Loma Alta Creek

Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek, LOMR and CLOMR update:

The City of Oceanside has recently submitted a LOMR and a CLOMR, for the Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek floodplains, to FEMA for review. If approved these changes will have an impact on the properties located in the area. The following is more in-depth information about these studies and their effect.

History and background:

The City of Oceanside, due to its location, is exposed to riverine flooding in the areas surrounding the San Luis Rey River, Pilgrim Creek, Garrison Creek, Buena Vista Creek, Loma Alta Creek and their tributaries and along the Coast.

Riverine flooding is usually the result of heavy or prolonged rainfall occurring in upstream areas and generally affecting the areas surrounding the San Luis Rey River, Loma Alta Creek, Garrison Creek, Buena Vista Creek, and Pilgrim Creek.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) publishes Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for areas subject to flood risks within participating communities such as the City of Oceanside. These FIRMs require updating from time to time to identify potential flooding risks. To update or make changes to the FIRM the City must submit a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to review and process the proposed changes.

The following listed maps are the current FIRMs for the portions of the Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek located in the City of Oceanside:

Latest updates were in 1997 and 2001. Since that time, the characteristics of Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek have changed due to numerous factors including, but not limited to, natural changes in topography/terrain, construction activities or obstructions within the floodplain or floodway, updated hydrology, the construction of the Garrison Creek Detention Basins (the first phase of the City of Oceanside’s Detention Basin Project), construction of the NCTD Sprinter project, and corresponding culvert and channel improvements. These changes make it necessary to update the FIRMs.

Back to Top

Updating or changing current FIRMs:

As a community that participates in the NFIP, the City of Oceanside has adopted and enforces a requirement for: zoning, subdivision or building, and a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risks to new and existing construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). Part of floodplain management ordinance includes updating the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to reflect the changes in topography, construction in the floodplain / floodway, updated hydrology, etc.

To update or make changes to any of the FIRMs the City must submit a request to FEMA to review the proposed map revisions. As part of the map revision process, the community must notify impacted property owners of the anticipated change to the SFHA designations on the Community’s FIRM.

The City of Oceanside has recently submitted two such requests:

  • A Current Condition Analysis - Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) reflecting the revised floodplains and floodways for Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek and updating the current FIRMs to reflect the cumulative impact of the changes since 1997. The purpose of this study is to better identify the current flood risks along Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek within the City of Oceanside. This study is currently being reviewed by FEMA under Case Number 10-09-1110P.
  • A Future Condition Analysis - Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) reflecting the anticipated impacts of the changes in topography and construction described in the LOMR, as well as the effect of future phases of the City of Oceanside’s Detention Basin Project. The project included three detention basins: Garrison Creek, the first basin, that was completed, is located on the southeast corner of El Camino Real and Mesa Drive, the second basin is under construction and is located east of El Camino Real and north of NCTD Sprinter rail road track, and the third basin is proposed to be built in the near future at the southeast corner of Oceanside Boulevard and Rancho Del Oro Drive. This study is currently being reviewed by FEMA underCase Number 09-09-2405R.

The following describes the impacts of both LOMR and CLOMR conditions on the currently defined floodplain and floodway for Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek.

Back to Top

Current Condition Analysis - LOMR

The City of Oceanside, in accordance with National Flood Insurance Program regulation 65.7(b)(1), hereby gives notice of the City of Oceanside’s intent to revise the 1% annual chance (100-year) floodplain and floodway for Loma Alta Creek, and Garrison Creek. Specifically, the floodplain and floodway shall be revised for the entire length of Loma Alta Creek, and along Garrison Creek from the confluence with Loma Alta Creek to approximately 2,700 feet upstream of Pear Tree Lane.

The following changes are anticipated as a result of the LOMR application:

Loma Alta Creek

  • The floodplain shall narrow with a maximum narrowing of approximately 500 feet at a point 800 feet downstream of Interstate 5.
  • The floodway shall narrow with a maximum narrowing of approximately 280 feet at a point approximately 300 feet downstream of the Oceanside Blvd and Industry Street intersection.
  • The floodplain shall widen with a maximum widening of approximately 270 feet at a point approximately 170 feet upstream of Saratoga Street.
  • The floodway shall widen with a maximum widening of approximately 230 feet at a point approximately 1650 feet upstream of Rancho Del Oro Drive.

Garrison Creek

  • The floodplain shall narrow with a maximum narrowing of approximately 430 feet at a point approximately 700 feet downstream of El Camino Real.
  • The floodway shall narrow with a maximum narrowing of approximately 150 feet at a point approximately 1600 feet upstream of Pear Tree Lane.
  • The floodplain shall widen with a maximum widening of approximately 150 feet at a point approximately 460 feet upstream of Oceanside Boulevard.
  • The floodway shall widen with a maximum widening of approximately 380 feet within the Garrison Creek Detention Basin just upstream of El Camino Real.

These changes to the floodplain and floodway delineations for Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek, identified in the LOMR application, will update the FEMA mapping to reflect the current flood risks along Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek. The revisions to the existing FIRMs will affect some of the properties located along the Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek. Some of the properties will be impacted positively and will be removed from the flood risk area while others may receive increased flood risk; your property may or may not be impacted.

