Council to Consider Proposed Changes to Floodplain Overlay Zone Code October 14, 2019

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On October 14, 2019, the Salem City Council will consider changes to the Floodplain Overlay Zone in Salem Revised Code Chapter 601. The changes meet State of Oregon and Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements and comply with the Oregon Model National Flood Insurance Program. The changes are needed because of floodplain mapping changes focused around the City of Turner, which affect a small portion of Salem and take effect on October 18, 2019.

No substantive change to the floodplain development review process is being proposed. The proposed floodplain overlay zone changes are primarily a formatting change to align with the Oregon statewide model.

How do the changes being proposed affect me?

The proposed modifications to Salem Revised Code Chapter 601 are not changing the requirements
for properties in the floodplain, with one minor exception as described below.

Furnaces and other utility equipment will now need to be elevated in new construction and substantial improvements, adding one additional foot of elevation to what was required previously.  Neither the current nor the proposed ordinance requires you to elevate your service equipment if it is replaced as part of ordinary maintenance on your home. Elevation is only required if you are replacing equipment as part of a substantial improvement to your home, which means "any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the "start of construction" of the improvement…" (Salem Revised Code, Section 601.005).  For example, if the appraised value of a structure is $300,000, only renovation projects valued at or above $150,000 would trigger the requirement to elevate existing equipment.  

This change is a minimum requirement for Salem to improve its CRS rating and qualify for larger discounts on flood insurance premiums.

How does the Community Rating System affect my flood insurance?

Many communities in Oregon participate in the voluntary Community Rating System program. As a result of Salem's participation, residents receive a 25 percent discount on flood insurance premiums. Salem has achieved its CRS rating through ongoing efforts in areas such as stormwater management, flood information outreach, and preservation of open space. You can learn more about the Salem's efforts on our website.

Property owners are encouraged to contact floodplain management staff to confirm flood risk or view Salem’s local floodplain maps to check a specific property address for flood hazards. You can learn more about flood insurance in Salem and Salem’s efforts to reduce flood insurance premiums through the Community Rating System on our website.

  Draft SRC Chapter 601

Contact us

Glenn DavisChief Development EngineerPublic Works Department
555 Liberty ST SE RM 325
Salem, OR 97301