Construction in a Floodplain
Floodproofing is one way to minimize property loss due to floods. Floodproofing may involve building walls or levees, elevating or moving structures or sealing the structure. Reduce or avoid flood losses by building above the Base Flood Elevation.
Pinellas County enforces specific building regulations to protect people and buildings from flooding while maintaining natural floodplain functions.
Building new construction above the Base Flood Elevation is cost-effective and Pinellas County requires that new or substantially-improved buildings be built at least one foot above the base flood elevation. Building above that may discount your flood insurance premiums even more.
Call Pinellas County’s Flood Information Services at (727) 464-7700 to find out what the Base Flood and Design Flood Elevations are BEFORE you develop your plans.
You may also request a Site Plan Pre-Application Meeting to learn more about the required development standards for the property.
Did you know?
The Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is the elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. BFEs are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps and on the flood profiles. The BFE is the regulatory requirement for the elevation of structures. The relationship between the BFE and a structure’s elevation determines the flood insurance premium.
- Know your flood risk before buying or building in Pinellas County.
- Hire a licensed contractor. To find a contractor or confirm a contractor’s license is legitimate and current, visit Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.
- Find out your Base Flood and Design Flood Elevations.
- Find out what permits are required.
- Get required permits before you start any home repair, improvement or construction.
- Plan for proper drainage.
- Be aware of the Substantial Damage, Substantial Improvement and 50% Rules.
- Obtain the required Elevation Certificate to accurately rate a home’s flood risk.
- Understand Pinellas County building codes and policies.
- If applicable, apply for a Letter of Map Amendment / Map Revision.
- Pinellas County Land Development Code – Chapter 158: Floodplain Management
- Pinellas County Ordinance No. 21-25 – Chapter 158 Amendment Persons with disabilities may contact our Office of Human Rights by calling (727) 464-4880 or by email for additional assistance with this document.
- Plugging Home Drains to Prevent Sewage Backup
- FEMA Guides:
- Build Back Safer and Stronger
- Enclosures and Breakaway Walls
- Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards
- Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated