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> 2013 Flood > Planning and Building

Flood 2013 Recovery Information

Floodplain Issues

Rebuilding Scenarios – Can I rebuild?

Rebuilding is very dependent on your flood zone. What is my flood zone?

Answer: Please see the Floodplain Zoning District handout for a graphic of the floodplain, flood fringe and floodway. Please visit our Floodplain Information Locator to see what flood zone your property is in.

Scenario 1

  • Structure sustained less than 50% damage in any flood zone

Answer: Structures that sustained less than 50% damage are not considered substantially damaged and may be repaired without having to elevate. These structures will remain non-conforming with respect to floodplain regulations. Appropriate building permits, floodplain development permits and septic permits must be obtained.

If you rebuild above and beyond the pre-flood condition, the additional work will be used to consider if the structure is being "substantially improved". If you are substantially improving your structure, you will be required to comply with current floodplain regulations. If the structure is in the flood fringe, you may substantially improve as long as you elevate a minimum of 18 inches above the *advisory BFE. If the structure is within the floodway, you are not allowed to substantially improve.

*Advisory BFE: Base Flood Elevation determined by Larimer County using best available information. This could include but is not limited to high water mark, mapped BFE, regulatory profile depth, or other technical determinations as more information is generated.

**The property owner should be aware that future mapping may be done by FEMA that could place them into a mapped floodplain and this could substantially increase flood insurance rates and their ability to rebuild in the future.

Scenario 2

  • Structure was in a currently mapped floodway and
  • Sustained more than 50% damage

Answer: Structures that were in the designated floodway were non-conforming with regards to FEMA and local floodplain regulations. If the structure sustained more than 50% damage, it is considered "substantially damaged" and must comply with current floodplain regulations. Current regulations prohibit structures within the floodway, so you will not be able to rebuild in that location.

Scenario 3

  • Structure was in a currently mapped flood fringe and
  • Sustained more than 50% damage

Answer: Structures in a currently mapped flood fringe are not prohibited from rebuilding, but must meet the requirements for elevation (a minimum of 18 inches above *advisory BFE) and land reclamation explained in the FAQ below. Appropriate building permits, floodplain development permits and septic permits must be obtained.

*Advisory BFE: Base Flood Elevation determined by Larimer County using best available information. This could include but is not limited to high water mark, mapped BFE, regulatory profile depth, or other technical determinations as more information is generated.

**The property owner should be aware that future mapping may be done by FEMA that could place them into a mapped floodplain and this could substantially increase flood insurance rates and their ability to rebuild in the future.

Scenario 4

  • Structure was outside of a currently mapped floodplain, but

  • Sustained more than 50% damage due to flooding

Answer: Structures outside the limits of the currently mapped floodplain are not prohibited from rebuilding, but must meet the requirements for elevation (a minimum of 18 inches above *advisory BFE) and land reclamation explained in the FAQ below. Appropriate building permits, floodplain development permits and septic permits must be obtained.

*Advisory BFE: Base Flood Elevation determined by Larimer County using best available information. This could include but not limited to high water mark, mapped BFE, profile depth, or other technical determinations as more information is generated.

**The property owner should be aware that future mapping may be done by FEMA that could place them into a mapped floodplain and this could substantially increase flood insurance rates and their ability to rebuild in the future.

Scenario 5

  • Structure is not located adjacent to a currently mapped floodplain, but is located near a stream shown on the USGS maps and
  • Structure sustained more than 50% damage

Answer: If the structure sustained more than 50% damage and is located near a stream shown on the USGS map, the structure may need to comply with current setback requirements. Generally, this is 100 feet from a blue line on the USGS map or the active channel. If the structure is closer than 100 feet and you are planning on requesting a variance, you will need to hire a licensed engineer to determine the limits of the 100-year floodplain and water surface elevation. You will need to be outside of these limits for the Larimer County Engineering Department to support a variance to rebuild a structure. The final decision is made by the Community Development Director. Appropriate building permits and septic permits must be obtained.

Can I reclaim my property?

Scenario A

  • Property was eroded away due to the flood and
  • Property was located in or adjacent to a mapped floodplain

Answer: The flood physically changed the location and characteristics of the floodplain. To permanently reclaim your property, you must obtain approval from the Larimer County Flood Review Board. You need to provide a site plan and show through a technical model prepared by a licensed professional engineer that the work does not cause a rise in the Base Flood Elevation on adjacent properties. The report should also adequately demonstrate that any bank stabilization practices are appropriate for the specific conditions at the site and the model must properly tie into the existing conditions upstream and downstream of the site.

Scenario B

  • The flood deposited significant debris on my property

Answer: You may remove debris from your property without a Floodplain Development Permit. A Floodplain Development Permit is required if the activities include new construction, modifications, improvements, excavation, filling, paving, drilling, driving of piles, mining, dredging, land clearing, grading, permanent storage of materials and/or equipment.

Will the floodplains be remapped since the river is no longer in the same location?

Answer: At this time, we do not know an estimated time frame for remapping the floodplain. We can tell you that remapping a floodplain is a very time intensive process and could take years to complete.

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.