Hernando County

Agenda Item

Discussion of Requested Change to Flood Ordinance Requirements Pertaining to Five-Year Cumulative Provision for Calculating Substantial Improvements


Category:Land Use

Financial Impact

No financial impact.


On December 12, 2017, the Board reviewed a letter and heard discussion from Steve and Patricia Barton in regard to the 5-year cumulative code provision as it relates to substantial improvements and substantial damage for structures in the flood hazard zones.  Staff was directed to bring this matter back to the Board for discussion.


Discussion Points:


Chapter 13 Flood Damage Prevention and Protection, Art. IX, Section 13-55 defines substantial damage and substantial improvement:

Substantial damage shall mean damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damage condition would equal or exceed fifty (50) percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. Substantial damage also means flood-related damage sustained by a structure on two (2) separate occasions during a five-year period for which the cost of repairs at the time of each such flood event, on the average, equals or exceeds twenty-five (25) percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

Substantial improvement shall mean any combination of repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or improvement of a building or structure taking place during a five-year period prior to the date of permit application, the cumulative cost of which equals or exceeds fifty (50) percent of the market value of the structure before the improvement or repair is started. If the structure has sustained substantial damage, any repairs are considered substantial improvement regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:

(1) Any project for improvement of a building required to correct existing health, sanitary or safety code violations identified by the building official and that are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions.

(2) Any alteration of a historic structure provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a national program developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The CRS Coordinator’s Manual spells out the credits and credit criteria of the CRS for community activities and programs that go above and beyond the minimum requirements for participation in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

The purpose of flood ordinance, flood resistant construction requirements of the Florida Building Code, and the CRS program is to establish minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety, and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flooding through regulation of development in flood hazard areas.

The SI/SD code provision's purpose is to bring non-conforming structures built pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) or under known flood elevations to be either elevated above FIRM elevations or removed from known repetitive flood areas after reaching a threshold of 50% improved or 50% damaged.  To summarize who this affects, mostly structures built prior to April 3, 1984, the original FIRM date adopted by Hernando County.

Hernando County participates in the CRS program as defined above.  Part of this participation is an assigned classification rating that indicates the amount of savings per policy and per community for flood insurance premiums.  Hernando County is currently a Class 5 which gives a 25% percent discount to all citizens in Hernando County that have a flood insurance policy.  This equates to approximately 3,660 policy holders and an overall savings of approximately $845,883 for this community.

On January 28, 2014, Hernando County adopted the 5-year cumulative improvement section as a higher standard to the SI/SD code provision.  The Community Rating System classifies the cumulative improvement under Section 432.d of the 2017 CRS Manual.  The maximum credit for this element is 90 points.  At 5-years, Hernando County is receiving 20 points, with the longer the cumulative timeframe the more points that are subsequently earned up to a maximum of 90 points.


Mr. and Mrs. Barton are requesting to change the cumulative time period from 5-years to 1-year or per event, in essence reducing this regulation.  This would be a loss of approximately 20 points to the CRS program which does not appear to reduce our current rating of a class 5 community.  Specifically, we have a rating score of 2,638.  A class 5 rating must stay above 2,500 points which gives us approximately 138 points within the rating.  However; the current CRS rating does not take into potential account changes to the CRS program during the next rating period whereby the point loss may have a greater impact upon the discount currently provided to the citizens of Hernando County.


Flood Ordinance Meeting Dates:


Hernando Builder's Association Gov't Affairs Meeting-                            March 28, 2013

Department of Public Works Meeting w/ Local Engineers-               May 1, 2013

Hernando Builder's Association Gov't Affairs Meeting-                            May 16, 2013

Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing-                            December 9, 2013

Board of County Commission Public Hearing-                                          January 14, 2014

Board of County Commission Public Hearing-                                          January 28, 2014

Meeting History

Feb 13, 2018 9:00 AM Video Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting


To set this thing back to the way it was.

The was Board consensus to direct the staff to change the policy as requested and to bring back an Ordinance to be adopted at a future Board meeting.

MOVER:Wayne Dukes, Commissioner
SECONDER:Nicholas W. Nicholson, Vice Chairman
AYES:Steve Champion, Nicholas W. Nicholson, John Allocco, Wayne Dukes, Jeff Holcomb