1 Saving Constituents Money on Flood Insurance Under FEMA s Community Rating System (CRS)
2 Today s Discussion 1. FEMA s Flood Insurance Program: A Brief Overview 2. Flood Insurance Rates: Are they rising? Will they? Why? 3. The Community Rating System: What is it? How does it save people money? What do local governments have to do?
3 But first.why do we care? Savannah 2014 Valdosta 2013
4 Sandy Springs 2013 Sandy Springs 2011
5 FEMA s Flood Insurance Program: A Brief Overview
6 The NFIP required. Identification of flood risk Development of building standards in high risk areas Make flood insurance available within participating communities. Flood maps Flood ordinance: minimum standards Federally subsidized flood insurance
7 NFIP in Georgia 543 Communities Enrolled 64,000 Policies in Force $47 Million in Annual Premiums 97 not in the program but have hazards
8 The NFIP required. Identification of flood risk Development of building standards in high risk areas Make flood insurance available within participating communities. Flood maps Flood ordinance: minimum standards Federally subsidized flood insurance
9 Special Flood Hazard Areas Base Flood Elevation (Depths) Flood insurance risk zones What is a FEMA flood map?
10 Regulatory Trigger: Flood Insurance Required What is a FEMA flood map?
11 What is a FEMA flood map?
12 The 100 Year Floodplain Statistical probability 1 in 4 chance you will be flooded during a 30 year mortgage Over a 30 year mortgage, you are 27 times more likely to experience flood than fire. Event % Chance 25 year flood 4 in 100 Car accident 3 in 100 Cancer 3 in year flood 1 in 100 Victim of auto theft 1 in 100 Residential fire 4 in 10,000 Killed in car accident 3 in 10,000
13 The NFIP required. Identification of flood risk Development of building standards in high risk areas Flood insurance available within participating communities. Flood maps Flood ordinance: minimum standards Federally subsidized flood insurance
14 Floodplain Ordinance
15 Wait. There s More FEMA Map Modernization Project Development of building standards in high risk areas Flood insurance available within participating communities. New Flood maps Update floodplain ordinance Some new people in the floodplain; some people out.
17 GA Risk M.A.P. Program Upper & Middle Chattahoochee Watersheds. Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, & Gwinnett Counties Georgia Coastal Project Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, & McIntosh Counties Newton County Discovery Projects Middle Chattahoochee - Lake Harding, Upper Ocmulgee
18 Flood Insurance Rates: Are they rising? Why?
20 So Congress passed a law in Biggert Waters: 25% Rate Increases Effective Immediately Subsidized non primary residences in SFHA; severe repetitive loss/properties with cumulative flood claim damage totaling more than the value of the property, etc. Full Rates Immediately First time policy purchase; renewal after a policy lapse; policy purchase after a property sale. 20% Increase in Rates 2014 All remaining subsidized or grandfathered properties phased out with new maps.
21 People Were Upset
22 So Congress passed another law in BOTTOM LINE: Not as bad, but rates are rising for many. The law will be revisited in Rates will continue to rise. The population is growing, and more people are living in floodplains. Communities are looking for ways to ease the burden on policyholders.
23 The Community Rating System (CRS)
24 Community Rating System (CRS) NFIP voluntary program offers discounts on flood insurance to reward good floodplain management within a community Community = municipality, county Established in 1990 Created to encourage participation in the NFIP in order to spread risk and allow program to be more effective
25 Goals of the CRS Reduce flood damage to insurable property Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management
27 As of May 2012, 527 in NFIP. Of these communities, 36 (or 7%) participate in CRS. Of the top 50 Georgia communities, in terms of total Flood Insurance policies held by residents, 21 participate in the CRS. The remaining 29 communities present an outreach opportunity for encouraging participation in the CRS.
28 Joining CRS: Getting Started
31 Steps to Join Any community in full compliance with the rules and regulations of the NFIP may, at any time, request a Community Rating System (CRS) classification. To request a CRS classification, follow these steps: 1. Provide a letter of interest, signed by the community's chief elected official, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Office. A sample letter of interest is in the CRS Quick Check. 2. Provide documentation showing that your community is implementing CRS activities that warrant at least 500 credit points. The CRS Quick Check tool assists with this documentation. 3. Send the items listed above to your ISO/CRS Specialist. 4. With the approval of the FEMA Regional Office the ISO/CRS Specialist will schedule a meeting with your community's representatives, called a verification visit, to work through the application process. 5. Communities interested in participating in the CRS also must appoint a community CRS Coordinator.
32 The CRS Coordinator The CRS Coordinator is designated by the community's chief elected official (CEO) to serve as the point of contact with the community, FEMA, and the Insurance Services Office (ISO) for CRS matters. Duties include: Attaining familiarity with the CRS operation, prerequisites, and credited activities; Assembling and coordinating materials for the community's CRS application, cycle verification visits, and annual recertification; Completing and signing CRS Activity Worksheets, as appropriate, for credit; and Coordinating verification visits with the ISO/CRS Specialist.
33 Joining CRS: Terminology New Application Cycle Verification Recertification Modification
34 CRS Activity Examples Public Information Elevation certificates, outreach, hazard disclosure Mapping and Regulations Open space preservation, stormwater management Flood Damage Reduction Acquisition/relocation, floodplain management planning Warning and Response Flood warning and response, dams, levees
36 300 Series: Public Information
39 400 Series: Mapping & Regulations
40 CRS and Open Space Credit for measures that either require or incentivize preventing development in flood hazard areas. A community may receive up to 1,970 credits for open space. The average Georgia community earns 130 credits. Fayette County stands out: 624 Credits
41 CRS and Open Space 1. Be located in the floodplain. 2. Be open space. Vacant land alone does not qualify. The land must contain no buildings, no impervious surfaces, and not be filled or used to store materials. 3. Be preserved as open space.
