All developments in the special flood hazard areas of Walton County must be issued a development order prior to developing. Buildings constructed within special flood hazard areas must have a building permit prior to the start of construction. All applications in areas of special flood hazard must be reviewed by the Flood Plain Manager. Buildings that are being constructed in a flood hazard area within Walton County are required to be elevated as follows:
Flood Zone AE- The finished floor of the living space must be a minimum of 1’ above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Parking, storage, and building access areas may be located below the BFE provided that the materials are flood resistant, the spaces are unfinished, and flood openings are provided.
Flood Zone VE and Coastal A Zones - The lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor must be a minimum of 1’ above the BFE. Parking, storage, and building access areas may be located below the BFE provided that the walls are certified as breakaway.
Flood Zone A (No BFE) - The finished floor of the living space must be a minimum of 3’ above the highest adjacent grade, if no BFE can be determined. Parking, storage, and building access areas may be located below the 3' elevation, provided that the materials are flood resistant, the spaces are unfinished, and flood openings are provided. Developments that are 5 acres or greater, or 50 lots or larger, are required to have a BFE established prior to being issued a development order. Parcels that are below this threshold may be eligible for the County to establish a BFE.
Flood ways: Homes built in the Flood way are required to be constructed to withstand the velocity forces of a Base Flood event. Foundations should be designed on columns or pilings, by a engineer or architect, and elevated to 1’ above the Base Flood Elevation. Enclosures are not permitted below the Base Flood Elevation in the regulatory flood way. Any proposed encroachment in the flood way requires a technical evaluation by a licensed professional engineer to demonstrate that the project will not affect flood heights. The results of this analysis must be maintained in the municipality’s permit file. This can be in the form of a No-Rise Certification supported by technical data and signed by a registered professional engineer. The supporting technical data should be based on the standard step-backwater computer model used to develop the flood way shown on the flood hazard map. Hydraulic modeling of the pre-project and post-project conditions should demonstrate that the change in the 100-year flood height is 0.00 feet. Fill is prohibited in the Flood way in Walton County.
Flood-proofing is acceptable for non-residential buildings in AE and A Zones. Buildings must be flood-proofed a minimum of 2’ above the BFE.
Building Elevation compliance must be documented by submitting an Elevation Certificate (FEMA Form 81-31) at three stages during the construction process. Certificates must be certified by a licensed architect, engineer, or land surveyor. Flood-proofing compliance must be documented on a Flood-proofing Certificate (FEMA Form 81-65), and certified by a licensed engineer or architect.
Download The Flood Plain Management Permit Checklist for requirements for building permits.
A Non-Conversion Agreement must be provided for all areas located below the BFE.
Walton County No-Rise Certification.
A V-Zone Certificate must be provided for buildings located in a VE Zone.
A BFE Determination Form may be submitted for A Zones with no BFE, where development is less than 5 acres or 50 lots.
Manufactured (mobile) homes are required to be elevated on a permanent foundation in accordance with the guidelines in FEMA P-85. Some exceptions apply for manufactured homes in mobile home parks. See the Mobile Home Requirements in Flood Zones document for details.
Fill placed on single-family dwelling lots of record must be placed in accordance with ASCE24-05. A no-adverse impact approach must be taken when placing fill. All placement of fill in the special flood hazard area must be approved by the Flood Plain Manager.
Home Builder’s Guide
Coastal Construction Manual