Pasco County has adopted changes to its flood prevention regulations to assure the county can continue to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The board approved the changes during its Aug. 24 meeting.
Participation in the flood insurance program allows Pasco residents to purchase federally backed flood insurance, Esther Oluyemi, a county building official, said during previous hearings before the Pasco County Planning Commission and the county board.
The county has taken part in that program since 1981, Oluyemi said.
The county also has been a member of the Community Rating System (CRS) since 1992.
The CRS allows the county to get a discount for its residents, with the amount of the discount based on the rating. Pasco has a rating of 6, which makes Pasco residents eligible for a discount of 20% on flood insurance rates, according to Oluyemi.
The county had 19,015 policyholders, as of 2021. Based on that, the county’s CRS rating yields an annual savings to policyholders of $3.1 million a year.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has made regulatory changes that the county must adopt to get discounts, Oluyemi said.
The county must:
- Adopt the new FEMA flood insurance study and flood insurance map. (The flood insurance map has already been part of the Florida Building Code since 2020.)
- Eliminate the 36-inch option for manufactured homes
- Require wet-proofing for agricultural buildings over 600 square feet in flood zones
- Standardize the use of market value, for private appraisals
Oluyemi said that adopting the flood map into the county’s local ordinance essentially is a formality because the map already has been incorporated into the Florida Building Code, which is the code the county uses.
The county also has approved a process that provides for appeals of actions taken or denial of proposed construction to be heard by a hearing officer, using the same rules and procedures as demolition appeals when such denials are based on load and flood requirements.
Published August 31, 2022
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