Because your property is in or near an area subject to flooding, the following information may be of interest to you. This information is offered to help protect your property and reduce potential losses due to flooding. The City of Oakland Park is dedicated to assisting our residents and businesses to reduce the hazardous effects of flooding in our community.
Local Flood Hazard
Nearly 90% of the City is in an AH or AE zone Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This means that if you live or own a business in Oakland Park you are in or adjacent to an SFHA and are at risk for flooding. Buildings in an SFHA have a 26% chance of being flooded during a 30-year mortgage. Inland flooding occurs when rain from hurricanes overflows rivers, streams and canals such as the North Fork of the Middle River.
Property owners in Oakland Park filed claims in 1979, 1986 and 1999 (with both Hurricanes Floyd and Irene) when heavy rainfall caused severe flooding, and again in 2003, 2004 and 2005 (with Jeanne, Francis, and Wilma). To better understand the importance of flood issues, take a look at the situation created by Floyd.
The City is helping to keep the cost of flood insurance low by participating in the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is administered by the National Flood Insurance Program, which offers discounts to property owners located in Special Flood Hazard Areas in exchange for certain requirements being met by the City. Oakland Park is currently earning a 15% discount for its residents. Make sure your insurance premium includes this benefit. If you have any questions please contact Planning Division at 954-630-4335.
When Flood Insurance is Required
The Flood Disaster Protection Act requires the purchase of flood insurance to receive federal or federally-related financial assistance for acquisition and/or construction of buildings in an SFHA. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding; therefore, a separate policy must be purchased. Under the recently enacted National Flood Insurance Reform Act, the lender is legally responsible for determining if a flood insurance policy is required for a loan. Coverage may be purchased for both the building and its content. Residences can be insured for up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the contents. Because content coverage is separate, renters can also insure their belongings up to the said amount. Nonresidential buildings can be insured for up to $500,000 for the building and $50,000 for the contents. Since these figures can vary, check with your insurance company for further details.
If you are among the 15% that are not in a Special Flood Hazard Area and you wish to purchase flood insurance, a Preferred Risk Policy is available at a discounted rate. Because these policies already have the lowest premium possible, the CRS 15% discount will not apply. Coverage limits may be $250,000 for the building and $60,000 for the contents.
Program for Public Information (PPI)
The City of Oakland Park has developed a NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) Program for Public Information (PPI) in order to allow the committee to design an entire public information program, not just outreach projects. The Engineering and Community Development Department Director authorized staff to organize and establish a 7 person PPI committee to help prepare the public information forum for flood awareness outreach projects. Staff will assist in the creation of a new Flood Information Program Committee to further enhance the outreach project activity 330 section of the CRS.
The Flood Information Program Committee will be an ongoing public information effort designed to transmit the messages that the City determines are most important for flood safety and the protection of floodplain area that can impact the City. The committee will cover other types of public information endeavors, such as an updated webpage, and discuss how insurance agents and property owners can learn about the availability of Elevation Certificate data. Also, limited technical assistance to property owners may be provided. If you have any questions please contact Administrative Specialist Janet Sinclair at 954-630-4335.
Floodplain Permit Requirements
Among other things, a building permit is required for:
Construction of a building or structure
Permanent storage of materials or equipment
This applies to commercial and industrial property as well as residential. Contact the Building Division at 954-630-4350 prior to performing any of these activities, or if you observe these activities being performed without a permit being posted on the property.