Floodplain Management

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The Floodplain Management staff manage all matters relating to FEMA’s Community Rating System and public information about floodplain management.

Contact Information: (727) 938-3737, Email: floodinfo@ctsfl.us or maraya@tsfr.us
See below for documents and informational bulletins..

Link to Tarpon Springs Floodplain Management Ordinance
Flood Prevention Planning Questionnaire
Pinellas County Flood Map Service
Navigation Chart of Local Channels
Pinellas County Storm Risk Tools:  Find your Evacuation Zone and get tips for preparing and recovery from storms
2023 All Hazard Guide

For more information about the City’s Floodplain Management program, please contact Megan Araya, CFM at maraya@tsfr.us


Bulletin w-23007 8-9-23

Bulletin W-23006 NEW EC and FPC July 2023

FILLABLE ELEVATION CERTIFICATE 2022 EDITION WITH INSTRUCTIONS (Open with Firefox)  Visit: https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance/find-form/underwriting to download the new EC as well as many other NFIP Underwriting forms.

Effective January 1, 2017, a copy of each elevation certificate prepared by a surveyor and mapper will be submitted to the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) as required by Florida Statute 472.0366. You can easily upload a copy of your certificates at: Create Submission | Florida Division of Emergency Management (withforerunner.com) and view previously submitted certificates at: Elevation Certificates – Submissions (arcgis.com).


The City of Tarpon Springs is pleased to announce an improved classification in our CRS (Community Rating System) rating. We have improved from a category 6 which previously offered you a 20% reduced rate on your flood insurance premium in the SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area) to a category 5 which now affords you a 25% reduced rate on your flood insurance premium. The City works very hard for its citizens so they can receive benefits such as these so please contact your insurance agent to be sure you are receiving the discount that you so well deserve!

Emergency Management

  1. Monitor Current Storm Forecasts (link this: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at2+shtml/174719.shtml?cone#contents)
  2. Find your Evacuation Zone (link this: https://kyz.pinellascounty.org/)
  3. Sign Up for Emergency Alerts With Alert Pinellas (link this: https://member.everbridge.net/453003085614894/login)
  4. Sign Up With the Ready Pinellas App (link this: Ready Pinellas Emergency Planning Mobile App – Pinellas County) – designed to help residents prepare themselves and their families before, during and after a storm.
  5. Find a Shelter or Nearby Accommodations (link: https://kyz.pinellascounty.org/)

Preparing for Emergencies

  1. Make a Plan (link: https://pinellas.gov/make-a-plan/)
  2. Stay Informed (link: https://pinellas.gov/stay-informed/)
  3. What are the Risks (link: https://pinellas.gov/know-your-risk)
  4. sign up for alerts here: Alert Pinellas (link this: https://member.everbridge.net/453003085614894/login) and Ready Pinellas App (link this: Ready Pinellas Emergency Planning Mobile App – Pinellas County).

The Program for Public Information (PPI) was introduced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a new planning tool to provide a step-by-step coordinated approach to flood hazard outreach. Pinellas County followed this approach while developing the Pinellas County Program for Public Information (PPI). For all information about PPI, please visit Pinellas County’s website http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/ppi.htm Tarpon Springs is a proud partner of the PPI and will use this space to keep our citizens up to date with meeting information and documents.

What is an Elevation Certificate and why is it Required?

An elevation certificate (EC) is a document prepared by a licensed surveyor which includes Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) information, such as the flood zone and flood elevation and details about the building, such as the elevation levels of floors within the building and of the ground (or grades) around it.

Insurance agents use the EC to help determine policy rates. Local floodplain administrators use ECs to ensure compliance with its floodplain management ordinance.

Elevation certificates provide information needed to:

Ensure compliance with floodplain management ordinances.
Determine the proper insurance premium rate.
Request a FEMA map amendment or revision.

Flood Insurance agents use the elevation certificate to help determine policy rates. The elevation certification is an important part of rating your building to determine the cost of flood insurance because it shows the depth of water on your property when a flood occurs.

Local floodplain administrators use elevation certificates to ensure compliance with its floodplain management ordinance. The elevation certificate is a critical element for implementing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and participating in the Community Rating System (CRS). One of the responsibilities of participating communities, such as Tarpon Springs, is to require and obtain certain elevation data for structures located in a special flood hazard area.

