Municipalities are required to adopt the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) once FEMA issues an effective date. Adoption of the maps must take place after this determination but before the effective date of the maps in order to continue participation in the NFIP.
State legislation (674:57) allows the governing body (i.e. Board of Selectmen) to adopt the new maps. Prior to this legislation, only the legislative body (i.e. town meeting) could adopt the maps, usually as a zoning ordinance amendment. Any other zoning ordinance amendments still must follow the zoning amendment process and be approved by the legislative body.
To assist municipalities in the adoption of the new maps, OEP has developed sample language. FEMA will notify each municipality of the effective dates to be inserted in this language. OEP will also remind the municipality through a phone call or letter when the date is released. At that time, the municipality will need to adopt the maps. OEP recommends that municipalities consult with their legal counsel prior to using the following suggested language.
Pursuant to RSA 674:57, by resolution of the (Insert Governing Body Here), all lands designated as special flood hazard areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its "Flood Insurance Study for the County of (Insert County Name Here), NH" dated (Insert Final Map Effective Date Here), together with the associated Flood Insurance Rate Maps dated (Insert Final Map Effective Date Here) are declared to be part of the (Insert Name of Your Ordinance Here) and are hereby incorporated by reference.
Once this resolution passes, the municipality should make sure that this language appears in the appropriate floodplain development or zoning ordinance. Prior to the effective date of the maps, FEMA will request a copy of your municipality's updated ordinance, which needs to include the revised map date and study.
NH Office of Energy and Planning
Governor Hugh J. Gallen State Office Park
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor | 107 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2155 | fax: (603) 271-2615