Any project that is to be constructed in a floodway must undergo a thorough review to determine if the project, once completed, will increase flood heights in the area. Engineers and surveyors must conduct a thorough analysis before a building permit can be issued to the property owner. Once the analysis is complete, a copy of the record must be provided to the community’s permit file in the form of a No-Rise Certification, which guarantees that a project will not increase flood heights.
Any No-Rise Certification must be supported by demonstrable technical data and then signed by a registered and licensed professional engineer. The technical data provided should be based on the step-backwater computer model that has been used to create the same 100-year floodway shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map and/or the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map.
As a land surveyor in Guadalupe County, TX, here are a few frequently asked questions we receive about no-rise certificates:
Q: Are there any steps I need to take to be able to use my No Rise credit?
Before your county’s Health and Sanitation Department issues a building permit for your project, a surveyor or licensed engineer must quantify the cubic feet of mass of any proposed project to be built in the floodway and confirm that this number is less than the total cubic feet available for your project according to your No Rise certification. Additionally, you must be able to show that any project you propose is a “compliant structure” according to the various FEMA and Guadalupe County rules for floodway building.
Q: What types of projects require me to use a No Rise credit?
Guadalupe County requires you to calculate the total mass of all permanent improvements that will be built below the BFE in the floodway. This includes support columns, beams, joists, walls, foundations, fill and any other permanent structures.
Q: What if I need to get additional “No Rise” credit?
There are far more credits available for a lot than you are likely to need, so you probably are not ever going to need to seek additional No Rise credit. But if you find yourself in the unlikely scenario of needing to seek out additional credit, you can submit a request to your municipality and once again work with a surveyor to determine whether the additional improvements you are planning to make on your lot will or will not cause a rise in the flood height.
At Bettersworth & Associates, Inc., we are the only firm in the Guadalupe County area that is authorized to perform these types of surveys. If you ever have any questions at all about building in a flood plain or making improvements to your area, as well as the types of certifications you need, we strongly encourage you to reach out to our professional and trusted land surveyors in Guadalupe County, TX. Our whole team looks forward to working with you and providing you with additional information about our surveying services.
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