Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) Building Restrictions
New Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) have been issued for San Joaquin County and became effective October 16, 2009. Building restrictions apply in areas designated as SFHA (Zone A).
Once a parcel is designated as SFHA (Zone A), building restrictions will apply to new construction, reconstruction and additions, including but not limited to a requirement to elevate new and existing structures above the base flood elevation.
These documents provide the building process for parcels designated as Zone A:
- SFHA Building Restrictions Flow Chart
- Building Permit Application Disclosure
- Construction Requirements in Flood Zones
Electronic copies of the maps are available on the San Joaquin County Public Works site (see External Links below.) Use the Flood Zone Viewer and enter the APN and address to determine if your property is considered a SFHA (Zone A) and a high-risk for flooding.
Local flood officials work with State and Federal agencies to identify areas that meet the flood protection requirements. As a result, several areas previously identified as "high-risk" on preliminary maps have changed to "low- to moderate-risk" or provided with provisional accreditation.
- It is important to check the flood maps to see if the risk level for your address has changed.
Flood Insurance Requirements
If you have a mortgage on property identified in a high-risk area, you may be required by your mortgage company or lender to carry flood insurance. Insurance is available for businesses, homeowners, and renters. Both buildings and contents can be insured. All property owners and renters are strongly encouraged to consider flood insurance, whether or not you are in a SFHA.
If your property is not in a SFHA, you are not required to purchase or maintain flood insurance. However, the cost of insuring your home or business and its contents against flood damage is far less expensive than the cost of repair or replacement after a flood.
For example, the average single-family home and its contents not in a SFHA may be insured for coverage of $250,000 for the building and $100,000 in contents for around $350 annually for residential properties.
Insurance premiums will vary depending on flood risk zone as it appears on the final FIRMs and insurance company fees. To understand your insurance rates and requirements, please contact your insurance agent or the National Flood Insurance Program.
Flooding: A Costly Disaster
San Joaquin County is largely surrounded by water, protected by levees, and experiences periodic flooding. Flooding is the most likely natural hazard to occur in our area.
Flood risk varies from property to property, and risk changes over time, due to erosion, land use, and weather. Flooding can occur in high-, moderate-, and low-risk areas. Historically, 20 to 25 percent of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program are outside of "Special Flood Hazard Areas."
Flood Protection Improvements
Most of the area's existing flood control facilities, including levees, are maintained at the current required level of flood protection. However, stricter standards from the federal and state governments are likely to necessitate improvements for some levees and will require some property owners to purchase flood insurance. A higher level of long-term flood protection will ultimately be required in our urban areas to guard against historically infrequent, but potentially severe, high-water events.
Additional Flood Information
Frequent Asked Questions - San Joaquin County Public Works Department web site
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or call 1-800-358-9616
- To locate a local agent or purchase flood hazard maps
National Flood Insurance Program or call 1-888-379-9531
This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 6/16/2015