Floodplain

Floodplain

Throughout time, floods have altered the floodplain landscape. These areas are continuously shaped by the forces of water – either eroded or built up through deposit of sediment. More recently, the landscape has been altered by human development, affecting both the immediate floodplain and events downstream. The result has been an increasing level of damage and destruction wrought by the natural forces of flooding on human development. 

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968 to protect lives and property and to reduce the financial burden of providing disaster assistance. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Victoria County participates in the NFIP and agrees to regulate floodplain development according to certain criteria and standard in accordance with Floodplain Ordinance (545-2251). To view the ordinance, you may request via email or review at Victoria County Floodplain Administration.

Land Development

On October 15, 2018, Victoria County adopted regulations, the Victoria County Development Standards Manual, governing the subdivision of land.  The purpose of the Development Standards Manual is to establish guidance related to development in Victoria County.  The regulations are intended to simplify procedures, avoid delay, save expense, and facilitate the administration of regulations, while providing the flexibility that developers and engineers seek outside of the City limits.  They are also intended to protect the public health and welfare of citizens of Victoria County and the County itself.

Process

All applications for plats and plans must be submitted to the County Judge's office with the Plat and Plan Submittal Form and relevant fees.

Please note that the County has 30 days to review each plat and plan submittal.  Initial plat and plan submittals shall not be considered for the following week's Commissioners Court agenda.

The deadline to submit a second or subsequent submittal plat or plan for consideration on the following week's Commissioners Court agenda is Monday at 5:00 p.m. the week prior to the meeting.  It is not guaranteed that the plat will be on the following week's agenda and the plat shall not be considered for agenda if submitted past the deadline.

Additional Information and Documents:                                                                                             

Plat and Plan Submittal Form - to be submitted with all plat and plans

Development Application for Public Health Plat Review Form - to be submitted to the Victoria County Public Health Department Environmental Health Division with all plat and plans

Plat Flow Chart  - a simplified view of the County's process and when a plat is required

Exemption Form  - to be submitted to the County if the property owner thinks the property is exempt from platting requirements

County Subdivision Notice - notification letter template to be sent to property owners within 500' of the property to be platted

 

Communities regulate the floodplains to:

Protect people and property
Ensure the Federal flood insurance and disaster assistance are available
Save tax dollars
Reduce future flood losses
Reduce liability

To participate in the NFIP, Victoria County agrees to:

Adopt and enforce a flood damage prevention ordinance;

Require permits for all types of development in the floodplain (refer to Activities Requiring Permits);
Ensure that building sites are reasonably safe from flooding;
Require new or substantially improved homes and manufactured homes to be elevated at or above the 
Base Flood Elevation (BFE);
Require other buildings to be elevated or flood proofed;
Conduct field inspections and cite violations;
Require Elevation Certificates to document compliance;
Resolve non-compliance and violations;

Activities Requiring Permits:
Most man made changes to land in the floodplain requires a permit. Examples include:

  • Constructing new buildings (including temporary or agricultural)
  • Additions to existing buildings
  • Substantial improvements to existing buildings (including interior renovation)
  • Repair of substantially damaged buildings
  • Placement of manufactured (mobile) homes
  • Subdivision of land
  • Parking or storage of recreational vehicles
  • Storing materials, including gas/liquid tanks
  • Construction of roads, bridges and culverts
  • Placement of fill, grading, excavation, mining and dredging
  • Alteration of stream channels
  • Oil and gas drilling

If you plan to conduct any of the activities described above, you will need to download and submit a Floodplain Development Permit Application along with any additional documentation as noted in the permit application.

Floodplain fill can make things worse. Floodplains are supposed to store floodwater. If storage space is filled with dirt and other material, future flooding may be worsened. Make sure your floodplain fill project won’t harm your neighbors. Floodway fill is allowed only if an engineering evaluation demonstrates that “no rise” in flood level will occur.

Manufactured Homes Deserve Special Attention. Experience shows that manufactured homes are easily damaged. As little as one foot of water can cause substantial damage. Manufactured homes must be anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement by being tied down in accordance with Victoria County’s ordinance or the manufacturers’ installation specifications.

Accessory (Appurtenant) Structures means a structure that is located on the same parcel of land as a principle structure. Accessory structures should be no more than a minimal initial investment, may not be used for human habitation, and must be designed to minimize flood damage. Examples: detached garages, carports, storage sheds, pole barns, and hay sheds. 

Recreational Vehicles. In a flood hazard area, an RV must: be licensed and titled as an RV or park model (not as a permanent residence); be built on a single chassis; have inflated tires and be self-propelled or towable by light truck; have no attached deck, porch, shed; be used for temporary recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use (no more than 180 days); be less than 400 sq. ft. in area; have quick-disconnect sewage, water, and electrical connectors. RVs that do not meet these conditions must be installed and elevated like Manufactured Homes.