If your property has been included in an identified flood zone area, it can mean costly flood insurance and a more complicated or limited building or renovation process. However, it is possible to appeal your property’s designation by submitting a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) request to FEMA. This can be submitted by the property owner or an authorized agent through an online application to request a change to the flood map.
What is a flood zone?
FEMA defines the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as an “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.” Through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, SFHA’s are identified in an effort to minimize the risk and impact flooding can have on homeowners and businesses.
What is the benefit of submitting an LOMC request?
If FEMA approves your LOMC request, you may no longer be required to pay flood insurance. You can send these approved documents known as the Determination Document to your lender and request flood insurance requirements to be removed.
How can I submit an LOMC request?
The Online Letter of Map of Change application can be submitted at https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/onlinelomc/signin.
What information is required to submit a LOMC request?
You will need specific information about the property including location, legal description, and use of fill. Many of the required forms can be found in the FEMA library or in the online LOMC application. You may also need to provide additional documentation such as:
- Elevation Form or Existing Elevation Certificate (part of online application)
- Subdivision Plat Map or Property Deed with Tax Assessor’s Map (contact your County/Parish Clerk, Recorder, or Register of Deeds)
- ESA Compliance Documentation (contact National Marine Fishery Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, or State Wildlife Agency)
How is approval of the request determined?
FEMA reviews LOMC requests and takes into account your property’s proximity to identified SFHAs. You may have to make some amendments to the property for an LOMC to be granted. The review process may take up to 60 – 90 days. You can view the current application status by signing in to your online LOMC account.
Is there a faster alternative to submitting my own LOMC request?
Yes – FEMA has a separate online application called eLOMA, which can be submitted by engineers, surveyors, and other licensed professionals. An eLOMA request can generate a response within a few minutes.
If you live in a flood zone and you’re thinking of renovating your property, consider all of your options before your project becomes costly and complicated. Rose Architecture + Construction can submit eLOMA requests on your behalf, saving you weeks of time and hassle! Contact us to learn more about our flood zone consulting, design, and construction services today.