Floodplain Protection

Floodplain Management and Development Information
Please know that having property located in or near an identified flood zone or more specifically a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) does not inherently mean you cannot develop your property. There are steps you can take to mitigate your risk and, at the same time, ensure compliance with applicable flood regulations.

The County has made available a variety of documents on existing flood data as well as guidelines and flood protection methods for you to review in several convenient locations including:
Orange County Public Library - Hillsborough Branch on Margaret Lane
Orange County Planning Office located on the second floor of the West Campus Office building at 131 West Margaret Lane, Hillsborough

If you are thinking about engaging in land disturbing activity on your property for any reason (i.e. building a new structure, grading, removing trees, etc.) you should first contact the Planning Department to understand what issues, if any, the project may create.
Floodplain Development Permit Requirements
A Floodplain Development Permit application is a required document for any disturbance within the floodplain prior to the starting any development activity, including, but not limited to: 
Building fences
Clearing of land
Constructing a barn or shed
Installing a road or driveway
• Repairing or expanding an existing house or building
Please note, no new structures are allowed in the floodplain.
Floodplain Location Services
Planning staff can assist residents determine where floodplains are located on their property and provide basic mapping services to delineate them.  While this service does not take the place of procuring a professionally prepared site plan where a surveyor formally delineates floodplains on your property, staff can provide vital information such as the depth of anticipated flood waters and the location of any structure with respect to its proximity to identified floodplains. 

Orange County Interactive Geographic Image System (GIS) can also provide basic maps denoting the location of floodplain on properties within the County.
Assistance with Flood Regulations
Planning staff is able to provide assistance, with respect to existing flood regulations and FIRM data, on the following:
 Base Flood Elevations as denoted on the most recent FIRM
 100 and 500 year floodplain maps
Archived FIRM maps and flood data
Cross section elevations at selected locations
Approximate location of parcel lines
Zoning and watershed overlay designations
Two foot topographic contour lines
Approximate location(s) of structure(s) utilizing aerial photographic data
Any FIRM adjustment approved through the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map revision (LOMR) process, and Elevation Certificates for certain parcels.
Additional Services
Staff is also available to assist with the following:
Completion of complementary site visits to review your specific situation. 
Preparation of documents detailing specific advice/options on ways to protect your property (i.e. retrofitting/flood proofing of structures, drainage improvements, etc.), and
Review of any and all available financial assistance programs to assist with development/redevelopment activities.
Completion of a Zoning Report which utilizes Orange County Geographic Information Service (GIS) data, may identify environmental conditions that may restrict the overall development of a specific parcel of property. Additional information regarding Zoning Reports can be found here.
Additional Resources
• Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Community Rating System (CRS)
• Flood Insurance, Flood Preparedness, Safety, and Additional Information
• FEMA
• North Carolina Flood Risk Information System (FRIS)
• Orange County Emergency Services
• Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated
• Retrofitting Existing Residences to Address Potential Flood Damage
• Protecting Manufactured Homes
• Flood Proofing Non-Residential Structures
• Questions and Answers About Flood Insurance for Real Estate Professionals