The City of Tarpon Springs does not prepare elevation certificates. Elevation certificates are prepared by licensed surveyors and submitted to Tarpon Springs as a requirement of the building permit process. The city only has elevation certificates that were completed for building compliance since the late 1990’s on file. The city does not have elevation certificates for buildings constructed prior to that or those completed solely for flood insurance purposes on file.

National Flood Insurance Program Requirements: Requirement to Obtain Lowest Floor Elevation in Zone A and 60.3 (e) (2) Requirement to Obtain Elevation of Lowest Horizontal Structural Member in Zone V

Pinellas County FEMA Elevation Certificates Map App: Find all information needed about EC’s in one location at https://floodmaps.pinellascounty.org/pages/elevation-certificates

Where to Get a Copy of Your Elevation Certificate?

  • Search our records: https://www.ctsfl.us/PublicAccess/Custom/Forms/custom.htm (link to our public records access portal)
  • Search Pinellas County Map Services: https://floodmaps.pinellascounty.org/pages/elevation-certificates
  • Check the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Website: https://www.fdacs.gov/Business-Services/Surveyors-and-Mappers
  •  Submit a records request by any of the means described here: https://www.ctsfl.us/city-clerk-collector/ (link to the city clerk records request webpage)
  • Sellers of the Home: When buying a new home, request that the sellers provide a copy of the EC – especially if the home is in a high-risk zone. If they don’t have an EC, ask if they can provide one before closing on the home.
  • Ask the Developer or Builder: In a high-risk area, the developer or builder of the community might have been required to obtain an EC at the time they built the building or home.
  • Property Deed: Occasionally the EC is included.
  • Hire a licensed land surveyor, professional engineer, or certified architect: The land surveyors’ duty is to determine the elevation around the building areas on the property and certify whether or not the area in question is under or above the prescribed flood elevation. Often times there is a fee when hiring these professionals to complete an EC for you. However, before you hire one, ensure they are authorized by law to certify elevation data.


The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was enacted in 2012, and makes additional program changes to other aspects of the program not covered by that Act. Many provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act remain and are still being implemented.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is a law passed by Congress and signed by the President in 2012 that extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, while requiring significant program reform. This document provides a timeline of significant changes to the program as well as who is affected by them, what will happen, and why it is changing.

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.

The City of Tarpon Springs is pleased to announce an improved classification in our CRS (Community Rating System) rating. We have improved from a category 6 which previously offered you a 20% reduced rate on your flood insurance premium in the SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area) to a category 5 which now affords you a 25% reduced rate on your flood insurance premium. The City works very hard for its citizens so they can receive benefits such as these so please contact your insurance agent to be sure you are receiving the discount that you so well deserve!”

Visit the Pinellas County Map Service Center for FEMA FIRM map updates.

Private Provider Notice

Private Provider Plan Compliance Affidavit

Private Provider in Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)

FEMA Memo on Affidavits

The DEM State Floodplain Management Office has received inquiries regarding use and acceptance of private providers for building in special flood hazard areas. The FBC, Building Chapter 1 specifically does not extend that authority to the flood load and flood resistant construction requirements in Sec. 105.14 exception, and Sec. 107.6.1. The above memorandum, co-signed by Jason Hunter, FEMA Region IV, explains the origin of those FBC provisions and FEMA’s expectations based on the NFIP regulations.

Despite the submission of an affidavit authorized by B107.6, the building official must review plans for compliance with the flood provisions and issue permits and perform inspections to ensure compliance with the flood provisions. Under the NFIP, the community is responsible for ensuring compliance. *The original proposal (SP5255) included both Section 107.6.1 and Section 117; the exception to Section 105.14 was added to proposal CA5082) by amendments for consistency. Please contact (850) 815-4556 or floods@em.myflorida.com if you have questions about the flood provisions in the FBC or FBC-coordinated floodplain management regulations.

What is substantial improvement?

