Building in a Floodplain




Any development taking place in the 100 Year Floodplain requires Floodplain Development review. A permit application may be obtained from the Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits, 2nd Floor, City Hall, Room 210, telephone number (205) 254-2904. The average review period is 3 to 5 working days.  For information regarding fees please contact the Building Division at (205) 254-2904.

Development means any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavating or drilling operations, or storage of materials or equipment.


  • The applicant must completely fill out an application for Permit to Develop in a Flood Hazard Area.
  • All drawings must be submitted on 18 inch by 24 inch size paper minimum.  The drawings must include the following:
    • a site plan (including all required flood protection information);
    • an emergency response plan when using dry floodproofing for flood protection;
    • a No-Rise Certification/Analysis for floodway developments only;
      Click to view No-Rise Certification Form
    • a Base Flood Elevation determination for Approximate Zone developments only;
    • a copy of the variance resolution for flood-related granted variances.
  • All drawings that are for assembly must be sealed by an Alabama licensed architect or engineer.

Build Responsibly




  1. Obtain an Application for Permit to Develop in a Flood Hazard Area.   Click for Permit Application
  2. Complete Permit Application and submit along with all required submittals checked on the permit application to counter staff for application completeness review.
  3. Once staff has confirmed that your application is complete, it will be forwarded to the Floodplain Management Staff for plans review and approval.
  4. Upon approval you will be required to sign a Floodplain Determination form, acknowledging the flood protection requirements and/or approval conditions. Also, you may receive, as-built certification forms to be completed and submitted after the permit is issued.

Also, please note that floodplain development approval is contingent upon satisfactory demonstration that all applicable local, state, or federal requirements have been met.


For new construction, prior to beginning any vertical work, you will be required to submit a completed Lowest Floor Elevation Form, signed and sealed by a Registered Land Surveyor, Professional Engineer or Registered Architect, and the issued yellow building permit card for review and approval by Floodplain Management staff. When approved, the yellow permit card will be signed and all construction work may resume.

Also, for new construction, you will be required to submit a completed Elevation Certificate or Dry Flood-proofing Certificate signed and sealed by a Registered Land Surveyor, Professional Engineer or Registered Architect and the issued yellow building permit card for review and approval by Floodplain Management Staff just prior to receiving final building inspection approval. When approved, the yellow building permit card will be signed and final building inspection may proceed. For requirements on all other construction or development types, please contact Floodplain Management Staff.


Floodplain Management and Disaster Mitigation Staff can review and advise property owners’ regarding floodproofing plans for their properties.  FEMA also offers a more in-depth  guide to several retrofitting techniques. This guide describes six retrofitting methods for you to consider as you think about how to protect your home from flooding:

  • Elevation – Raising your home so that the lowest floor or lowest horizontal member is at or above the regulated flood level. You can accomplish this in several ways.
  • Relocation – Moving your home to higher ground where it will reduce the exposure to flooding.
  • Demolition – Tearing down your damaged home and either rebuilding on the same property or buying or building a home elsewhere.
  • Wet Floodproofing – Making portions of your home resistant to flood damage and allowing water to enter during flooding.
  • Dry Floodproofing – Sealing your home to prevent floodwaters from entering.
  • Barrier Systems – Building a floodwall or levee around your home to restrain floodwaters.

Please click on to view the guide.

For all other special permitting requirements, please contact the Permitting Services Office at 205-254-2409 or visit