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Sarasota Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 3 years ago

Sarasota County prepares for new FEMA flood maps

FEMA is reevaluating Sarasota County’s flood risk, prompting Sarasota County to tweak its flood plain ordinance.
by: Anna Brugmann Community Editor

Attendees of Siesta Key Association's meeting last night got their first look at the proposed changes to Sarasota County’s flood plain ordinance.

The main addition to the ordinance is an auto-adopt clause that makes the ordinance compliant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new flood maps, which will go into effect Nov. 4. As of now, the county’s flood ordinance cites FEMA maps from 1992. This clause would refer Sarasota County residents to FEMA’s new map and automatically adopt any future changes.

“In order to be consistent in our flood ordinance, we need to be able to identify this map, which, right now, is not identified,” Sarasota County Development Services Building Official Kathleen Croteau said.

Insurance companies use FEMA-set flood risk ratings to assess flood insurance rates. Though Sarasota County is not making any changes to their flood ordinance policies aside from the auto-adopt clause, changes to FEMA’s flood maps could cause some Sarasota County homeowners flood insurance rates to change based on changes to their flood risk ratings.

Homeowners can assess their risk and any changes to their flood rating by searching their address in Sarasota County’s flood hazard map. Click the boxes next to “current FEMA zones” and “preliminary FEMA zones” in the legend on the right side of the page to see how your home will be affected.

Sarasota County will also be hosting flood zone workshops August through November throughout the county.

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