Floodplain Administration


The City of North Olmsted has special flood hazard areas that are subject to periodic inundation which may result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief and impairment of the tax base. Additionally, structures that are inadequately anchored, elevated, flood-proofed or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss. Therefore, an application for a floodplain development permit is required for all development activities located within or in contact with an identified special flood hazard area. Such application shall be made by the owner of the property or their authorized agent, prior to the actual commencement of such construction. Where it is unclear whether a development site is in a special flood hazard area, the Floodplain Administrator may require an application for a floodplain development permit to determine the development’s location. It shall be unlawful for any person to begin construction or other development activity, including but not limited to, filling; grading; construction; alteration, remodeling or expanding any structure; or alteration of any watercourse wholly within, partially within or in contact with any identified special flood hazard area, until a floodplain development permit is obtained.

Residential Floodplain Construction Requirements
Chapter 1361 Flood Damage Reduction

Please visit the following links to determine if a property is located in a floodplain:

FEMA Map Service Center
Cuyahoga County GIS

Forms available to download and print:

Floodplain Development Permit Application
Flood Elevation Certificate & Instructions

Note: Submit No Rise Certification with an H&H Analysis when required by FEMA standards. The No Rise form requires an engineer to certify that the H&H complies with all local and federal standards. It contains very specific language that is tied to the standard engineering practices that must be used when conducting an H&H analysis.

FEMA Map Assistance Available

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Map Information eXchange (FMIX) offers a Live Chat service, which allows stakeholders to interact with Map Specialists in real-time via an online forum. To chat with a Map Specialist, please visit the FMIX page. You can also reach the FMIX by telephone at 877-FEMA MAP (877-336-2627) and by e-mail at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com. The FMIX is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Overview of Maps and Map Change Processes for Properties

As part of its administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), FEMA publishes flood hazard maps, called Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs. The purpose of a FIRM is to show the areas in a community that are subject to flooding and the risk associated with these flood hazards. One of the areas shown on the FIRM is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the area that has a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year; this area is also referred to by some as the 1-percent-annual-chance floodplain, base floodplain, or the 100-year floodplain. The flood hazard and risk information presented on the FIRMs is the result of engineering studies that are performed by engineering companies, other Federal agencies, or communities, which are reviewed for compliance with FEMA guidelines and approved by FEMA.

FEMA uses the most accurate flood hazard information available and applies rigorous standards in developing the FIRMs. However, because of limitations of scale or topographic definition of the source maps used to prepare a FIRM, small areas may be inadvertently shown within an SFHA on a FIRM even though the property (legally defined parcel(s) of land, structure[s]) is on natural ground and is at or above the elevation of the 1-percent-annual-chance flood. This elevation is most commonly referred to as the Base Flood Elevation, or BFE. Such cases are referred to as “inadvertent inclusions.”

For other small areas, earthen fill may have been placed during construction, thereby elevating a small area within the SFHA to an elevation that is at or above the BFE. This construction may have taken place during the time the engineering study was being performed or subsequent to that study. Because of the limited extent of the elevated area and the limitations of the map scale, it may not have been possible for FEMA to show this area as being outside the SFHA and so these areas have been incorrectly included in the SFHA on the FIRM.

Recognizing that these situations do occur, FEMA established administrative procedures to change the designation for these properties on the FIRM. These processes are referred to as the Letter of Map Amendment, or LOMA, process and the Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill, or LOMR-F, process. Through these processes, an individual who owns, rents or leases property may submit certain mapping and survey information to FEMA and request that FEMA issue a document that officially removes a property and/or structure from the SFHA. In most cases, the applicant will need to hire a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer to prepare an Elevation Certificate for the property. Upon receiving a complete application forms package, FEMA will normally complete its review and issue its determination in 4 to 6 weeks.

Processing Letters of Map Amendment or Revision
FEMA Letters of Map Change (LOMC)
FEMA Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and Letter of Map Revision-Based on Fill (LOMR-F) Process

Other links and information:

Definitions of FEMA Flood Zone Designations
The National Flood Insurance Program
CDC – Key facts about Flood Readiness

Floodplain Administrator:

Jeff Filarski
(440) 716-4111

5200 Dover Center Road
North Olmsted, OH 44070

City Hall Hours | Weekdays 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

(440) 777-8000

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