Regional Planning Commission (RPC)
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, OHIO
Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission, Lancaster, Ohio.
Regional Planning Commission: Floodplains
Fairfield County is one of nearly twenty-thousand communities who participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in exchange for federally backed insurance made available to owners and renters of home and business. To participate in this program Fairfield County has adopted and enforces the Special Purpose Flood Damage Prevention Regulations. The regulations purpose is to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare, and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas.
Our office administers the regulations for the unincorporated areas of Fairfield County. Lancaster and other surrounding communities administer their own programs. The Villages of Amanda, Lithopolis, Pleasantville, Rushville, Stoutsville, and West Rushville do not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. Floodplain development permits are required prior to construction or development within a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Floodplain development permits are reviewed by staff to determine compliance with the Special Purpose Flood Damage Prevention Regulations.
Floodplain Development Permits
To apply for a Floodplain Development Permit you must fill out a Special Flood Hazard Development Application and have a Elevation Certificate completed by a professional surveyor or engineer. Both of these forms can be obtained through our office or downloaded online. Additional material will be required depending on flood zone, type of project, and site conditions. You are encouraged to contact RPC to discuss the project and submission requirements before applying for the permit. The application fee is $75.
Floodplain certifications can be requested for a review fee of $10.00. The certification involves a review of the location of the property in relation to established flood hazard areas as identified on the FEMA Flood Hazard Maps. Our staff will then note on the certification form if the property is located in an identified FEMA Flood Hazard Area. Flood determinations will not be made over the phone.
FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs)
Floodplain maps may be viewed in our office during regular business hours or online. These maps are scanned versions of the original flood maps provided to our office by FEMA. Maps are subject to periodic revision and are provided through this website as general reference purposes only and should not be used for scaling purposes or for final determinations of flood hazard status in areas close to a flood hazard boundary line. The Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission and FEMA are not responsible for any actions taken as a result of the use of these maps or for any distortions in scale or other variations, which may exist or will occur due to the scanning process, use of the maps on home computer displays, or printouts produced from the digitized maps.
Frequently Asked Questions About FIRMs
What are Flood Insurance Rate Maps?
Flood Insurance Rate Maps, also known as FIRMs, are published by FEMA to determine flood insurance requirements (as the name implies) and to assist communities in regulating new development.
Among other things, Flood Insurance Rate Maps show areas that have a 1% chance of flooding and a 0.2% chance of flooding in any given year (also known as the "100-year" and "500-year" floodplains). These areas are determined to be the areas of highest risk when a stream overflows its banks.
Not All Flood Risks Are Shown
There are other reasons for flooding that are not shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps:
* Actual rainfall amounts may exceed those assumed in the computation of mapped floodplain.
*Intense rainfalls can overwhelm local drainage systems - causing water to pond deeply in the streets or flow overland to the nearest stream, flooding homes along the way.
* Smaller channels may not have been studied. The stream near your home may have a floodplain that is not shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
*The Flood Insurance Rate Maps are estimates using the best technology and engineering tools, but nature can be unpredictable.
Remember, Nationwide, one-third of the flood loss claims are from property located outside of the mapped 1% (100-year) floodplain.
Whats On a Flood Insurance Rate Map?
A Flood Insurance Rate Map will show several things, but most importantly it shows the areas of the highest risk of flooding caused by streams and tidal surge. Some of the information includes:
1% Floodplain (Zones AE, A, AO, and V)
Base Flood Elevations (elevation above mean sea level that the 1% flood reaches)
0.2% Floodplain (Zone X Shaded)
Streets and Highways
Engineering information such as survey benchmarks and the location of cross sections used in computer simulations.
What do the Zones Mean?
The following table shows the different zones on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps and what they mean. The legend on the Flood Insurance Rate Map has a more detailed description of the zones.
|| LEVEL OF RISK
|| INSURANCE REQUIRED*
| ZONE AE
|| 1% (100-year) Floodplain
|| Dark Gray
|| 1% Chance or Greater
|| 1% (100-year) Floodplain
|| Hatched Dark Gray
|| 1% Chance or Greater
| 0.2% (500-year) Floodplain
|| Light Gray
|| Between a 0.2% and a 1%
| ZONE X
|| Areas Outside the Floodplain
|| White (no Color)
|| Less than a 0.2% chance
Note: Zones A and AO are also 1% (100-year) floodplains, but they do not have detailed base flood elevations like Zone AE. There are other zones on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps that are explained in the legend.
*Insurance may be required by your lender if you have a federally-backed mortgage
Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA)
LOMAs have the effect of removing either a structure, a portion of a property, or an entire property from a Special Flood Hazard Area, based on the elevation of the ground. In effect, the applicant must prove to FEMA's satisfaction that their structure is located on ground high enough that the structure will be on its own little "island" during the 100-year flood. Fairfield County's role in obtaining a LOMA is limited so property owners interested in obtaining a LOMA should contact FEMA at:
1-877-FEMA MAP (Toll-free) or
FEMA's LOMA website
Below are a few web links pertaining to floods:
* Interactive Weather Information Network (IWIN) provides a variety of weather data and imagery, including flood and flash-flood warnings.
Weather Information Network website
* The National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) produces a map showing flood potential for the contiguous 48 states. Updated daily at 4 p.m., this five-day outlook provides an entry point for users seeking more detailed hydrologic information provided by the NWS's regional River Forecast Centers and Weather Forecast Offices website
* Generate an online hazard map for your area of interest.
* Information on flood insurance rate maps (FIRM's)
* FEMA's map service center can be used to search for flood insurance rate maps. This page will show the most recent FIRMs for Fairfield County.
* FEMA's handbook on appeals to new preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
* The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Floodplain Management Program includes information on floodplain regulations in Ohio.
Fairfield County's new flood insurance rate maps became official on JANUARY 6, 2012.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
Index - City of Lancaster
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
Index - Village of Baltimore
Using the table below, click the right mouse button and choose "Save Target As..." in Internet Explorer if you wish to save the panel to your computer for later viewing. Please note: files average between 2-6 MB in size and may take time to download
Flood Insurance Study
In addition to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, FEMA also produces a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for Fairfield County. The latest FIS for Fairfield County became effective on January 6, 2012. The FIS is in two volumes and can be viewed by clicking the links below