for any proposed development within a floodway. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations for floodway development must be followed.
LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) is a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA that a given structure or parcel of property is not within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as shown on the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Typically a LOMA will remove the Federal requirement for the lender to require flood insurance coverage for a property located in SFHA. However, the lender may determine as a business decision or policy that it wishes to continue the flood insurance requirement.
LOMR (Letter of Map Revision) is a letter from FEMA officially revising the current FIRM to show changes to floodplains, floodways, or flood elevations. Typically these letters are associated with large scale map changes or larger commercial or residential subdivision developments. When a LOMR is issued by FEMA, the affected FIRM will be reissued, physically changing the map to reflect the results of the LOMR.
LOMR-F (Letter of Map Revision based on Fill) is a letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land that has been elevated by fill material would not be inundated by the 100-year flood and therefore is not located within the SFHA. This is similar to a LOMA, except that a LOMA details with properties that have not had any fill material brought in to elevate the structure above the 100-year flood elevation.
CLOMR (Conditional Letter of Map Revision) is a letter from FEMA commentating on whether a proposed project if built as proposed, would meet minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) standards or proposed hydrology changes.