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Floodplain Regulations (TC-16-20)

Floodplain Regulations (TC-16-20)

Floodplain Regulations (TC-16-20): This text change proposes updating what can be developed in the floodplain. Read the full TC-16-20 draft ordinance.

Background information:

This ordinance extends current development restrictions in the floodplain. Right now, you can build in a part of the floodplain. The City of Raleigh is proposing changes that would restrict the development of new structures to the entire floodplain.

Flooding near a river or creek happens naturally when it rains. We cannot control how much it rains or that it floods in the floodplain. However, requiring less development directly near creeks will give water the room it needs to spread out and store in the floodplain.

Making these changes will keep flooding near creeks from getting worse over time. It’ll also address safety concerns from hazardous flooding since fewer people will be living in or near the floodplain.

There are a few exemptions and allowed activities included with the proposed changes.

Current Rules: Under current regulations, 50 percent of floodway fringe can be filled or developed. No fill or obstructions are allowed in the floodway. In addition to that, the finished floor for residential structures must be two feet above the 100-year flood elevation. This includes plumbing, electrical, and mechanical. Commercial structures can be elevated or floodproofed two feet above the 100-year floodplain elevation.

Proposed Text Change: 

The proposed text changes will extend building restrictions for new development to the entire floodplain. This means new structures cannot be built in any part of the floodplain, including the floodway and the floodway fringe. New roads also will need to provide dry access during a major rainstorm.

These text changes will allow stormwater to flow more naturally and safely near creeks. Making these changes will benefit the quality of creeks and rivers; protect wildlife habitat; and reduce property damage when there is flooding.

Exemptions include properties in the floodplain that are already developed and properties that are 0.5 acres or less.

Public Meeting Schedule: This text change is scheduled for the Planning Commission meeting on January 12, 2021. The Commission may act on that date or refer to their Text Change Committee for further discussion. We will be collecting comments here through January 14, 2021. Comments after this date should be submitted directly to Ben Brown via email. If you’d like to provide more detailed input about floodplains in Raleigh and proposed regulations, please take this short survey.

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