FEMA Floodplain Changes
Pending Changes to FEMA Floodplain Regulations
For a number of years, the Township has participated in the National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). By including FEMA’s floodplain development regulations in our Zoning Ordinance, we assure that Township property owners are able to secure flood insurance and that overall risk of property damage due to flooding is reduced, as the regulations control development in flood-prone areas. While the original intent of the National Flood Insurance Program was to assure that residents of flood-prone areas could not be denied flood insurance, mortgage lenders now recognize that the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or “FIRMs,” provide a way for them to reduce their risk of loss from flooding. Virtually all lenders now require their customers to procure flood insurance as a condition of approving a mortgage or home equity loan where the property is totally or partially within the 100-year floodplain shown on the FIRM.
FIRMs identify flood risk using a combination of detailed studies and estimates based upon topographic mapping and aerial photography. FEMA updates the FIRMs in our area approximately every ten years. The updates show changes to the extent of flood-prone areas due to changes in topography caused by new development as well as new detailed studies and new predictive flood models.
What to Expect
The FIRMs for West Whiteland Township were last updated in 2006. FEMA has informed us that they are currently in the process of preparing a new update, and they intend that the new FIRMs and new floodplain development regulations will become effective in mid-2017. At that time, the Township will be required to amend our Zoning Ordinance to accommodate the updated regulations. The draft version of the new FIRMs for Chester County is now available on-line.
For additional information, use one of the following links:
· Flood Insurance
· Interactive FIRM Map