All development in the floodplain requires a permit per Chapter 18 of the West University Place Code of Ordinances. Development includes, but is not limited to, all new construction, filling, grading, and paving. Substantially damaged or improved structures, where the cost of repair (regardless of the cause of damage) or improvements to a structure equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, also require building permits and elevation certificates and are held to the same standards as new construction.
Communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program must regulate to minimum standards to provide subsidized flood insurance to their citizens. In some cases, the City of West University Place has chosen to implement higher standards to provide further protection to its citizens. One higher standard West University Place adheres to in its floodplain ordinance is the requirement of all new construction and substantially improved structures to be built to at least two feet above the base flood elevation. The elevation requirement extends to all equipment servicing the building such as an air conditioning unit. This higher standard provides added protection to structures but does not eliminate the flooding threat. It also benefits homeowners by giving them discounts on their flood insurance, depending on how high their structure is above the base flood elevation.
Check out the Code of Ordinances page to see Chapter 18 and other regulations the City follows.
Contact the Development Services Department at 713.662.5833 located at 3826 Amherst St. for advice before you construct or place anything in the floodplain to ensure that the proper regulations are followed. Any development in the floodplain without a permit is illegal, and such activity should be reported to the Building Department. Permit information and elevation certificates on some properties in the floodplain are on file and may be requested from the Building Department. For more information on requirements for development, refer to the Development Services Department page.