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Completion of this project will remove approximately 6,000 parcels (Benefit Zone A) from the special flood hazard area.
The assessment district has provided funding to improve the South Bayfront levees and in doing so, will provide protection from tidal flooding to both zones.
Completion of the project will allow the Zone A properties to be removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area, thereby eliminating the requirement for mandatory flood insurance. Zone B properties will still need flood insurance after the project is completed, as they are also subject to stormwater/residual flooding.
In the case of the South Bayfront Levee Improvements, the project was identified as a candidate for an assessment district as the cost of $7.5M was spread over the 8,000 parcels that receive the direct benefit of protection from tidal flooding, resulting in a relatively low cost per owner.
Fiesta Gardens: The 19th Avenue Channel Upgrade Project ($5M) is needed to address stormwater flooding in this neighborhood.
San Mateo/Glendale Village; Laurie Meadows: Improvements are needed to upgrade and widen the Laurel Creek Channel ($27.5M) to address flooding in these neighborhoods.
Central/North Central/North Shoreview: Improvements must be made to the North Levees near Coyote Point ($7.5M), AND the Coyote Point and Poplar Avenue Storm Water Pump Station ($10M) must be rehabilitated to address the tidal and stormwater flooding problems in these neighborhoods.
In the case of the South Bayfront Levee Improvements, the project cost of $7.5M was spread over the 8,000 parcels that receive the direct benefit of protection from tidal flooding, resulting in a relatively low cost per owner.
The remaining flood improvement projects in other areas of the City are relatively more expensive when considering the number of property owners who would share the burden. This makes the formation of additional assessment districts unpractical and in some areas would cost more than flood insurance.
In addition, San Mateo has been working to enter into FEMA's Community Rating System Program which will provide discounted insurance based on flood plain management activities that the City takes above and beyond National Flood Insurance Program minimum requirements. We are working on being certified to meet the minimum requirements, and anticipate that once we are accepted by the program, the initial insurance discount rate will be between 5% to 10%. The discount will apply to all policy holders within the City of San Mateo. Once we are in the program, the discount will apply when you renew your insurance. While we continue to work with FEMA, we are not able to estimate when San Mateo will be accepted into the discount program.
A minimum of 3.0 feet of freeboard above the base flood elevation (BFE);
Geotechnical analyses to demonstrate that the levee foundations and embankments will remain stable during the base flood; and
An operation and maintenance plan to ensure the continued flood protection capacity of the levee system in the future.
The present levee systems contain temporary closures that cannot be credited by FEMA for protection from the base flood. It should be noted that even if the levee system is credited for providing protection from the base flood, it must be demonstrated that the subject area is not subject to flooding from other sources, riverine or coastal.
FEMA issued an appeal resolution letter on July 10, 2000, stating that the model submitted with the appeal could not be used because it incorporated proposed bridge improvements.
On August 1, 2000, FEMA received a letter stating that the model did not incorporated the proposed improvements and asking that the appeal determination be re-evaluated. FEMA sent a second appeal resolution letter on February 26, 2001, which included revisions to the FIRM based on the channel survey, topographic data, and crediting the traffic barrier under Highway 101 near 3rd Street as providing protection from the base flood.
Approximately 5,500 residential and commercial buildings were placed into the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA: Zone AE). This means that the buildings have at least a 1-percent chance of suffering a flood loss in any given year. On December 14, 2010 a revision was issued to reclassify approxmately 4,100 of these properties to SFHA Zone A99.
Flood insurance may be required for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) that serve as security for a federally backed loan or a loan from a federally backed lender. The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, requires that lenders determine if a structure is in the SFHA. This requirement is overseen by Federal financial regulators and Federal agencies that provide funding or guarantee mortgages. Insurance is to be obtained and maintained during the term of the loan. Buildings that have been paid off are not required by Federal law to purchase flood insurance. The mandatory purchase requirement is usually triggered when a loan is made, increased, renewed or extended; or when a flood map has been revised placing additional area in a SFHA. If a loan is sold or its servicing is transferred to a different lender, this can also trigger the requirement to purchase flood insurance.
