New construction located on a property in a special flood hazard area (SFHA) shall have the lowest floor or the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor elevated to one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE) of the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) in effect at the time of application submittal.
Base flood elevations shown on the FIRM are rounded to the nearest foot. Therefore, to ensure the regulatory elevation will be high enough, BFEs are determined by:
In Riverine Areas: The BFEs will be determined by using the FIRM and the profiles within the FIS.
In Coastal Areas: The BFEs will be determined by using the FIRM and then adding .4 feet per recommendations in FEMA 480.
In Coastal Areas east of the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL): The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor shall either be elevated to the elevations specified by the City of Fort Pierce (as mentioned in the above section) or to the 100-year storm elevation determined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), whichever is more restrictive.
Renovations to a building are considered a substantial improvement when the cost of any combination of repair, reconstruction, alteration, or improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building before the improvement or repair is started.
A building is considered a substantially damaged building when damaged for any reason and the cost of restoring the building to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the building before the damage occurred.
If it is determined that the building is substantially damaged or is a substantial improvement project the building will then be required to meet the same standards as new construction. For residential structures, these requirements typically mean raising the living area of the building to one foot above the base flood elevation under current codes. The Building Department offers flood protection assistance by providing information and advice regarding retrofitting and flood control techniques. You may call 772-467-3198 to speak with our CRS Coordinator for more information.
A "Regulatory Floodway" means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height. Communities must regulate development in these floodways to ensure that there are no increases in upstream flood elevations. For streams and other watercourses where FEMA has provided Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) but no floodway has been designated, the community must review floodplain development on a case-by-case basis to ensure that increases in water surface elevations do not occur, or identify the need to adopt a floodway if adequate information is available.
Encroachments are activities or construction within the floodway including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other developments. These activities are prohibited within the adopted regulatory floodway unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels.
Any project in a floodway must be reviewed to determine if the project will increase flood heights.
An engineering analysis must be conducted before a permit can be issued. The community's permit file must have a record of the results of this analysis, which can be in the form of a No-rise Certification. This No-rise Certification must be supported by technical data and signed by a registered design professional.