Elevation certificates are FEMA forms used to rate a structure for flood insurance purposes. They are also needed by the Seabrook Building Department to verify that a structure has been designed and built in compliance with the floodplain ordinance and other regulations. The City has been requiring elevation certificates for development throughout the community at three stages:
- Along with the construction drawings
- Building under construction
- Finished construction
Elevation certificates should be turned into the Building Department prior to scheduling the foundation (slab on grade) or clip and strap inspection (construction on pilings) inspections so that it can be reviewed prior to the field inspection.
Development in the regulatory flood zones and shaded X zone must submit an elevation certificate with all permit and plan submittals (Based on Construction Drawings). As of November 18, 2016, the City requires an 18-inch freeboard (1.5 Feet) in all regulatory flood zones and shaded X zones (use closest adjacent base flood elevation for Shaded X BFE), and certified elevations are required with the plan set for proof that the structure and machinery will meet elevation requirements.
If a home in the floodplain is bought with a federally-backed mortgage, a mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement accompanies the sale, and the new homeowner must maintain flood insurance on the structure for the life of the loan or until a map change or other circumstances take the property out of the floodplain. An elevation certificate will be required in those instances. This document will also come in handy when the City goes through a map change or some type of disaster affects the properties of the city.
In addition to providing the form to the insurance agent or lender, it is important for homeowners to provide copies of updated Elevation Certificates to the Seabrook Building Department for documentation purposes. Since these forms do not fall under the document category that requires a privacy act statement for access, copies of a properties Elevation Certificate may be requested by contacting the Floodplain Administrator at 281-291-5638 or submitting an online request for Elevation Certificate (Please note "Elevation Certificate request" in the Description box)