As you may have heard, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program have proposed new Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the Keys.
Once adopted, all new construction and flood insurance premiums will be based on the new maps and the new regulations that will come with them.
The proposed new Flood maps along with information about them can be viewed by clicking on the link below. The information includes an informative 30-minute video which explains details about the new proposed maps and the lengthy process of adoption which will begin in January 2020. That process is likely to take 18 months or more which would mean that the final maps and the new rules associated with these maps will not commence until 2021 at the earliest.
To summarize the process the Preliminary Flood Maps will be released for Public comment starting in January 2020. That will be followed by community review and public hearings with a period to file appeals with a lengthy appeal resolution period to follow.
Monroe County, Fair Insurance Rates for Monroe County or FIRM, and a number of Cities in the Keys have hired consultants to review the proposed maps and to provide information for appeals of the map delineations. The important highlights about these new proposed maps and their impacts include:
1.) With adoption of the new flood maps existing elevations will be measured based on the NAVD88 Datum which will negatively affect all flood levels by about 1.5’ which could place otherwise conforming structures below the new Base Flood Elevation.
2.) A wholly new flood level called a Coastal “A” Zone will impose “V” Flood Zone construction standards on new construction in those zones.
3.) Many “X” Flood Zones may now be classified as “A” Flood Zones which will require flood insurance for a bank loan and will create new reconstruction standards including the 50% rule.
4.) Grandfathering of existing flood insurance policies will occur for those properties with flood insurance in place when the new maps take effect. Those grandfathered flood policies will insulate the property from future premium increases and the policies themselves will be transferable to a buyer which will facilitate the sale of your property.
All of these new proposed Federal regulations are in addition to the State mandated “Freeboard” that requires new construction to be a minimum of 12” above the flood zone.
In light of all of these changes which can have significant impacts on your property we encourage you to review your proposed Flood Zone. The Flood maps showing your current flood zone and the new proposed flood zone for your property can be accessed through this link: https://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/1151/New-Draft-Coastal-Flood-Maps
We will advise you of the schedule and location of Public Hearings which will take place throughout the Keys in January of 2020.