Which Floodplain Management Ordinance is Right for My Town?

The ordinance requirement is determined by the kind of flood hazard identification map that has been provided to your community by the Federal Insurance Administrator. Early maps, before 1979, were done by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Maps from 1979 to present were done by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The more detailed the flood maps, the more detailed the community's floodplain management regulations must be. The National Flood Insurance Program Regulations at 44 CFR, Part 60.3 further tie the type and scope of minimum local regulations to the types of map.


Your community should adopt a 60.3 (b) Floodplain Management Ordinance (PDF, 59 KB) if the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map for your town:

  • is an 11" x 17" "Flat Map" also known as an "Approximate Method Map" without base flood elevations. The Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) are identified with a capital letter A without any number following the letter (i.e., A Zone). 
  • is a Z fold map without any base flood elevations (if there are any flood elevations anywhere on any of the map panels, even though the majority of the zones are A zones then it is not a (b) community). 
  • is listed in the FEMA Community Status Book as Minimally flood prone (an M is next to the community's map effective date in the Status Book).

If your community has the map shown above, but is a coastal community, a 60.3 (b) Coastal Floodplain Management Ordinance (PDF, 52 KB) should be adopted.


Your community should adopt a 60.3(c) Floodplain Management Ordinance (PDF, 54 KB) if the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map for your town:

  • is a Z fold map with base flood elevations having Special Flood Hazard Areas identified as an AE, A1-30, AH, and/or AO Zone.
  • if there are base flood elevations anywhere on any of the map panels, your community needs this ordinance, even if some panels may not have AE, A1-30, AH or AO and all zones are labeled on the panel as A.
  • has no identified regulatory floodway or coastal high hazard area.

If your community has the map shown above, but is a coastal community, a 60.3 (c) Coastal Floodplain Management Ordinance (PDF, 57 KB) should be adopted.


Your community should adopt a 60.3(d) Floodplain Management Ordinance (PDF, 54 KB) if the effective FIRM for your town: has any Flood Hazard Areas identified with an AE, A1-A30, AH and/or AO Zone, and

  • has the "floodway" portion of the floodplain delineated on the FIRM with a cross hatched pattern, or
  • has a separate set of Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps delineating the floodway portion of the floodplain as a non shaded area.

If your community has the map shown above, but is a coastal community, a 60.3 (d) Coastal Floodplain Management Ordinance (PDF, 57 KB) should be adopted.


Your community should adopt a 60.3(e) Floodplain Management Ordinance (PDF, 135 KB) if the effective FIRM for your town has any coastal Special Flood Hazard Areas identified as a VE or V1-30 Zone.


If you have any questions concerning which type of ordinance is appropriate for your community or would like general information about floodplain management, please contact us.