(Information provided by the La Grande Planning Department)
PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR REPAIR OF FLOOD-DAMAGED STRUCTURES
Flooding in the City of La Grande on February 5-7, 2020, has resulted in damage to many homes and businesses. As property owners within the City consider cleanup and repairs, the Community Development Department is reminding residents that they are required to obtain local permits before repairing or rebuilding flood-damaged structures.
The City of La Grande participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). NFIP participation provides eligibility for flood insurance, disaster assistance, state, and federal grants and loans, and federal funds to mitigate flood risk for properties within the 100-year floodplain. Such assistance or funding may be available through State or Federal programs for eligible properties.
As an NFIP participating community, the City of La Grande has adopted a floodplain management ordinance that meets the minimum NFIP federal standards. Based on those minimum standards, the City’s floodplain regulations require that local permits be obtained for any construction or development activity in a floodplain area, including the repair or reconstruction of structures damaged by flooding. Repair work must not start until a permit has been approved by the City of La Grande Planning Department and Building Department, verifying compliance with the City’s floodplain regulations.
A structure is determined to be substantially damaged if it has been damaged to the extent that the total cost of repairs is 50% (percent) or more of the structure’s pre-damage market value. The total cost to repair must reflect the cost for full repair to “pre-damaged condition, even if the owner elects to do less. The total cost to repair must also include the costs of structural and finish materials, as well as labor.
In some cases, the City of La Grande’s regulations may require substantially damaged structures within the 100-year floodplain to be repaired to current flood protection standards in order to reduce the potential for future flood damage. The City’s floodplain regulations contain standards for structures that are designed to protect from damage to property and loss of life. The local floodplain regulations only apply to areas mapped by FEMA as having a 1% chance of flooding each year (commonly referred to as the 100-year floodplain).
For properties within the 100-year floodplain, State and federal assistance may be available to property owners to reduce the chances of future flood damage. Mitigation assistance may cover the costs of relocation, elevation, or purchasing flood-damaged structures. In limited circumstances, property owners with flood insurance may also be able to access up to $30,000 to help protect their structure from future flood damage.
Please contact Michael Boquist, Community Development Director for questions and more information at 541-962-1307.