The City of San Mateo has adopted a floodplain ordinance meeting Federal standards and established procedures for regulating development in the Special Flood Hazard Areas shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map. All building and development permits for new and substantially improved structures issued on or after October 19, 2001 are required to meet the City ordinance provisions. Minimum standards for Zone AE properties include elevating the lowest floor of new or substantially improved structures to or above the base flood elevation; for areas enclosed below the lowest floor, adequate flood vents; and using flood resistant materials and construction.
For properties newly implicated on the preliminary (2008) flood map (areas South of Highway 92) the answer is Yes:
Pre-FIRM structures: If owners of structures built before March 30, 1981, purchase flood insurance before the new flood map becomes effective (currenlty estimated for late 2011), the NFIP "grandfathering" rules would apply, as long as continuous coverage is maintained and the policy was rated correctly against the flood hazard map that was in effect at the time of construction. If a homeowner does not maintain continuous coverage, the flood insurance premium imposed when insurance is reissued would be rated based on the flood map in effect at the time of reissuance.
Post-FIRM structures: For owners of structures built on or after March 30, 1981, and before the new flood map becomes effective, grandfathering rules allow the use, for flood insurance rating, of the flood map in effect at the time of construction.
Past experience is one of a number of factors used when determining flood potential. Another factor that will significantly change your flood risk over time is the amount of new development that has occurred in your watershed which will increase the speed and quantity of the storm runoff and greatly increase the extent of flooding. Inadequate levees can be very effective for smaller storm events but may fail dramatically in places when faced by a really major storm. The flood hazard areas were determined using analyses of records of riverflow, storm tides, and rainfall; information obtained through consultation with the community and topographic surveys. The Flood Insurance Study also assumes the free flow of floodwaters through bridge openings and culverts. During an actual flood event, these openings may become plugged and other areas not shown as floodprone may be flooded.
This Flood Insurance Study represents the best technical information on the current flood risk in your community.
Flood insurance does not cover the value of the land. The amount you purchase relates to the replacement cost of the building.
The maximum structural coverage available is $250,000 for residential buildings and $500,000 for commercial buildings. The maximum contents coverage available is $100,000 for residential buildings and $500,000 for commercial buildings.
Flood insurance can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on when the policy is purchased and the amount of coverage. (click here for rate tables)
Contact your local insurance agent;
Call the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) toll-free number, 1-800-427-4661, to request the name of an insurance agent in your area who sells flood insurance
For removal of existing structures on a case by case basis, please refer to the section below on "Map Change Information for Homeowners."
As an alternative, FEMA established procedures by which an interested community may compile appropriate data and request a map revision. Map revisions are often completed in less than 90 days from the date all data are received.
Corrects a mapping or study analysis error;
Is based on the effects of natural changes within a SFHA;
Is based on the effects of a federally sponsored flood-control project where 50 percent or more of the project's costs are federally funded;
Is based on a detailed hydrologic or hydraulic study conducted by a Federal, State, or local agency to replace an approximate study conducted by FEMA and shown on the flood map; or
Is based on flood hazard information meant to improve upon that shown on the flood map or within the flood study, and does not partially or wholly incorporate manmade modifications within the SFHA.
FEMA Form MT-1, entitled "Amendments and Revisions to National Flood Insurance Program Maps: Application/Certification Forms and Instructions for Letters of Map Amendment, Conditional Letters of Map Amendment, Letters of Map Revision (Based on Fill), and Conditional Letters of Map Revision (Based on Fill)"-This package includes instructive information for property owners who may be interested in requesting that FEMA remove their property from the floodplain shown on the flood map. The application/certification forms included in the package must be completed and submitted to support such requests.
FIA-12, [Appeals, Revisions and Amendments to National Flood Insurance Program Maps, A Guide for Community Officials]-This document provides extensive information on the various processes available to community officials, property owners, and others who are interested in changing the information shown on the flood hazard map for a community.
FIA-2, [Answers to Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program]-This document, which provides a good summary of the National Flood Insurance Program.
FEMA-258, [Guide to Flood Maps]-This document was designed to assist community officials, property owners, and others in reading and understanding the flood maps.