Systems Planning

Floodplain Management

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​​​​​​Know your flood hazard

By entering an address into the search bar of the flood​​plain map, residents can quickly learn where their property exists in relation to the floodplain.  All Elevation Certificates and Letters of Map Change that have been recieved by the CIty are also availabe on the same floodplain map.

Floodplain Management Overlay Zoning District

On January 4, 2021 the City Council approved a new Floodplain Management Overlay Zoning District​ to add to Chapter 55​ (PDF), the Unified Development Code. The regulations including:​

  • Improved protection of public safety and welfare
  • Reduced loss of life and property, especially for vulnerable populations and neighborhoods
  • More consistency with State floodplain regulations
  • Clarifying the permit approval process
  • Better Community Rating System score
  • Saving money and resources by lowering flood insurance rates and less flood damages to repair
  • Furthering the City's sustainability and climate action goals

Regulation Highlights:

An overlay zoning district includes all lots in and within 50 feet of a floodplain. These lots are subject to the Floodplain Management regulations and restrictions as well as the typical zoning and development regulations, similarly to how historic district regulations work.

The Floodplain Management Overlay District regulates both lots in floodplains currently under EGLE (the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy) jurisdiction and those non-EGLE jurisdiction floodplains the same. 

In the Flood Fringe:

  • ​New residential buildings must have the lowest floor elevated 1 foot above the 0.2% annual chance flood elevation – the old “500-Year Flood".
  • New nonresidential buildings must be elevated or flood proofed to 1 foot above the 0.2% annual chance flood elevation – the old “500-Year Flood".
  • Substantial improvements to existing structures in the floodplain must meet the new construction requirements, but historic structures exempt.

​In the Floodway: 

  • New buildings of any kind are prohibited in the floodway, but redevelopment of an existing site may be allowed with certain additional requirements, such as no residential uses​

Floodplain Workshops​

​​​​On Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, the city held a second virtual workshop to provide an overview of proposed regulation changes establishing higher building standards within the floodplain with the intent of minimizing public and private losses due to flooding. The video of this workshop is available here

A recording of the first virtual workshop​, held in July of 2020, is available​ on the city's You​Tube channel

A recent set of questio​ns and answers (PDF) on the issue is also available. 

Emergency alerts

Floods can strike with little or no warning. If you rely on a cell phone or have recently disconnected your landline​, then it’s more important than ever to sign up for the city’s Alert Systems. This could be the city’s only way to reach you in an emergency.

​National flood insurance ​program ​

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)​, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),  aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces ​the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.​

To learn more please visit FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program

Sign up for the city's CodeRED notification systemSign up for emergency alerts

Jerry Hancock
Stormwater and Floodplain Programs Coordinator​
301 E. Huron Street, 4th Floor
Ann Arbor, MI 48104​
734.794.6430 x43709