Incorporating NFIP Requirements into Local Ordinances and Regulations

As a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), your community is required to follow various rules, such as requiring permits for all development in the V and A zones (as mapped on your community’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps). Development includes “any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.” Adding NFIP requirements to your local bylaws/ordinances and associated regulations can help increase compliance, ensure your community remains in good standing under the NFIP, and decrease unnecessary confusion among permit applicants, as well as boards and departments.

See the following for more information:

  • The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Flood Hazard Management Program (FHMP) has created a model bylaw for floodplain districts to help communities comply with NFIP minimum requirements. The FHMP also offers assistance to communities wishing to adopt a floodplain district bylaw or update an existing bylaw. For a copy of the model bylaw, or information on assistance with updating your existing bylaw to comply with the NFIP, contact the Floodplain Management Team.
  • The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s Information for Local Officials and Developers page provides information on incorporating NFIP requirements.