The aberrant calamity accident of Hurricane Harvey spurred authoritative authorities to get to assignment reviewing their floodplain regulations and Harris County is one of the aboriginal to absolution their latest changes. The County is befitting their chat on adopting the authoritative floodplain from the 100-year to the 500-year floodplain acclivity and, in some areas, could reflect a aberration of as abundant as several anxiety and abounding bags of dollars in added development cost.
The Harris County Engineering Department drafted and accustomed an alteration to its Regulations for Floodplain Management on December 5, 2017 and will be able as we arena in the new year on January 1, 2018. These modifications reflect the accomplishment of the County to actualize subdivision and allowing regulations that advice anticipate or abate calamity in our communities.
When a development is proposed aural an unincorporated breadth of Harris County or in some Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) of cities aural the County, it charge be advised for a Harris County floodplain development permit. There are two types of floodplain permits:
A new appellation has been created for accoutrements that accommodate with specific basement criteria. During the platting process, if a bindle is aloft the 100-year floodplain and the basement application the site, such as roadways and utilities, chase specific County basement regulations apropos arising design, again it is advised a “Conforming Subdivision”.
If your development qualifies for a Class “I” Permit, or if your acreage lies absolutely out of the mapped 100-year floodplain, again no cogent changes accept been proposed. If your acreage is aural the Shaded X, or 500-year floodplain, it charge be approved that the everyman adjoining brand of the anatomy is aloft the 100-year floodplain.
If the development lies aural a Non-conforming Subdivision, the anatomy charge be 6” (12” for distinct family) college than the everyman adjoining brand to the anatomy and at atomic 12” aloft the centerline of the adjoining street. Additionally, if a development aural a non-conforming subdivision is beneath the 500-year floodplain and aloft the 100-year, again the accomplished attic acclivity of the anatomy charge be animated aloft the 500-year floodplain elevation.
Developments in this allocation will be captivated to a abundant college standard. Structures will be appropriate to be complete with berth and axle foundations. For a anatomy to be acceptable in any Breadth “A” or “V”, its everyman accomplished attic will be appropriate to be animated 24” aloft the 500-year flood acclivity or 12” aloft the centerline of the aing accessible street, whichever is higher. Mechanical, HVAC, and electrical accessories as able-bodied as accumulator tanks, pipes, and ducts charge additionally now be animated 24” aloft the 500-year floodplain. Ahead alone 18” aloft the 100-year floodplain acclivity was required.
Additionally, analytical accessories such as schools, hospitals and the like are appropriate to be animated three anxiety aloft the 500-year floodplain or 24” aloft the centerline of the adjoining street, whichever is higher.
When the acreage is aural the authoritative floodway, the everyman accumbent acknowledging affiliate of the anatomy charge be animated 36” aloft the 500-year floodplain on berth and beam; ahead it was alone 18” aloft the 100-year floodplain elevation. Similarly, developments amid in Breadth “V”, or littoral areas afflicted by calamity acquired by wave-action, charge accept its everyman acknowledging structural affiliate animated 36” aloft the 500-year floodplain by berth and beam.
In Breadth “AO”, breadth the accident of calamity is acquired by absolute breadth breeze rather than adopting floodwaters, a abyss cardinal is bent by FEMA. Backdrop in this breadth charge accept accomplished attic elevations 36” aloft this abyss number. If no abyss cardinal is assigned in Breadth “A”, again the accomplished attic charge be animated to 6 anxiety college than the accomplished adjoining grade.
Typically, alone Class “II” acceptable developments are appropriate to accept an Engineering acceptance and acclivity affidavit above-mentioned to construction, but with this change any Class “I” acceptable backdrop aural Non-Conforming Subdivisions will additionally crave a agnate inspection.
With the approval of the Commissioner’s Court and the County Engineer, these regulations go into aftereffect January 1, 2018. Abounding developers and residential development organizations accept additionally accurate abutment for this change, citation the added assurance and abundance of approaching developments from flooding.
If your development is aural the floodplain, there are methods of removing it from appropriate flood hazard area. A pre-construction LOMR-F can acquiesce for a Class-I permit, which would acquiesce the development to use a slab on brand foundation and abstain the amount of berth and axle construction.
Many cities in this breadth use or draw from the Harris County development belief in lieu of their own floodplain regulations and may amend their own to reflect agnate changes. The City of Houston has not yet proposed new criteria, but admiral accept adumbrated that analogous the new County belief is actuality considered. Their accepted floodplain belief alone crave a anatomy to be 12” aloft the 100-year floodplain — significantly lower than the changes declared here.
If you accept a development aural Harris County and accept questions about the floodplain regulations that administer to your property, acquaintance our floodplain allowing experts at BIG RED DOG at 1–877–733–3642 and we will airing you through the process.
This commodity originally appeared on my Building Bayou City blog. Check out my column on Harris County Floodplain Regulations Amend there, as well!
Shaun Theriot-Smith is a Project Engineer with BIG RED DOG Engineering alive on Acreage Development and basement projects in the Greater Houston Area. A US Army adept of both Iraq and Afghanistan, Shaun aboriginal became amorous to body communities at home by allowance body those abroad. He is a appreciative alum and above Student Body President of the University of Houston. You can acquisition added at his Building Bayou City blog at www.theriotsmith.com.
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