Substantial improvement, as defined in 44 CFR § 59.1, means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. The term includes structures that have incurred “substantial damage,” regardless of the cause of damage and regardless of the cost of repair work actually performed. However, the term does not include: • Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of State or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications that have been identified by the local code enforcement official, and that are the minimum necessary to ensure safe living conditions, or • Any alteration of a “historic structure,” provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a “historic structure.” Be sure to check the State and community’s floodplain management regulations and building codes to determine whether any local requirements are more restrictive than the NFIP minimum requirements. Some communities modify the substantial improvement requirements in one of two ways: adopting a lower threshold than 50 percent (such as 40 percent or 30 percent) or tracking costs of improvements and costs of repairs over a specific period, referred to as “cumulative substantial improvement.” Some communities adopt more restrictive requirements that affect the design of buildings, such as requiring elevation higher than the NFIP minimum elevation, which is the base flood elevation (BFE).

Substantial Improvement-Substantial Damage Desk Reference

 Answers to Questions About Substantially Improved / Substantially Damaged Buildings FEMA 213 /  August 2018: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/fema_p213_08232018.pdf

FEMA 50% Rule (Substantial Improvement / Substantial Damage) Packet

  1. An elevation certificate must be submitted with the SI/SD packet, you may check for an elevation certificate in our records by a. searching our records: https://www.ctsfl.us/PublicAccess/Custom/Forms/custom.htm, b. submit a records request by any of these means https://www.ctsfl.us/city-clerk-collector/ or c. obtain a new one with a surveyor or licensed engineer
  2. The most current ICC Valuation is used to compare construction costs when reviewing SI/SD packets. You may find that chart at: https://www.iccsafe.org/products-and-services/i-codes/code-development-process/building-valuation-data/
  3. Construction valuation is subject to review and approval by the Building Official 6-4.1(a)(1)

FEMA 50% Rule Actual Cash Value (ACV) Appraisal

  1. An ACV Appraisal is Defined as: (add the following to appear when clicking on the link) The cost to replace an insured item of property at the time of loss, less the value of physical depreciation. An ACV Appraisal is defined as: The cost to replace an insured item of property at the time of loss, less the value of physical depreciation. ”4.5.3 Actual Cash Value Actual cash value (ACV) is the cost to replace a building on the same parcel with a new building of like-kind and quality, minus depreciation due to age, use, and neglect. ACV does not consider loss in value simply due to outmoded design or location factors. The concept of ACV is used in both the insurance industry and the construction industry. In most situations, ACV is a reason-able approximation of market value. A number of commercial sources of construction cost information are available to support estimating the replacement cost of a building, including industry-accepted guides available from companies such as RSMeans (http://www.rsmeans.com) and the Craftsman Book Company (http://www.craftsman-book.com), among others. These sources allow computation of construction costs based on occupancy, square footage, quality, and regional cost variations. Depreciation accounts for the physical condition of a structure. Depreciation does not take into account functional obsolescence (e.g., outmoded design or construction that pre-dates current codes) or factors that are external to the structure (e.g., reputation of schools or distance to shopping and parks). Commercially available references provide tables and formulas to calculate physical depreciation. These tables and formulas are objective and are used by most professionals in the fields of property appraisal and building inspection. Local officials may consult with a qualified appraiser regarding depreciation, or additional guidance for applying depreciation rates over time is found in FEMA P-84 CD, Substantial Damage Estimator (Section .5).” FEMA P-758, p. 4-15
  2. The Building Department will only accept FEMA 50% Rule Actual Cash Value (ACV) Appraisals


For additional information about SD/SI, visit Pinellas County’s website: http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/sd_si_50.htm

What is a Coastal A-Zone? NFIP flood hazard mapping is generally divided into two categories, V Zone and A Zone. In coastal areas, the A Zone category could be subdivided into “Coastal A Zone” and “A Zone.” Base flood conditions in the Coastal A Zone will be similar to, but less severe than, those in the V Zone; base flood conditions in the A Zone will be similar to those in riverine or lake floodplains. The Coastal A Zone is not shown on the FIRM at present; therefore, communities, designers, and owners will have to determine whether a site lies within a Coastal A Zone. V Zone design and construction standards are recommended in Coastal A Zones subject to erosion, high velocity flow, and/or wave heights greater than 1.5 feet.

What is a LiMWA? The LiMWA is an informational line that can be found on flood maps for some coastal areas. On a flood map, it is shown as a black line with black arrows that point to areas where wave heights are between 1.5 and 3 feet. It also marks the inland limit of the Coastal A Zone.

Publications – References

  1. Design and Construction in Coastal A-Zones
  2. Using the Limit of Moderate Wave Action to Build Resilient Coastal Communities Fact Sheet
  3. Florida Building Code R322.3