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If the addition is a FEMA substantial improvement, then the project must comply with FEMA regulations for building in the flood plain and with the City’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. In short, these requirements include:
a. Elevating the building above the BFE (requirements will vary on type of project - refer to question 6.)b. Anchoring the building to prevent flotation and lateral movementc. Using materials below BFE that are resistant to flood damaged. Using construction methods that minimize flood damagee. Placing utilities above the BFE (HVAC system, electrical and communication wiring, etc)f. Wet-flood-proofing parts the building that are below BFE
If the improvement is being made to a commercial building, the City has a separate worksheet. Call the Engineering Division at 650-330-6740.
a. The building is wet-flood-proofedb. The crawl space height does not exceed four feet c. The crawl space floor is no greater than two feet below the lowest adjacent grade
a. The crawl space floor is no greater than two feet below the lowest adjacent gradeb. The crawlspace height does not exceed four feetc. The building is wet-flood-proofed
Raising your house may reduce the cost of your flood insurance. Ask your insurance agent how much you will save. Multiply the yearly savings by the years you plan to spend in the house. Compare that expense to the cost of raising the house.
The City encourages all building projects in the flood zone, even those that are not FEMA substantial improvements, to comply with FEMA regulations and City ordinance. Structures in compliance with FEMA regulations keep people safer, improve the City’s emergency preparedness and disaster resilience.
All projects completed less that 36 months prior to an application for a building permit are counted toward the cost of the improvement project when deciding whether it is a substantial improvement. If 36 months have elapsed between the issuance of the ‘certificate of occupancy’ for a prior project and the date of application for a new project, then only the new project is counted when determining whether it is a substantial improvement.
However, if the garage slab is below BFE then the lowest adjacent grade (driveway approach) will also be below BFE. This will make it impossible to reduce the cost of flood insurance by removing the home from the flood zone through the LOMA process.