Hazards Planning Center
Subdivision Design in Flood Hazard Areas
The subdivision of land in or near floodplains involves the potential creation of tomorrow's flood risks. In an era of increasing attention to climate change, those risks may be greater than they have been in the past.
APA has a long history of addressing these issues, dating back at least to its 1997 publication of Subdivision Design in Flood Hazard Areas (PAS Report No. 473, 1997).
Now, in partnership with the Association of State Floodplain Managers, and with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, we are revisiting the topic to provide updated guidance on the subject for local planners, consultants, and others involved in the subdivision design and site plan review process. The need is clear for much more technical guidance related to all aspects of subdivisions, from planning to design, to standards, to infrastructure maintenance.
The new PAS Report will benefit from a larger effort at partnership between APA and ASFPM on a number of fronts. Both organizations have been leaders in the NOAA Digital Coast Partnership. APA and ASFPM are partnering also on a new project called the Planning Information Exchange, funded under the same agreement with FEMA, to provide educational webinars on hazard mitigation planning. And we are exploring other areas as well that we consider grounds for potential fruitful collaboration. Planners and floodplain managers have many common goals, and our two organizations even have some overlapping membership. Both bring valuable expertise to this project.
What We Will Produce
- A new PAS Report whose focus would be broadened from the strict subdivision approach used in PAS Report No. 473 to include other land-use regulatory considerations affecting design in flood hazard areas, specifically including PUD regulations and design review, but also innovations in coastal and floodplain zoning and regulation.
- Web-based enhancements to expand the outreach potential of the project. Examples of web-based resources would include an inventory of the best sample ordinances, checklists for regulatory consideration, an annotated bibliography, and a glossary. In the past, some of these might have been included in a printed PAS Report, but in recent years APA has adopted the practice of placing these resources online in order to make them more accessible while also producing a slimmer, more accessible printed report. A downloadable PDF version of the report will also be made available.
- Professional training opportunities based on the report's findings, such as presentations at the national and state chapter conferences of both partner organizations managing the project. APA and ASFPM can also propose additional derivative products for FEMA consideration toward the end of the project, if desired. APA and FEMA have collaborated on such derivative products in connection with two other APA projects in the last five years.