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Title 20 - Chapter 31 - Flood Hazard Rules


Thursday, April 29, 2021

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The District’s Current Flood Hazard Rules

Current Flood Hazard Rules 

Building Permits are required for new construction or development in the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). All development projects in SFHA must comply with the Title 12 DCMR - DC Construction Codes (Managed by DCRA) and Title 20 DCMR Chapter 31 - Flood Hazard Rules (Manage by DOEE). 

Proposed Revisions to the Flood Hazard Rules 

DOEE is considering revisions to our existing Flood Hazard Rules to ensure that the District's buildings and residents are more resilient to floods in the face of a changing climate that will increase the city's flood risk. DOEE began this process in March 2020 and you can find updates on the status and latest findings of the regulations below.  We aim to begin the formal rulemaking process in mid-to-late 2021.  

Upcoming Outreach for the Proposed Flood Hazard Rules 

Residential Public Input Webinars – Summer 2021 

We’ll host online presentations regarding the proposed updated Flood Hazard Rules at 5:30 pm on July 29th and at 6:30 pm on August 3rd for homeowners and renters residing in the floodplain. Both meetings will feature the same content, feel free to attend whichever date and time is most convenient for you. Please register >>     

Commercial/Institutional Public Input Webinars – Summer 2021 

We’ll also host an online presentation regarding proposed updated Flood Hazard Rules at 2:30 pm on August 19th for owners of commercial or nonprofit institutional properties in the floodplain. Please register >>

Past Outreach on the Proposed Flood Hazard Rules 

Initial Stakeholder Outreach - March 2020

In March and April of 2020, DOEE hosted a number of meetings with Stakeholders to share our proposal and gather feedback.

Technical Workshops

After further analysis, and consideration of stakeholder comments, DOEE launched a series of Technical Workshops to gather further input from technical professionals. See below for materials from these events.

Workshop 1 - Overview - April 20, 2021

  • This meeting provided an overview of the draft floodplain regulations, DOEE’s outreach conducted to date, and a preview of the subsequent workshops.
  • Presentation
  • Recording

Workshop 2 - Mapping - April 29, 2021

  • This meeting will focus on map-related topics such as the delineation of the Tidal Shoreline Buffer (TSB), design flood elevations required in the TSB, and a discussion of the TSB’s underlying sea level rise projections. This meeting will also address DOEE’s proposal for how we will handle instances where applicants may have site-specific information that could remove their project from a regulatory floodplain.

    - Supplement - NJ DEP Sea Level Rise
    This document describes the process that New Jersey used to establish sea level rise projections for the state.

    - Supplement - Flood Risk Management Planning Resources for the District
    This document, especially Chapter 6 "Coastal Flooding" and Appendix B, provide useful Washington, DC specific information on Sea Level Rise Projections and how they are calculated.

  • Presentation
  • Recording

Workshop 3 - Vesting and Transition - May 20, 2021

  • This meeting will focus on the timeline for implementation of proposed regulations, and will provide an opportunity for discussion of key criteria that must be met for a development project to be vested under the previous regulations.
  • Supplement – SW Regs Transition
  • Presentation
  • Recording

Workshop 4 - Commercial, Mixed-Use, and Multifamily Development- June 10, 2021

  • This meeting will focus on topics relevant to large-scale buildings, including allowable use categories below grade, underground parking, and differences between requirements in 100-year vs. 500-year floodplains.
  • Presentation
  • Recording