The City of Orono is pleased to introduce the future of online permitting. The City Council approved Citizeserve as our vender providing online permitting, permit tracking, and land use application submittal. City Staff are busy working on improving our online process to ensure easy use once implemented. Watch for updates here.
Some residents may find thier home to be located in, or is located adjacent to the Special Flood Hazard Area (aka SFHA, the 1-percent, or 100-year floodplain) where it was not previously.
How will these updated maps affect you?
If you have a mortgage or secured loan from a federally regulated or insured lender (this includes most loans) and the principle structure on this parcel is within the SFHA, then by Federal law your lender must require you to carry flood insurance.
Most lenders will send a letter to all properties in the SFHA (and often to those close to it) to notify them that they must purchase flood insurance within 45 days. If a policy is not purchased within this time period, the lender will “force place” a policy, which is normally much more expensive.
Flood insurance is available through your agent or one of the agents listed by searching the “Agent Finder” section of FEMA’s Flood Insurance website, FloodSmart.gov. If you have any kind of risk for flood damages, both in or out of the floodplain, the city encourages you to purchase flood insurance.
What to do if you believe you’ve been inadvertently included in the SFHA?
There are often scenarios where the boundaries of the floodplain do not accurately reflect the true topographic characteristics of a site. If you believe your structure and/or parcel is higher than the actual flood elevation, there is a procedure for appeals known as a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). Traditionally, a LOMA involves hiring a surveyor to verify the lowest ground touching the structure, deck or stairs is above the 100-year flood elevation. However, under the right circumstances, two other types of streamlined methods can be pursued in lieu of a field survey:
- Letter of Map Amendments using updated elevation data would be used when LiDAR- derived contour elevations can verify that a structure is above the 100-year flood elevation.
- Letter of Map Amendment – Out as Shown (LOMA-OAS) can be used when a flood map overlaid on top of an aerial photo plainly shows that a structure is completely out of the floodplain.
For those that would qualify for either of the two streamlined methods described above, the city can assist in obtaining a map that can be used in lieu of a field survey.
More information on the process for submitting a LOMA is available from the MN Department of Natural Resources at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/floodplain/map_appeals.html
What can be done to mitigate flood risk and/or reduce premiums?
Elevating, retrofitting, or floodproofing a structure may help to reduce both risk and insurance premiums.
If you have any questions regarding the new Floodplain maps or their impact on your property, please contact the Orono Planning Department at 952-249-4620.