FEMA Flood Zones Changing in August…If Buying or Building, Check first!

If adopted, the FEMA flood maps will change in August.  Most of the island changes very little…a few areas become more favorable, but some properties, like areas along South Fletcher, might change from Flood Zone X, to VE.  VE zones are areas subject to wave action, with an elevation requirement as well.  Knowing this before you buy, in an area changing from X to VE or AE, is extremely important.  Consider a building not currently requiring a minimum elevation, but constructed before the change.

Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (shaded) are also shown on the FIRM, and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X (unshaded). https://www.fema.gov/flood-zones 5/12/17

Zone VE The coastal area subject to a velocity hazard (wave action) where BFEs are provided on the FIRM map.

Site costs can change the cost of construction substantially.  In the image below, I also included the coastal construction control line.  This line, the flood zone and added permitting required for oceanfront or, sometimes ocean view property, is important to disclose prior to contract.


The coming changes to flood zone lines make it extremely important to compare before and, assuming approved, after maps for property being sold in Fernandina.

Chapter 62B-33, Florida Administrative Code, provides the design and siting requirements that must be met to obtain a (CCCL) coastal construction control line permit. Approval or denial of a permit application is based upon a review of the potential impacts to the beach dune system, adjacent properties, native salt resistant vegetation, and marine turtles.

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