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Adding fill around one side of the house to raise LAG  

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Doug, I have been out of active practice for a dozen years, but I believe the process you need to go through is called a CLOMR-F. The letters stand for Conditional Letter of Map Revision based on Fill.

The "Conditional" part means that you submit a site plan showing the proposed re-grading. Local officials review it, and the application then goes to FEMA. If they approve it, you are in effect pre-approved for a LOMR-F once the re-grading has been completed in accordance with the plan. The LOMR-F takes your property, or at least the part of it your house is on, out of the regulatory flood zone.

I remember seeing a site plan for a CLOMR-F. It was prepared by engineers from the firm I worked for. There were two elements. The first was placing fill to raise the LAG. The second was creating a hollow area to provide extra space for flood water. That was required because the fill occupied some of the volume that previously existed next to the building. You have to leave the same amount of volume below the BFE as there was when you started. Otherwise some of the flood water could be pushed onto other properties.

So you might end up with a low area on your property, something like a sunken garden. The cut-out area could be landscaped, and you'd still come out ahead because you'd no longer have to pay $2K a year for flood insurance and you wouldn't be subject to the 50% rule. You could still get flood insurance--I would carry it under the circumstances--but it wouldn't be mandatory and would probably cost more like $500 a year.

You need to work with someone who knows how to prepare a grading plan for a CLOMR-F and is familiar with the regulatory process. That might mean an engineer rather than a surveyor, although survey work would still be needed.

 

John Chaffee
LS 15228 MN

 
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John,

I'm not saying I know for sure but what you describe may be a remediation if the structure is within a floodway as opposed to just being in a floodplain.

Dave.

David M. Simolo, LS
Finger Lakes Region, Upstate NY

 
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Dave, you raise an interesting point. I checked on the FEMA site, and it looks as though the requirements for compensatory storage may be set by local regulations rather than nationwide policies--

https://www.fema.gov/compensatory-storage

John

John Chaffee
LS 15228 MN

 
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Thanks for the link John.

Dave.

David M. Simolo, LS
Finger Lakes Region, Upstate NY

 
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