All development in the City of Corpus Christi requires a permit. The City’s ordinances and building codes guide and regulate construction. Without these provisions, flood insurance through the National Flood Plain Insurance Program (NFIP) would not be available. Any development without a permit is illegal and should be reported to Development Services Office at (361) 826-3240.
BUILDING IN A FLOOD ZONE
When you are building a brand new home, it is crucial to ensure you are fully prepared for and informed about the additional safeguards required to protect your family and your property from devastating flood loss. We cannot prevent a flood, but we can be proactive and reduce the damage flooding caused by retrofitting existing buildings and requiring that new buildings meet the City standards and FEMA guidelines.
Requirements for new construction and substantial improvements in an SFHA (Zone A and V):
- The finished floor must be elevated to at or above base flood elevation plus one foot (Example: The base flood elevation as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map is 8’ which would make the development requirement at or above 9’);
- Must be designed (or modified) and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or
- Lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads;
- Must be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage;
- Must be made with materials resistant to flood damage;
- Must be made with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air-conditioning
- Equipment and other service facilities that are designed and located to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding; Water supply systems must be designed to minimize or eliminate the infiltration of floodwaters into the system.
The Floodplain Management Division (FMD) is available to make site visits to review flooding issues, drainage and sewer problems, and provide one-on-one advice to property owners pertaining to development, renovation, and flood protection measures for your structure.
ADDITIONAL ZONE-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
- Fill is allowed.
- The garage can be located below BFE if properly vented.
- Fill is prohibited
- Structures must be elevated using piers, pilings, or columns
- Areas below BFE must be used solely for parking, access, or storage and must be constructed with breakaway walls
- A V Zone Design Certificate must be submitted before permit issuance. The certificate must be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and planned construction methods meet NFIP requirements.
A non-conversion agreement* must be submitted after building final and before Certificate of Occupancy is issued for new construction, including additions, permits with or without a proposed enclosure.
*A non-conversion agreement for new construction, including additions, with or without an enclosure below base flood elevation, is an agreement that the enclosed space will not be converted to a habitable living space. The area must remain solely used for parking, access, or storage.
Development in a Floodway
The Floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential, the following provisions shall apply:
- Encroachments are prohibited, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development within the adopted regulatory floodway unless a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis verifies that the proposed development would not result in an increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
- If a Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis verifies zero rise, all new construction and substantial improvements must comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of Chapter 14 Article V of the City Code of Ordinances.
When any new construction, substantial improvement, or repair for a substantially damaged building is conducted in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) within the City of Corpus Christi or incorporated areas, an Elevation Certificate is required.
- A final Construction Elevation certificate is required prior to the Certificate of Occupancy.
- FF-086-0-33 Elevation Certificate and Instructions, 2015 Edition (fema.gov)
Development is prohibited within a regulatory floodway unless you can show “no-rise” and “no adverse impact.”
The entire Flood Hazard Prevention Code, which contains requirements for specific standards, subdivision proposals, floodways and coastal high hazard areas, can be found in the City's Municode, Chapter 14, Article V.