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Floodplains often support wildlife habitat and are frequently used by humans. The Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is that portion of land subject to inundation by a flood and/or flood-related erosion hazards. Flood Zone categories are A, AE, AO and X.
The City of Eugene has been a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since 1986. Eugene’s participation in the NFIP allows residents within the 1% annual chance floodplain or Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), to purchase flood insurance, allows communities to obtain federal grants and federal disaster assistance, and allows federally insured lending institutions to offer loans for property located in the floodplain. As part of NFIP participation, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determined existing City of Eugene Floodplain Development code does not meet minimum NFIP standard and will need to adopt minimum federal floodplain regulations to continue NFIP participation. the proposed code language was provided through DLCD’s Oregon’s Model Floodplain Code. The purpose of the NFIP standards and floodplain development code section is to promote public health, safety, and welfare and to reduce property damages due to flooding.
There are over 3000 properties located in the SFHA in the City of Eugene and Urban Growth Boundary. To see if your property is located within the mapped floodplain you may go to FEMAs Map Service Center and plug in your address or map and tax lot. City of Eugene permit staff can also assist you in determining this.
The City of Eugene staff are in the process of adopting floodplain development code to minimum NFIP standards. On June 13, 2022 Eugene Council initiated code amendments allowing staff to formally begin the land use code amendment process. Public hearings for Eugene’s Planning Commission and city Council will be held jointly with Lane County commissioners who will be asked to adopt the same floodplain code amendments to land use code that applies in the Urban Transition Area (UTA) which are lands outside the City of Eugene City limits, but within the City’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). As part of this process, public hearing notifications will be mailed to property owners with the SFHA. A link to an electronic version of this invitation is also posted on the project webpage. The public can participate in the hearings and provide feedback on proposed changes.
As a requirement for continued participation in the NFIP, the existing Eugene Floodplain Code needs to be amended and adopt mandatory minimum NFIP regulations. Note, large scale policy changes or changes that go beyond the minimum NFIP regulations are not planned for this floodplain code update. The City’s Floodplain code update will be based upon the State of Oregon Model Floodplain code. Existing Eugene floodplain development code that incorporates a one-foot freeboard will remain. This one-foot of freeboard, defined as the additional amount of height above the Base Flood Elevation used as a factor of safety, will be applied to all residential buildings, new, substantially improved, or reconstructed due to substantial damage, including manufactured homes and mechanical equipment.
A joint public hearing is scheduled for September 6, 2022, with the Eugene Planning Commission and the Lane County Planning Commission. Notices will be mailed to property owners within the SFHA which will include information on how to participate in the hearing and how to provide comments or other feedback. This information can also be found on the City webpage for the code amendments: The Planning Commissions will make recommendations and subsequent public hearings will take place jointly with the Eugene Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners. For more information on public outreach/hearings please visit the Floodplain project webpage listed below.