In situations where a property owner believes that their property has been inadvertently mapped in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on a Flood Insurance Rate Map, FEMA provides a process for requesting a change in the flood zone designation for the property. This can be done for several reasons, but primarily it is used to alleviate the need for property owners to purchase flood insurance. This request is known as a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). There are several LOMC types that you may submit:
- LOMA – “Letter of Map Amendment” a request to remove a piece of land or structure that was incorrectly placed in a flood hazard area as the land or structure is currently on high ground that is above the base flood elevation without the use of fill. LOMA applications can involve one or multiple lots or structures. If a LOMA is granted by FEMA, property owners may be eligible for lower to no insurance costs depending on the rules and regulations of their specific insurance company.
- CLOMR-F – “Conditional Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill” an initial application and grading plan sent to FEMA that is used to determine whether the proposed fill would be sufficient to elevate the structure above the flood plain elevation and effectively remove it from the floodplain. Upon Approval of CLORM-F a LOMR-F can be completed.
- LOMR-F – “Letter of Map Revision-Based on Fill” used to show that due to the placement of fill the requested area has been raised out of the floodplain. The LOMA-F type applies to situations where fill material has been placed or is going to be placed after the first floodplain map area has been established. It is best used for existing structures built on a raised pad or new structures that are planned to be built on a raised pad that is above the established flood plain elevation.
A LOMA application does not require a fee to be reviewed by FEMA, while a LOMR-F does require a fee for review and processing that can be found in the related links section of the fema.gov website. Local governing agencies such as Fish Wildlife and Parks, local Conservation Districts, local floodplain administrators, and possibly more may require an application and additional permits before allowing fill to be placed inside the floodplain.