Floodplain Mapping Amendments
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are issued by the federal government, through the Federal Flood Insurance Program, to facilitate the issuance of flood insurance policies to property owners. The City of Tallahassee does not prepare or issue the flood maps for the insurance program. As a result, amendment to the flood maps is a process between the property owner and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Prior to initiating a flood map revision, FEMA requires that sufficient evidence be provided to indicate a change is warranted. FEMA places the burden of providing that evidence on the property owner, because it has previously gone to considerable expense to analyze flood hazard areas and generate the flood maps.
Two types of map changes are most commonly requested for minor modifications. These are a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). A LOMA is the final result of an administrative procedure in which FEMA reviews scientific and technical data -- certified topographic data and/or hydrologic and hydraulic analyses -- submitted by the owner or lessee of property who believes the property has incorrectly been included in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). A LOMA is FEMA's comment whether the natural ground adjacent to a structure is above the base (100-year) flood elevation (BFE), and amends the currently effective FEMA map and establishes that a structure is not located in a SFHA.
A LOMR is FEMA's modification to an effective FIRM based on the placement of fill, or other physical measures that have been implemented that support changes in the SFHA, BFEs, or floodway. The LOMR officially revises the FIRM and includes a description of the modifications. In addition, the LOMR is generally accompanied by an annotated copy of the affected FIRM.
- Use this link to obtain forms and directions.
- Retain a registered professional engineer to determine the BFE in the unnumbered SFHA. He/she must prepare and seal a letter report (or a more detailed study for complicated cases) documenting how the BFE is determined.
- Retain a registered land surveyor to prepare a FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC). This EC must be prepared according to the instructions provided.
- Complete the FEMA forms and include the necessary documentation supporting them.
- Submit the entire package to the Stormwater Management Department of the City of Tallahassee for review.
- The City of Tallahassee will review it, and if it is determined that the applicant's engineer's determination is the best available BFE information, a letter to that effect will be provided.
- The applicant can then submit the entire package, including the City's letter, to FEMA.
- FEMA will review and make a determination whether amend (LOMA) or revise (LOMR) the FIRM and will issue a letter to that effect.