Guidelines for Work in the Floodplain

Conservation Commission Guidelines for work in the Floodplain

The following are guidelines for Applicants seeking a Building Permit for new/modified stair structures, porches, and decks at properties located with floodplain or floodway areas.

Homeowners (applicants) should plan ahead for the review process.  It can take the Commission up to 21 days to hold a public meeting and review the project once a complete application has been received.

  1. The applicant shall provide sketch(es) or detailed drawings with dimensions clearly showing features of the proposed structure (Plan view and Elevation(s)).
  2. Compensation for displaced flood storage volume shall be in accordance with regulatory requirements and the local ordinance. However small elements such as a 6-inch x 6-inch (or smaller) porch post or foundation elements that are flush with grade so as not to displace flood storage volume or, in the case of a flood way, reduce flood conveyance capacity  need not be considered (at the discretion of the Conservation Commission).
  3. Structures shall be designed to allow for floodwater to flow freely around/through the structure (i.e., trimmed with lattice) and without structural or trim elements that would preclude passage of water (i.e., partially buried ring beams, joists, trim boards, etc.).
  4. Surplus excavated material for foundation elements shall be removed from site and disposed of outside the floodplain/floodway.
  5. Applicants shall provide base flood elevation reference data for the project.  Check with your flood insurance provider or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to see if this information is available for your property.  You may need to hire a licensed surveyor, engineer or architect to certify elevation data if none is available. 
  6. A Request for Determination of Applicability will be required. The above guidance is provided to help applicants engage the RDA process with better preparation for more expedient review/approval process.