Floodwater near a home during a storm

Floodplain Regulations

Regulations to development to protect the floodplain

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Current Regulations Allowed Activities Benefits Virtual Meeting

The city updated their floodplain regulations in July 2022. This occurred after the new federal floodplain maps were updated.

These changes limit development in the floodplain. Making this change will keep flooding from getting worse in areas near streams and creeks. Also, it's important to have green space near creeks so that water can flow without impacting buildings on a property and putting people at risk when it rains.

View the current regulations in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and common questions about floodplain regulations.

Don't know what the floodplain is? Watch the video below to learn more. 

What’s a Floodplain?

A floodplain is the area next to a creek or river that floods. Learn about the best ways to stay safe in this area and the natural benefits the floodplain has on the environment.

Current Regulations

New development has building restrictions in the entire floodplain.

  • You cannot build new structures in the floodplain.
  • New roads need to provide dry access during a major rainstorm.
  • Vacant lots are impacted by floodplain regulations.


  • Properties that are already developed within the floodplain.
  • Properties that are 0.5 acres or less.

New federal floodplain maps were released July 19, 2022. If your property is no longer in the floodplain, according to the maps, you will not be required to follow these regulations.

Allowed Activities

These activities are allowed under current floodplain regulations.

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


  1. Reduce the severity of flooding. Flooding is not as bad when water has more room to flow and soak into the ground. 
  2. Benefit the quality of streams and rivers; 
  3. Protect wildlife habitat;
  4. Reduce risk to people and chances of property damage; 
  5. Reduce instances of emergency rescue since fewer people will be in harm's way; and, 
  6. Lower flood insurance premiums for people living in Raleigh.

Virtual Meeting

We held a virtual meeting to discuss ways residents can stay safe in the floodplain and 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

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