Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Permitting Requirements

Basic Floodplain Permitting Requirements


  1. A state and local floodplain permit is required for all construction activity in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or that area inundated by the 1-percent annual chance flood.  These SFHAs are designated as A, AE, A1-A30, AH or AO zones on the FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Maps). This includes new or substantially improved residential and nonresidential (commercial) structures, filling, excavation and bridges.
  2. Local floodplain ordinances may be more stringent than state and federal regulations.


  1. No new residential structures may be constructed in the floodway.
  2. Nothing may be placed within a floodway that will cause any rise in Base Flood Elevation (BFE). The BFE is defined as the water surface elevation inundated by the 1-percent annual chance flood. An engineering analysis is required.

Residential Development/Substantial Improvement in Special Flood Hazard Areas (A Zones)

  1. The lowest floor of any new or substantially improved structure (including basement) must be elevated to or above the BFE.
  2. Fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor require at least a minimum of two openings, having a total net area of not less than 1 square inch per square foot of enclosed area. The bottom of the openings shall be no higher than 1 foot above grade.
  3. The applicant must submit an Elevation Certificate to the floodplain administrator when the building foundation is complete.
  4. GENERAL NOTE: No variances granted.

Manufactured Homes in Special Flood Hazard Areas (A Zones)

  1. For a manufactured home outside of an existing manufactured home park or subdivision, the requirements are the same as for site-built homes. Manufactured homes must be anchored to a permanent foundation.
  2. Within an existing manufactured home park or subdivision the community has the option of either requiring the home to be elevated at or above the BFE; or have the home elevated on reinforced concrete piers, blocks, etc., to at least 36 inches above grade.
  3. In the event of substantial damage (over 50 percent of pre-damage value), a replacement manufactured home must be elevated to or above the BFE.
  4. If a pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) manufactured home is moved at the onset of a flood event and moved back after the water recedes, it may be replaced at the same elevation.  NOTE: The manufactured home must be the same home that was previously moved and placed in the original building footprint.

Nonresidential Development in Special Flood Hazard Areas (A Zones)

  1. The building must be elevated; in lieu of elevation, the building may be floodproofed to a minimum of 1 foot above the BFE.
  2. If floodproofed, the applicant must submit an "as built" Floodproofing Certificate certified by a professional engineer or architect.

Historic Structures

  1. Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic homes upon determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.

Back to National Flood Insurance Program Main Page