Lacey Planning Commission recommends Flood Hazard Prevention updates


The Lacey Planning Commission moved to officially recommend to the City Council the proposed amendments for Flood Hazard Prevention under the Lacey Municipal Code.

Lacey Senior Planner Samra Seymour said the amendments aim to maintain the city’s eligibility for federal disaster assistance and remain in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program.

While Lacey's current flood hazard standards align with the NFIP's minimum requirements, Seymour said the city has further improved flood prevention measures and ensured consistency with federal and state regulations.

Key aspects of these amendments include introducing ten new terms and modifying six existing ones.

The ten new terms added to LMC 14.34 are:

  • Alteration of watercourse
  • Area of shallow flooding
  • Flood elevation study
  • Floodplain administrator
  • Flood proofing
  • Functionally dependent use
  • Highest adjacent grade
  • Historic structure
  • Mean sea level
  • Recreational vehicle

The six amended terms are:

  • Area of special flood hazard
  • Flood or flooding
  • Flood insurance rate map (FIRM)
  • Floodway,
  • Lowest floor
  • New construction.

According to the staff report, the changes are designed to bolster flood prevention measures, reduce damage potential and safeguard the welfare of residents.

Notable requirements include provisions for manufactured home anchoring, waterproofing of mechanical equipment and utilities and prohibiting the storage or processing of materials that could pose risks to human, animal or plant life if released due to flooding.

“The City’s critical areas regulations and shoreline management regulations work together with the floodplain management regulations to require protection to critical areas and necessary mitigation for impacts,” the report read.

According to the latest data, only 34 NFIP policies have been issued within the city, and there have been just three paid claims worth $8,088, with zero substantial damage claims. Flood zones in Lacey are primarily concentrated around the lakes and adjacent to Woodland Creek in areas with limited development.

The NFIP is a federal initiative that Lacey has been part of since July 16, 1980. The program aims to reduce federal expenditure on disaster assistance by preventing or mitigating floodplain development, ensuring that property owners can purchase federally backed flood insurance.


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