Floodwater near a home during a storm

Floodplain Regulations

Exploring New Requirements

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Current Regulations Proposed Regulations Benefits Allowed Activities Watch - Virtual Meeting

We are looking to update the City’s floodplain regulations. These changes will reduce impacts to areas near streams and creeks that flood during large rainstorms.

Regulation Change Process

  1. Input from community stakeholder group and the public.
  2. Recommendations shared with the Planning Commission and its text change committee. 
  3. Recommendations approved by Stormwater Management Advisory Commission & Raleigh City Council.
  4. Official ordinance change process, including a public hearing on May 4 and input (if approved by Council).

Current Regulations

Right now, you can build in a part of the floodplain. 
View current regulations (Unified Development Ordinance - Section 9.3)

Proposed Regulations

Extend building restrictions for new development to the entire floodplain.

  • You would no longer be able to build new structures in the floodplain. 
  • New roads would also need to provide dry access during a major rainstorm.  
  • These changes would impact vacant lots in the floodplain.


  • Properties in the floodplain already developed
  • Properties 0.5 acres or less

View proposed floodplain ordinance changes

Provide Feedback

Thank you for sharing your input.The survey closed Jan. 31. See results.


Changes in regulation would reduce development in the floodplain, which:

  1. Allows water to flow more naturally and safely near streambanks; 
  2. Benefits the quality of streams and rivers; 
  3. Protects wildlife habitat;
  4. Reduces risk to people and their property from hazardous flooding; and,
  5. Lowers flood insurance premiums for residents.

Allowed Activities

You can still do these activities in the floodplain (under current and new regulations). What you can do is based on the size and location of your property. 

Farming and Wildlife Yard / Home Areas Recreation
  • Farming or pastures
  • Outdoor plants or nurseries
  • Wildlife sanctuary
  • Lawn
  • Yards 
  • Gardens 
  • Parking areas
  • Play areas
  • Golf courses
  • Tennis courts
  • Picnic ground
  • Parks, greenways, and bikeways
  • Hiking or horseback riding trails
  • Other recreational uses

Watch - Virtual Meeting

We held a virtual meeting on Dec 8. Staff presented on ways you can stay safe in the floodplain. We also shared what we're doing to protect communities in the floodplain with proposed regulation changes.

Watch a recording of the meeting below.  

Virtual Floodplain Meeting - December 8, 2020



Ben Brown, PE
Stormwater Administrator 

Lead Department:
Engineering Services
Service Categories:
StormwaterResidential PermitsNon-Residential Permits



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