While FIRMs are primarily used for flood insurance purposes and to identify flood risk, they also provide a basis for the City of Nassau Bay to regulate development within FEMA’s floodplains. The location of a property relative to FEMA’s flood zones indicates what restrictions may be placed on new and substantially improved construction.
All development in the floodplain, which encompasses all of Nassau Bay, requires a permit per the Nassau Bay Code of Ordinances. Any development in the floodplain without a permit is illegal and should be reported to the City’s Building Department by calling 281-333-4211. Development includes, but is not limited to, all new construction, filling, grading, and paving. Substantially damaged or improved structures, where the cost of repair (regardless of the cause of damage) or improvements to a structure equal or exceed 50% of the building’s market value, also require building permits and elevation certificates, and are held to the same standards as new construction. In most cases, substantially damaged or substantially improved structures will need to be brought into compliance with the current code and regulations which may mean elevating the structure. The City of Nassau Bay is an active participant in the FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Home Elevation Program to help offset the cost of elevating structures that have flooded repeatedly. Click here for more information on the elevation program.
Communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program must regulate to minimum standards in order to provide subsidized flood insurance to their citizens. In some cases, the City of Nassau Bay has chosen to implement higher standards to provide further protection to its citizens. One higher standard Nassau Bay adheres to in Chapter 8.5, Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance is the requirement of all new construction and substantially improved structures to be built to at least 24 inches above the base flood elevation. The elevation requirement also extends to all equipment servicing the building such as an air conditioning unit or ductwork. This higher standard provides added protection to structures but does not eliminate the flooding threat. It also benefits homeowners by giving them discounts on their flood insurance, depending on how high their structure is above the base flood elevation. Click here for a list of addresses with finished construction elevation certificates on file in the Building Department (copies are available upon request). For more information on development requirements in Nassau Bay such as building codes, permits, and inspections, refer to the Building Department page.