New Regulations Effective July 30, 2021
The Planning and Zoning division is working on updates to the City’s building code for the floodplain areas around the Big Sioux River. These changes will affect construction on new and existing properties within the floodplain. More information about floodplains can be found here.
These changes will not affect your homeowner or flood insurance, nor will they change the FEMA floodplain map itself. The proposed changes are general suggestions and are being offered here for the public to review.
The City of Sioux Falls adopted these regulations on July 6, 2021 and they became effective on July 30, 2021.
Changes include, but are not limited to:
- Base-level engineering: The City would like to be able to use accurate data to identified floodplains earlier in the FEMA map process. These areas are typically the areas leading into floodplains along smaller tributaries going into the Big Sioux River or other waterways in the area.
- Substantial improvement: The City would like to track improvements to structures over 3 years (starting in 2023) so that any major improvement or repair (over 45% of the value of the building) would need to meet current standards.
Example: A house was repaired for tornado damage, and then flood damage the next year. If the combined cost of both projects were worth more than 45% of the value of the building, the building will need to be razed or rebuilt.
- Freeboard: The City would like to provide an additional level of protection to properties by increasing the minimum height above the flood level from 2 to 3 feet. This increase will help keep properties safer during events and help keep properties above the flood level after future map updates that may increase the elevation of the flood level. This is only applicable to new or substantially improved buildings.
- Comp Storage: The City would like to protect the water storage areas that happen during a flooding event by not allowing areas to place new fill, but by moving these areas to another site within the same general area.
Example: If a property owner wanted to raise an area for a new garage, they would be required to provide an area of the same size in the same neighborhood (on their property or if they have an agreement to another property.
Full list of proposed changes
The typical cost in staff time and materials for a floodplain development permit varies by each permit but typically that amount is closer to $110.00 per permit. Permits for zoning projects such as decks, sheds, and fences would not be required to pay a fee. A floodplain permit is still required for zoning projects.
The City would start to permit and limit temporary storage of materials within the regulated floodplain so that any storage pile was restricted in time and had a plan in place to move the materials in the event of an impending flood.
Frequently Asked Questions
This map will allow you to see whether your property is within the floodplain: