Recent floods prompt changes in the elevation of structures
The city of Houston is seeking public feedback through March 5 on whether to approve a new ordinance that would require structures within the 100 or 500-year floodplains to be built 2 feet above the 500-year floodplain. Currently, only developments located within the 100-year floodplain are required to be built one foot above the 100-year floodplain. If the ordinance is passed, it will only affect those that start new projects or perform major modifications to a structure such as the expansion of a building.
Last week, the city of Humble approved changes to its ordinance regarding floodplain development regulations. The revised ordinance requires that all new construction and substantial improvements of both homes and businesses be elevated at least two feet above the 500-year flood plain’s elevation. The city’s new regulations will still apply once new floodplain maps are established and future elevations are determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the flood insurance program.
Harris County passed similar changes to floodplain regulations, that took effect Jan. 1. The changes include requiring an increased elevation for new construction of at least two feet and, in some areas, up to eight feet. This measure also impacts residents in unincorporated areas.