Flood Map Modernization
Detailed Thorough Precise.
In preparing the countywide Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report, new or modified Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) were created. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will initiate a statutory 90-day appeal period for the new or modified BFEs. For more information on 90-day appeal period and filing for an appeal or protest, go to the Resources page.
What is an Appeal?
Every effort has been made to provide the most accurate, reliable and technically sound flood hazard data for Shawnee County. While the new maps use the latest technology and information available at the time of risk modeling, the maps can always be improved if better information is available. Residents may contest the new or modified BFEs by filing an appeal. FEMA will accept topographic or hydrologic model information to support a change to the map during the 90-Day Appeal Period.
90-Day Appeal Period
As a mechanism to ensure that resident’s and business owner’s questions or concerns about the new map designations and BFEs are addressed, the map adoption process includes a 90-day Public Comment Period (officially known as the Appeal Period). To start this period, FEMA places two (2) official notices in the official local newspaper. The appeal period will start on the second publication date. The 90-Day Appeal Period will commence on March 3, 2010.
What Information is Required to Support an Appeal?
During the appeal period, community officials, residents and other interested parties will have the opportunity to submit technical and/or scientific data to support a claim that their property has been improperly placed in a high-risk area or the map shows an incorrect BFE. Citizens who feel they have better information, such as an elevation certificate, topographic map or detailed hydraulic or hydrologic data, can appeal the flood risk indicated by the new maps. This period is the only time to appeal before the maps become effective.
What is a Protest?
A formal objection to any new or revised information that does not involve Base Flood Elevations (BFEs). Protests generally involve comments regarding the boundaries of the updated floodplain, floodways or municipalities, and road names/locations.
How Are Appeals to be Filed?
Any property owner who wishes to appeal proposed BFEs shown on the preliminary DFIRMs shall submit an application and all supporting data, in duplicate, to the appropriate community official listed below based on the location of the property you are appealing:
Barry T. Beagle, Planning Director
1515 NW Saline Street, Suite 102
Topeka, KS 66618
City of Topeka
Miriam Berke, Manager
City of Topeka Development Services
620 SE Madison Street
Topeka, KS 66603
City of Rossville
Jeff Overmyer, Zoning Administrator
438 Main Street, P.O. Box 337
Rossville, KS 66533
City of Willard
127 Holden Street
Willard, KS 66615
The appeals will be reviewed and automatically forwarded onto FEMA for their consideration. You will note that the City of Auburn and City of Silver Lake are not listed above. These communities are not eligible for appeal since their BFE’s are not proposed to be modified.
How Are Appeals Resolved?
Once FEMA receives an appeal, FEMA may request any additional supporting data through a letter to the appropriate community official who will then contact the property owner for the additional data. FEMA will allow approximately 30-days for submittal of the required data. Data submitted within the 30-day period will be considered in resolving the objections. If the data is not provided within the 30-day period, FEMA will resolve the appeal using the data originally submitted.
If appeals are adequately supported, FEMA will revise the BFEs, floodplain boundaries, regulatory floodway boundaries, and any other information affected by the objection. If appropriate, FEMA will revise the affected map panels and/or FIS report.
If an appeal is denied, FEMA will inform the appropriate community official or other interested party by letter and provide an explanation for the denial.
If property owners are unable to obtain and submit the appropriate supporting data with the 90-day appeal period, they may pursue a formal map revision after the map has become effective through a Letter of Map Change (LOMC).