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City of Philadelphia
 

Floodplain Management

Floodplain Development


The Flood Protection Forms below must be submitted with all Zoning and Building Permit applications in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and/or floodplain. 
  • Flood Protection Acknowledgement Form – ZONING (FP-Z)
    • For zoning applications, the acknowledgement of all applicable floodplain regulations in the City of Philadelphia's Zoning Code as well as building regulations (IRC 2015, IBC 2018, Administrative Codes, ASCE 24, Appendix G) associated with development site located in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
  • Flood Protection Form – EXISTING BUILDINGS (FP-EX)
    • For building permit applications of an existing building(s) in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) being renovated/altered and/or an addition being constructed. The form serves to determine whether the development will constitute a substantial improvement, as well as establish which floodplain regulations apply.
  • Flood Protection Form – GENERAL (FP-G) 
    • For EZ Building Permit applications for alterations/renovations in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
    • MULTIPLE PERMITS: For floodplain regulations purposes, one or multiple EZ Permits could constitute “substantial improvement” meaning any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement to a structure, where the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of its pre-improvement market value, then the structure must meet the current floodplain requirements. The applicant must provide the combined value of all the proposed work to make a substantial improvement/damage determination, regardless of the number of permits issued. For several reasons, an applicant may wish to schedule anticipated improvements over a period of time and they may request separate permits for each phase. The department, at its discretion, will ensure that phased improvements do not circumvent the substantial improvement requirements.
    • Specific EZ Permits requiring additional documentation, when in a SFHA:
      • Interior Alterations
      • Pools and Spas – EZ permit not permitted, must do regular Building Permit
      • Porch Enclosures
      • Ductwork & Warm-air appliances
      • Retaining Walls
    • Contact Floodplain Manager for more information: floodplainmanager@phila.gov
  • Flood Protection – KEY TERMS 
    • Definitions for terms found in the above forms. 
  • The Department of Licenses and Inspections' Code Bulletin: Development in Special Flood Hazard Areas serves to address recommendations from FEMA as they relate to the enforcement of code provisions through the issuance of zoning and building permits by clarifying and improving upon the collection of compliance documentation regarding development in the floodplain. 
  • Other Documents:
  • FEMA Technical Bulletins
    • FEMA Technical Bulletins provide guidance concerning the building performance standards of the NFIP, which are contained in Title 44 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at Section 60.3. The bulletins are intended for use primarily by State and local officials responsible for interpreting and enforcing NFIP regulations and by members of the development community, such as design professionals and builders. 


Floodplain Mapping:
The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for a better understanding of flood risks.

FEMA flood maps are continually updated through a variety of processes. Effective information that you download or print from this site may change or be replaced by new maps over time. For additional information, refer to the Flood Hazard Mapping Updates Overview Fact Sheet.

The City of Philadelphia’s Atlas webpage can provide parcel level flood risk mapping. Use the “search” map feature to input an address, use the “Zoning” tab to view Zoning Overlays. If in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and/or floodplain you’ll see “Open Space and Natural Resources - Flood Protection - Within the Special Flood Hazard Area” listed as a Zoning Overlay as well as diagonal hatch on the parcel map. All parcels, designed in this Zoning Overlay must complete the Flood Protection Forms above for Zoning/Building permits.

If you’d like to request a hard copy of a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) email floodplainmanager@phila.gov or call 215-686-2423. (Hard copies will be available for pick up only at 1401 JFK Blvd., Room 1130.)


Flood Insurance:
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses 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. For more information, visit www.FloodSmart.gov.


Flood Consultation:
If you live in a FEMA mapped SFHA/floodplain, or you’ve experienced the effects of flooding and would like some technical assistance you can contact the City of Philadelphia’s Floodplain Manager. Some topics could concern: Elevation Certificates, Flood Insurance, Development, Mitigation, etc. Contact floodplainmanager@phila.gov or 215-686-2423


Floodplain Training Presentation:
Philadelphia Floodplains – Regulations and Processes for Development 
This Floodplain Training Session is designed to give a holistic view of the City’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the opportunities and challenges dealing with floodplain development. The training will provide an overview on NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), the City’s role, and current codes/regulations. An overview about the City's review requirements and processes are detailed with practical resources and best practices.

Other Resources

Property History

To search eCLIPSE for Business Licenses see link above.

For other L&I property history, search HERE.

Map