Floodplain and Floodway

Due to the extensive damage within the City's two-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), the City of Columbus is reminding all property owners and others about the regulations for any work being done within a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) designated Floodway or Floodplain. A copy of the Land Development Ordinance, the City's two-mile ETJ map with FEMA FIRM map Floodway and Floodplain areas shown, and the Structural and Non-Structural Floodplain Development Permits may be found on the City website: www.columbusne.us. The statutory authorization is designed by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska in Nebraska Revised State Statute 31-1001 to 31-1023 (as amended) to adopt, administer, and enforce floodplain management regulations in the City of Columbus and ETJ. The regulations of this ordinance are in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program as published in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Nebraska Minimum Standards for Floodplain Management Programs as published in the Nebraska Administrative Code Title 455.

Application for Floodplain Development Permit: Structural
Application for Floodplain Development Permit: Non-Structural

Floodplain Structural and Non-Structural Development Permit

A floodplain development permit is required before any development, construction or substantial improvement is undertaken in the Floodplain or Floodway. No person, firm, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity shall initiate any floodplain development without first obtaining a fully completed floodplain development permit. Failure to obtain a floodplain development permit or the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the provisions of the ordinance shall constitute a violation, which is a misdemeanor and a fine, until such time as documentation is provided.

Existing Structures in the Floodplain and Floodway

Any addition, alteration, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or improvement of any kind to an existing structure in the Floodplain and Floodway where the cumulative costs of which would equal or exceed fifty (50) percent of the pre-improvement market value of the structure shall constitute a substantial improvement and shall fully comply with the provisions of the ordinance, A pre-improvement County Assessor's or Appraiser's Valuation and Substantial Damage Estimation must be provided to the Community Development Department prior to proceeding on any work and obtain a building permit. Additional storm recovery and environment guidance on removals are located on the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) website: www.deq.state.ne.us

Additional Floodway Requirements

New structures for human habitation, recreation vehicles, recreation vehicle parks, and storage of materials are prohibited. Any addition, alteration, reconstruction, or improvement including all encroachments, fill, grading, excavation, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development must be prohibited unless certification by a State of Nebraska registered professional engineer or architect in good standing is provided demonstrating that the development or improvements shall not result in any increase in water surface elevation along the floodway profile during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

Non-Structures in the Floodplain

Any grading, fill, excavation, tree removals, and related work requires a Non-Structural Floodplain Development Permit. In additional if more than one acre is disturbed, a NDEQ National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Sites (CSW) Notice of Intent (NOI) and associated Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan will be required before the start of construction. The CSW NOI online application may be found on the NDEQ website: www.deq.state.ne.us under Water Permits Division Programs.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

City of Columbus Administration, Engineering, and Community Development Departments