Floodplain Permits

As part of the county’s participation in the NFIP, the county’s Floodplain Ordinance must regulate all development in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), and all development must be permitted. Additionally, the county’s Floodplain Ordinance regulates some types of development adjacent to the SFHA.

For the purpose of floodplain management, “development” is defined as any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including buildings or other structures, as well as mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, and storage of equipment or materials. This definition is very broad and means that very minor activities like typical landscaping, such as adding mulch to flowerbeds, installing a mailbox, or even painting a structure are considered “development” that must be permitted.

The permit requirements outlined on this page are based on the Floodplain Ordinance only. Other permit requirements through the Planning Department, Building Inspections, Public Works, or others may apply.

On August 9, 2023, FEMA released the updated Elevation Certificate and Dry Floodproofing Certificate (2022 Edition). These are the new, current version and must be used for all Elevation Certificates and Dry Floodproofing Certificates signed and submitted on November 1, 2023 or later. Additional information is available in FEMA’s August 9, 2023 Memo.

NOTE: If you get a “Please Wait” error when trying to view the Elevation Certificate form, it is due to some incompatibility issues with Adobe PDFs and the alternative PDF viewer used by certain browsers. To view the document, download the file to your computer and open it using your system viewer. You may need to install the free Adobe Reader to view the document if you use a different PDF viewer and still experience issues.

Floodplain Development Permits

A Floodplain Development Permit is required for all development in and adjacent to the SFHA, as outlined in Chapter 10, Article 1 of the Henrico County Code. In order to ease the burden on country residents, while also maintaining compliance with the NFIP, some minor development activities may be permitted through a General Permit. Minor development activities that qualify for the General Permit are identified on the permit form. All other development activities must receive an individual Floodplain Development Permit.

Individual Floodplain Development Permits are now in Build Henrico! Apply for and amend permits and check the status of applications online at the Build Henrico Customer Portal. Learn more about Build Henrico, including how to set up a user account, at henrico.us/build/ or by clicking the image below.

Floodplain Variances

A variance is a grant of relief from any requirement of the Floodplain Ordinance. Variances are typically reserved for situations when meeting the ordinance requirements would effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the use of the subject property. Variances may also be issued for a functionally dependent use or repair or rehabilitation of a historic structure. There are two types of variances for floodplain development: a County Engineer Variance and an Administrative Variance.

Application Submittal Process

Applications for Individual Permits must be submitted through Build Henrico. Permit applications submitted outside of Build Henrico will no longer be accepted.

At this time, Floodplain Variance Applications are not available in Build Henrico and must be submitted through the Department of Public Works. Applications may be submitted in-person or via email. If submitted in person, applications must be dropped off at the Department of Public Works’ Reception Desk on the 3rd floor of the Henrico County Administration Annex Building, located at 4305 East Parham Road. If submitted via email, applications must be sent to [email protected].

Pre-Application Meetings

A pre-application meeting may be requested with the Floodplain Administrator or Floodplain Permit Reviewer to discuss the proposed development, ordinance requirements, and the application procedures that will apply to that project. While pre-application meetings are not mandatory, they are strongly recommended. Discussions or guidance offered by the Floodplain Administrator or Floodplain Permit Reviewer during a pre-application meeting do not constitute a commitment to approve or deny an application.

Contact Us

Public Works

Henrico Department of Public Works
4305 E. Parham Rd.
Henrico, VA 23228

(804) 501-4393

[email protected]

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775

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