Building & Floodplain Basics
Development Permits Required
A development permit is required for all development in the unincorporated areas of Bastrop County. An application for a development permit must be submitted before you build or place a structure on your property. This includes manufactured homes, recreational vehicles, and tiny homes. There are three types of development permit:
- "Class A" permits are issued for all development outside the mapped 100-year floodplain,
- "Conditional Class A" permits are issued for all development outside the mapped 100-year floodplain but on property within the 100-year floodplain, and
- "Class B" are issued for all development of property that lies partially or wholly within the mapped 100-year floodplain.
Applications, Fee Schedule, and Information may be obtained from our offices.
What is Development?
Development is any soil disturbing activity, and is defined in the Bastrop County Flood Damage Prevention Order as any man-made change in improved and unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.
What is a Floodplain?
A floodplain is a geographic area subject to flooding; land adjacent to waterway necessary to contain a flood. Floodplains are associated with rivers, lakes, streams, channels, and small creeks that are normally dry most of the year.
Floodplain Regulations in Bastrop County
The Bastrop County Flood Damage Prevention Order contains regulations designed to protect property and the public health and safety. All development must adhere to federal floodplain regulations (CFR 44).
Bastrop County Floodplain Management is using the best available data to insure that all development is relatively safe from flooding. Flood Prone Areas are identified by several different sources including
- Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs, which identify Special Flood Hazard Areas
- Base Level Engineering or estBLE which identify Supplemental Flood Hazard Areas
- Flood Studies which identify Community Determined Flood Hazard Areas based on watersheds
- Letters of Map Change which contain very specific areas
- and/or repetitive loss areas.
Building in a Floodplain
Before you file an application to develop property within the floodplain, you will need to hire a Surveyor who will certify that the proposed construction will meet the requirements of the Bastrop County Flood Damage Prevention Order. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your plans and to determine the best course of action to assure that your property will be reasonably safe from flooding.
Additions and Decks
If I build an addition or deck outside my building, do I need to raise my existing building two-feet above the base flood elevation?
Any addition must comply with all floodplain regulations. If the value of the addition, remodel, or repairs of the home or business exceeds 50% of the value of the existing:
What are the penalties if I don't secure all my permits?
- Residential home, the existing structure(s) must be elevated two-feet above the base flood elevation.
- Non-Residential, the existing structure(s) must be either elevated or flood-proofed two-feet above the base flood elevation.
- You would not be able to occupy or use your building or development until you receive all required permits.
- You may be fined up to $500 per day of offense (each day constitutes a separate offense).
- The County may require the removal of the improvements constructed without permits.
Mandatory Flood Insurance Requirement
The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair, or improvement of any publicly or privately owned building in the SFHA. This includes machinery, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings contained in such buildings.
How are premiums calculated?
A number of factors determine the premium rates for flood insurance coverage. They include the amount of coverage purchased, location, age of the building, building occupancy, the design of the building, and, for buildings in SFHAs, the elevation. The only buildings in Zones B, C, and X which are eligible for preferred risk coverage at a pre-determined, reduced premium rate are single-family and 1-4 family dwellings. For these exceptions, there are certain loss limitations depending on the amount of insurance purchased.
What constitutes "substantial improvement" or "substantial damage?"
"Substantial improvement" means any rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a building when the cost of the improvement equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building before start of construction of the improvement. The term includes buildings which have incurred "substantial damage," or damage of any origin sustained by a building when the cost of restoring the building to its pre-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the building before the damage occurred. Substantial damage is determined regardless of the actual repair work performed.
Substantial improvement or damage does not, however, include any project for improvement of a building to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions. Also excluded from the substantial improvement requirement are alterations to historic structures as defined by the NFIP.