42 CRS and Open Space HOW MUCH CREDIT IS AVAILABLE FOR OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION? Up to 1,450 credits. Deed The open space land must contain a restriction in the deed that prohibits new buildings on the Restrictions land, the deed restriction must transfer to future owners (run with the land), and can only be Up to 50 amended by a court for just cause. credits. Documentation Required: A copy of the actual deed restriction for each property along with the impact map. Natural Functions Open Space Up to 350 credits. The open space land must either be in an undeveloped state not developed, graded, or farmed or that have been returned to a state approximating the pre development condition. Documentation Required: 1. Each parcel must have documentation that supports the natural floodplain functions prepared by a qualified entity, such as a habitat conservation plan, natural areas inventory, green infrastructure plan, or a memo or letter signed by professional in the natural sciences attesting to the natural functions of the parcel. The CRS Coordinator s Manual also provides a Natural Floodplain Functions Form that may be used. 2. Impact adjustment map. 3. A copy of any plan and the adoption thereof if the parcel is receiving additional credit. 4. Copies or photographs of any educational material used.
43 CRS and Open Space Special Floodrelated Hazards Open Space Up to 50 credits. Natural Shoreline Protection Up to 120 credits. Credits are available for Special Flood related Hazards Open Space (SFHOS), which is open space directly related to coastal erosion, tsunamis, inland flood hazards from uncertain flow paths (alluvial fans, channel migration, etc.), closed basin lakes, ice jams, land subsidence, and mudflows. These credits apply to particular circumstances are not generally applicable. Credit is available for allowing natural stream channels and shorelines to follow the courses dictated by natural process and for encouraging natural shorelines that provide water quality benefits for runoff. The program must prohibit filling, dredging, and armoring existing channels and shorelines, including beach nourishment projects. The program may allow alterations that improve natural floodplain functioning such as removing a levee, habitat restoration, and plantings. Two types of programs are credited: Programs that protect channels. This includes programs that govern construction activities and written policies followed on public lands such as city parks. Credit is only available to channels or shorelines approximately in their natural state without substantial human intervention. Programs that restore impaired channels. This covers programs that actively restore floodplain functions; regulations that require restoration activities by developers are credited under 422.e. Required Documentation: 1. A map or list of parcels preserved and which credits for which they qualify. 2. Documentation about how it is preserved, i.e. documentation from the owner or the pertinent regulatory language. 3. For parcels preserved outside the SFHA, documentation that the floodplain regulation are in effect in the area. 4. An impact adjustment map.
44 CRS and Open Space OTHER FLOODPLAIN PROTECTIONS: Credits for Incentivizing Floodplain Protection. Open Space Communities can receive credit for regulations that encourage developers to set aside floodprone areas. Credit is adjusted based on the ratio of the area affected by the OSI regulation to Incentives Up to 250 credits. the floodplain area. Open space incentives include: density transfers, transfers of development rights, bonuses for avoiding the floodplain, planned unit developments, cluster development, greenway and setback rules, and open space ratio credits. Low density Zoning Up to 600 credits. Documentation Required: 1. Relevant ordinance language. 2. OSP Impact Adjustment Map showing areas credited for OSI. 3. Documentation regulating flood prone non SFHA areas. 4. Site plans and final plats documenting how ordinances have been applied. Land that does not qualify for open space credits may create credits with low density zoning. The qualifying area must be zoned with lot sizes of at least five acres. Agricultural, conservation, or large residential lots are all permitted uses. The regulation must be a zoning ordinance; other ordinances such a minimum lot size for septic systems are not credited. Documentation Required: 1. Zoning language explaining the density requirements. 2. Impact adjustment map. 3. If extra credit is claimed for low density zoning in flood prone non SFHA areas, documentation that the regulations are in effect in that area.
45 So how did Fayette County do it?
46 Fayette County Watershed Protection Ordinance Adopted in 1987 Required by GAEPD s to develop water supply reservoirs within Fayette County. Adopted prior to Environmental Planning Criteria ratified by GAEPD in Protects both streams and floodplains Credit: Vanessa Birrell
47 Watershed Protection Ordinance Buffer Requirements Any property within 1,000 ft. of reservoir 150 ft. buffer from normal pool or BFE (whichever is greater)flint River, Whitewater Creek (and streams within 1,000 ft.) 400 ft. buffer from wrested vegetation or 100 ft. from BFE (whichever is greater) All other perennial streams and state waters within Flint River and Whitewater Creek watersheds 100 ft. buffer from wrested vegetation or 50 ft. from BFE (whichever is greater) Credit: Vanessa Birrell
48 500 Series: Flood Damage Reduction Activities
49 CRS and Acquisition/Relocation Credit available for removing insurable buildings from the floodplain Emphasis on the value of natural floodplain functions Up to 2,250 points available (4+ classes/20% premium reduction) Opened lands must qualify for open space preservation; get CRS credit for both
50 600 Series: Flood Warning & Response
53 67,918 policies in Georgia Georgians pay $47.4 million in premiums CRS savings = $6.6 million
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