The State of California Central Valley Flood Protection Act of 2008, which is commonly referred to as SB 5, adds additional flood risk considerations for land use planning and sets a higher, 200-year, level of flood protection for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley. Cities and counties within this region were required to amend General Plans and adopt zoning and building code regulations to provide for this "urban level of flood protection."
A 200-year flood event is one that statistically occurs on the average of once every 200 years or has a 0.5 percent chance of occurring in any given year. A 200-year floodplain map has been developed for the Stockton area that shows the anticipated depth of flooding throughout the Stockton metropolitan area; it includes a significant portion of the western side of the City near I-5 and some areas in the central and eastern side of the City that would experience flooding during a 200-year flood event. A link to the 200-year flood map can be found under External Links at the bottom of this page.
The City of Stockton adopted changes to its General Plan in June 2015. Building and zoning code changes apply to all permits issued after July 2, 2016. These changes include increased building setbacks for flood fighting along levees and requirements to elevate buildings above the floodplain or use flood resistant building materials for development in areas identified as flood hazard zones on federal flood maps, while streamlining the process of making specific findings for development of residential and commercial land uses.
A "finding" is a conclusion based on facts, and is commonly required to support the decision to approve a land use permit. Before an affected project can be approved, findings must be made that the proposal meets the new state flood protection requirements.
Findings will be made for the following:
All new residential structures will require findings for 200-year flood protection. The illustration below shows regulations that apply to residential structures built in deep floodplains (red on the map), intermediate-depth floodplains (yellow/orange), and shallow floodplains (blue):
These regulations do not apply to existing residential structures or where structures are being replaced due to fire or damage.
Certain prior commercial discretionary uses are now considered "by-right" uses and will not require SB 5 findings. This means that many commercial land use projects that are consistent with the applicable zoning district will only need ministerial site plan and design review.
Findings may be required for non-residential projects subject to discretionary permits that result in an increase in the allowed occupancy of an existing building. In some cases, buildings may need to be flood-proofed or constructed on raised foundations in order to meet this requirement.
Flood Risk Requirements
These regulations are separate and in addition to those required under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood regulations and do not trigger a requirement for flood insurance. For more information about 100-year Federal flood zone requirements, please visit the Federal Flood Information webpage.
200-year Flood Map (maintained by San Joaquin County Public Works)
This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 1/2/2018