Proposed Federal Emergency Management Agency


The County received notice from the US Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding proposed changes to the County's flood insurance rate maps (FIRM). The proposed changes include revisions to the base flood elevation (BFEs) boundaries, or 100-year flood plain, on the Clear Creek, Fall River, Soda Creek, and Chicago Creek stream systems. The Board of County Commissioners wants to inform potentially affected property owners of the revisions proposed by FEMA. See a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map of FEMA's proposed revisions at Flood Hazard Comparison.

Revisions tothe Flood Damage Prevention Regulations, Article 12 of the Guidelines andRegulations for Matters of State Interest (1041 Regulations)

ClearCreek County first adopted Flood Damage Prevention Regulations on June 12, 1989.  The adoption of these regulations benefits theCounty by allowing participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Participation in the NFIP allows our citizensto purchase flood insurance which is extremely beneficial to those residentswhose own homes or property located within or close to the 100 year floodplain(“[T]he area of landsusceptible to being inundated as a result of the occurrence of aone-hundred-year flood”).  In the eventof a flood, insurance can help property owners recover from resulting propertydamage and/or loss.  

Theoriginal maps adopted by the County with the flood regulations are dated March 11, 1980.  Those maps roughly depicted floodplain areaswithin the major watercourses of the County. No exact studies were conducted by FEMA to determine the actuallocation(s) of the elevations of the 100 year flood within the County’s water course.

Following several studies conducted by the Federal EmergencyManagement Agency (FEMA), the County adopted revised floodplain regulations andmaps in 2012.  Since 2012, FEMA hasconducted additional studies for the Clear Creek, Fall River, Soda Creek, and ChicagoCreek watercourses.  The new studies haveresulted in additional changes to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for thesaid streams.   In January 2018, the County notified allproperty owners affected by the revised and/or newly created 100 floodplainboundaries to inform them of the proposed changes and the appeal process.  No appeals were received.  

The amended maps are available on our webpage

In addition to adopting the revised FIRM maps, the Countymust also amend our floodplain regulations to meet the minimum standards set forthby the NFIP.  The draft regulationsoutline the proposed changes.  Additionsare red anddeletions are indicated by strikethrough.  Language revisions proposed in the newregulations include the addition of definitions for Base Flood and NewConstruction, and a modification to the definition of a Structure to beconsistent with the definitions provided in the state model ordinance providedby the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The vertical datum defined in Mean Sea Level was changed from thepreviously used National Geodetic Vertical Datum to the North American VerticalDatum which is used in the new Flood Insurance Study and FIRMs.  As well as the updates to the definitions,descriptions for two different types of Floodplain Development Permits wereadded to the regulations to allow for reduced permitting fees for proposedprojects in the regulatory floodplain that do not require the same amount ofstaff time to administer as is typically required for Floodplain Development Permitsthat encroach into detailed study areas, floodways, or otherwise significantlyimpact the existing floodplain conditions. The new regulations also designate the County Engineer as the FloodplainAdministrator rather than the Planning Director.  Other changes include the requirement toelevate utility equipment to one foot above the Base Flood Elevation,provisions requiring anchoring of manufactured homes, and elaboration on therequirements for residential versus nonresidential construction on sitesremoved from the floodplain by the issuance of a FEMA Letter of Map RevisionBased on Fill which are taken directly from the state model ordinance.  

The amended regulations are available on ourwebpage

Public Hearings

The Clear Creek County Planning Commission will hold apublic hearing on the 20th day of November, 2019 at 6:30 pm toconsider the proposed revisions before recommending approval, approval withconditions, or denial to the Board of County Commissioners.    Thelocation of the public hearing is the Idaho Springs City Hall, 1711 MinerStreet, Idaho Springs, CO 80452, where and when all parties may appear and beheard.

Prior to final action, the Board of County Commissionerswill hold a public hearing on the 10th day of December, at 11:30 am,to consider the proposed revisions.  Thelocation of the public hearing is the Commissioners' Hearing Room in the ClearCreek County Courthouse, 405 Argentine Street, Georgetown CO, 80444, where andwhen all parties may appear and be heard.

The revised maps and regulations meeting the minimumstandards of the NFIP must be adopted by the County by December 20, 2019 inorder to avoid possible suspension from the National Flood InsuranceProgram.  Suspension from the programmeans that new flood insurance policies cannot be sold and existing policiescannot be renewed.

Staff Recommendation

The Site Development and Planning Departments recommend approvalof the revised draft regulations and maps so that the County can continue to participatein the National Flood Protection Program and to try to limit the impacts offlooding.

   We welcome you to call our office at 303.679.2469 to seek additional information regarding the revisions. Maps depicting the proposed revisions are available for review in our office located at the County Annex Building at 1111 Rose Street in Georgetown. Additionally, said maps are located on the Map (PDF).