The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Pinellas County have flood damage prevention regulations that may affect how you remodel, renovate, or add on to your building in order to better protect lives and investment from future flood damages.
If your home or business is located in a mapped flood hazard area, is not built to the current design flood elevation, and is "substantially damaged" or "substantially improved", it must be brought into compliance with the Pinellas County Floodplain Management Ordinance and Florida Building Code, including elevating the building and all electrical and mechanical equipment above the 100-year flood elevation. Only parking, building access, and limited storage are allowed below the flood level. Usually this applies to the remodeling of older structures, but it also effects structures that have sustained major damage.
- Substantial Damage - occurs when the cost of restoring the structure to the condition before the damage would equal or exceed 49 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. (Note: The cost of the repairs must include all costs necessary to fully repair the structure to its "before damage" condition, including labor.)
- Substantial Improvement - any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, for which the cost equals or exceeds 49 percent of the market value of the structure before the "start of construction" of the first improvement.
This term includes structures which have incurred "substantial damage", regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:
- Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or,
- Any alterations of a "historic structure", provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a "historic structure".
- Required permit
Phasing of improvements, such as multiple or consecutive projects, is not permitted. The cost of all work is included in substantial improvement and substantial damage determinations.
Pinellas County determines "substantial damage" and "substantial improvement" and enforces floodplain regulations to ensure federally-backed flood insurance is made available to Unincorporated Pinellas County residents and property owners.
If you see illegal development in the floodplains, please report the issue.
- Pinellas County Land Development Code - Chapter 158-Floodplain Mgnt.
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards A Multi-Hazard Foundation and Installation Guide
- Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting
- Enclosures and Breakaway Walls
- Storm Damage - What To Do
- Pinellas County SD / SI Forms
Market value means the value of buildings and structures, excluding the land and other improvements on the parcel. As used in this chapter, the term refers to the actual cash value (like-kind replacement cost depreciated for age, wear and tear, neglect, and quality of construction), determined by a qualified independent appraiser, or the "Just Value" of the structure, developed by the Pinellas County Property Appraiser's Office (PAO) for Ad Valorem taxation purposes, adjusted to approximate market value, as determined by the PAO.
Substantial Damage means damage of any origin sustained by a building or structure whereby the cost of restoring the building or structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 49 percent of the market value of the building or structure before the damage occurred. [Also defined in FBC, B, section 1612.2.]
Substantial Improvement means any combination of repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a building or structure taking place during a rolling one (1) year period, the cost of which equals or exceeds 49 percent of the market value of the building or structure before the improvement or repair is started. The rolling period of accumulation for a building or structure begins when the permit for the first improvement is finalized. If the building or structure has incurred "substantial damage." Any repairs are considered substantial improvement regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either: [Also defined in FBC, B, section 1612.2.]
- Any project for improvement of a building required to correct existing health, sanitary, or safety code violations identified by the building official and that are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions.
- Any alteration of a historic structure provided the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.