Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission


December 13, 2007

Staff Lead:


Kimberley Johnson, Zoning Administrator


Community Development



A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Sections 4-400 and 15-300 to Update Floodplain Regulations  


Topic Description:

The proposed text amendment is necessary to bring the County’s Floodplain regulations into conformance with all Federal standards by adding the new effective FIS and FIRM dates and other language required in order to maintain eligibility for the Federal Insurance Flood Program.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached Ordinance.


Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.


Summary Staff Report:


On September 29, 2006, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided the County with preliminary copies of an updated Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).  The County provided comments to FEMA on these items, and FEMA will be issuing the updated FIS and FIRM for Fauquier County with an effective date of February 6, 2008. 

Fauquier County is required, as a condition of continued eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to adopt updated floodplain regulations that meet all Federal standards and which reflect the new effective FIS and FIRM dates before the February 6, 2008 date.

The key update to the ordinance required to maintain compliance with NFIP is to add the date of the new FIS and FIRM to the ordinance.  This proposed text amendment makes that change.  In addition, staff has provided additional clarification language in several provisions at the direction of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) staff, who have indicated such clarifications are necessary in order to keep Fauquier County’s floodplain regulations in compliance with Federal standards.  Additional clarifications, including provisions related to variances were incorporated based on FEMA comments received by staff on November 26, 2007.  These additional clarifications based on FEMA comment include incorporation of extensive language related to additional standards for variances in the floodplain.   FEMA has indicated that the County previously agreed to these standards (which are based on the National Model Floodplain Ordinance) and adopted an Administrative Policy to utilize them.   Staff would note that the general standards for variances in the Zoning Ordinance are far more restrictive, because of state law, than are the additional FEMA standards, therefore these standards have virtually no effect. 

The Planning Commission initiated this proposed text amendment on October 25, 2007.  The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposal on November 29, 2007 and unanimously recommended approval of the amendment.   Staff would further note that the Board of Supervisors must approve this text amendment, or an alternative amendment with language satisfactory to FEMA, before February 6, 2008 in order to retain eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program.


Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Department of Economic Development
Property Owners with Buildings in the Floodplain

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