Snohomish County is one of nearly 20,000 communities across the United States that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. This program requires the county to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances and development regulations to reduce future flood damage. In return, the National Flood Insurance Program makes federally-supported flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in Snohomish County’s flood hazard areas
The basic premise of this program is that it is safer and less costly to
minimize flood damage through appropriate development codes in flood
hazard areas, and to insure against future flood damage instead of
relying on more costly disaster-relief assistance after a flood event.
What are Flood Hazard Areas?
Areas that flood are given different designations such as floodway fringe, density fringe and hydraulic floodway these areas are mapped and have specific provisions and requirements for development. The designations are based on the Federal Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and the Preliminary Digital Federal Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM). The maps with the most restrictive requirements will be applied to the proposed development. These maps are based on detailed inter-agency collaboration and form the standards for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
For more information about flood hazard areas or development in these areas please see the information packet and bulletin links below.
Projects proposed within a designated flood hazard area will require a Flood Hazard Permit and accompanying elevation certificate. A separate permit and elevation certificate is required for each individual structure on a parcel.
Shoreline Requirements Some properties within the flood plains may have additional shoreline requirements. Please click here for additional information.
The flood hazard permit process includes preparation of a Floodplain Habitat Assessment and Mitigationto
evaluate development impacts in frequently flood areas. The assessment
includes impacts to Listed Federally Endangered Species. A guidance
document was prepared by FEMA Region X(10) to assist in preparation of a
habitat assessment for project specific impacts. This habitat
assessment should be prepared by a qualified consultant and submitted
with your flood hazard permit application.
Certificates must be completed by a state licensed surveyor. Separate
elevation certificates are required before, during and after
construction. Initial elevations are taken prior to any earthwork and
the final elevation certificate will be conducted once construction and
final grading have been completed.