The City of Seattle proposes to extend the interim Floodplain Development Regulations that took effect in August 2020 extended by Ordinance 126113. If the City Council does not adopt this legislation the interim regulations would expire on February 24, 2021. This legislation will extend the original interim regulations for 12 months so that the City’s floodplain mapping and development regulations will continue to be consistent with federal law. The City needs this additional time to prepare a proposal for permanent regulations that includes conducting necessary studies, consulting with federal and state agencies, and public outreach.
The proposed extension of the interim regulations will apply to permit applications for construction on property within floodplain areas mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA has required these types of updates across the country. FEMA published the final updated floodplain map for King County in February 2020. This map (called the Flood Insurance Rate Map) identifies properties that are at risk of flooding and is used to determine which properties are required to have flood insurance.
The City of Seattle requires properties within FEMA’s mapped areas, as well as areas identified as flood prone through Seattle’s Environmentally Critical Areas regulations, to meet standards intended to protect the lives of occupants and mitigate damage to property and buildings. These standards vary by the specific flood zone designations, characteristics of the property, and the nature of the development proposed. Generally, the requirements include:
- The elevation that the first floor of a new structure must be built at to keep the first story above anticipated flood levels
- Structures must be engineered to withstand wind from anticipated storms
- Structures must be engineered to withstand flood waters should anticipated flood levels be exceeded
If you have questions regarding the interim Floodplain Development Regulations or maps, please contact Joel Lehn via e-mail at Joel.Lehn@seattle.gov. If you would like to be added to SDCI’s e-mail distribution list to receive information regarding the permanent regulations, please contact Maggie Glowacki via e-mail at Margaret.Glowacki@seattle.gov.
Public Hearing for the Seattle Floodplain Development Regulations Extension
The City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing on this legislation on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 9:30 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 civil emergency declared by the City and the State of Washington, if you wish to participate in or attend the hearing, you may be offered the opportunity or be required to do so remotely. The City will provide instructions in the meeting agenda on how to participate remotely. Please check the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee agenda a few days prior to the meeting at http://www.seattle.gov/council/committees for these instructions.
Print and communications access is provided on prior request. Please contact Noah An at (206) 684-5326 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to request accommodations for a disability.
Questions concerning the public hearing may be directed to Noah An in Councilmember Dan Strauss’ office, by calling (206) 684-5326 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
City Council will accept written comments on the legislation through 5:00 PM on January 12, 2021. Please send comments to Noah An in Councilmember Dan Strauss’ office, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to:
Councilmember Dan Strauss
Seattle City Council
600 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025
You may obtain copies of the proposals from the City Clerk’s legislative records webpage: https://seattle.legistar.com/Legislation.aspx. Please reference Council Bill No. 119978 in the “Record No.” field.
Questions regarding the legislation may be directed to Ketil Freeman of the City Council Central Staff at (206) 684-8178 or via email at email@example.com.