Back to Top

Maps associated with LOMR:

The attached maps below show the proposed changes to the current FIRMS per the LOMR:

Index Map (4.13 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-01 (2.56 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-02 (2.21 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-03 (2.39 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-04 (2.52 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-05 (3.32 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-06 (3.96 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-07 (4.99 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-08 (4.75 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-09 (4.92 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-10 (2.88 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-11 (3.82 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-12 (3.48 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-13 (1.98 MB)
LOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-14 (9.23 MB)

Back to Top

Future Condition Analysis - CLOMR

The City of Oceanside, in accordance with National Flood Insurance Program regulation 65.7(b)(1), hereby gives notice of the City of Oceanside’s future intent to revise the 1% annual chance (100-year) floodplain and floodway for Loma Alta Creek, Specifically, the floodplain and floodway shall be revised from the Pacific Ocean and continues to approximately 520 feet upstream of the Seasons Road and Maple Drive intersection.

The City of Oceanside has also submitted a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) to FEMA to reflect the cumulative impacts of the changes in topography and construction reflected by the previously referenced LOMR application, as well as the future construction of the City of Oceanside’s remaining detention basins at El Camino Real, and Rancho Del Oro drive, which comprise the remaining phases of the City of Oceanside’s Detention Basin Project.

The following changes are anticipated as a result of the LOMR application when compared to the currently effective FEMA floodplain/floodway information shown on the FIRMs:

Loma Alta Creek

  • The 100-year floodplain narrows with a maximum narrowing of approximately 520 feet approximately 850 feet downstream of Interstate 5.
  • The floodway narrows with a maximum narrowing of approximately 390 feet approximately 1100 feet upstream of Crouch Street.
  • The 100-year floodplain widens with a maximum widening of approximately 150 feet approximately 3300 feet downstream of College Boulevard.
  • The floodway widens with a maximum widening of approximately 350 feet approximately 750 feet upstream of El Camino Real, within the City of Oceanside’s Detention Basin Project.

The purpose of a CLOMR is to identify the impact of a project on the floodplain/floodway prior to construction. A CLOMR does not change the floodplain or floodway identified on the FIRM. Preliminary floodplain and floodway boundary mapping to identify the future conditions have been prepared and submitted with the CLOMR, based on the preliminary design of the remaining phases of the City of Oceanside’s Detention Basin Project.

These floodplain boundaries can be used to assess the general impact of the future basins on the floodplain; however, the limits of revision and impacts to the Loma Alta Creek floodplain and floodway described above, are subject to change based on the Loma Alta Creek / Garrison Creek LOMR currently being processed with FEMA, as well as construction of the remaining phases of the City Detention Basins. These future anticipated changes to the floodplain and floodway delineations for Loma Alta Creek preliminarily identified in the CLOMR application may or may not impact some properties.

Once construction of the future detention basins is completed, a subsequent LOMR request will be submitted to FEMA, reflecting the impact of the basin(s) on the floodplain and FEMA FIRMs. Once the LOMR is approved the floodplain and floodway delineations shown on the FIRM will officially be updated to reflect the impact of the construction. The revisions to the existing FIRMs will affect the properties located along the Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek. Some of the properties will be impacted positively and will be removed from the flood risk area while others may receive increased flood risk; your property may or may not be impacted.

Back to Top

Maps associated with CLOMR

Index Map (4.13 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-01 (2.61 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-02 (2.28 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-03 (2.57 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-04 (2.48 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-05 (3.78 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-06 (6.33 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-07 (5.34 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-08 (5.18 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-09 (5.02 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-10 (3.13 MB)
CLOMR_ImpactedParcels_Sheet-11 (4.23 MB)

Existing FIRMs along Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek:

The following maps show the current Flood Zones, Floodplain and Floodway boundaries per current Flood Insurance Study (FIS) along Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek.

Effective FIRMs covering the Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek area:

Overlay Maps show the current effective FIRM, Floodway and Floodplain boundaries overlaid with the parcel lines and aerial photos:

Index Map (4.13 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-01 (2.50 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-02 (2.37 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-03 (2.83 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-04 (2.87 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-05 (3.20 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-06 (4.19 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-07 (5.34 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-08 (3.25 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-09 (5.51 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-10 (3.91 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-11 (4.01 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-12 (3.66 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-13 (2.18 MB)
Effective_FEMA_Floodplain Overlay_Sheet-14 (4.04 MB)

Back to Top

Public Meeting:

The City of Oceanside will be holding a public meeting to answer questions regarding the LOMR and CLOMR impacts on June 14, 2010, at 4:00 p.m., in the City of Oceanside Council Chambers.

Back to Top

Additional information may be obtained as follows:

  1. City Engineering Division:

    Maps and detailed analysis of the floodplain / floodway revisions submitted in the LOMR, as well as preliminary mapping anticipated with the CLOMR can be reviewed, during normal business hours, at the Engineering Division front counter located at:

    City of Oceanside, Civic Center
    South Building
    300 N. Coast Highway
    Oceanside, CA 92054
  2. FEMA official website:

    Floodplain managers, engineers, community officials, citizens who are actively involved in updating flood hazard data and maps, and other interested stakeholders may obtain information on ongoing map change activities, priority map changes, Letters of Final Determination, and Base Flood Elevation notices at the following FEMA webpages:

    http://www.fema.gov/

    http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/st_main.shtm

    http://www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/info.shtm
Back to Top

Contact information:

Maryam Wagner
Senior Engineering assistant
Tel: (760) 435-5086
Fax: (760) 435-6086
e-mail: mwagner@ci.oceanside.ca.us

Back to Top

Frequently asked questions:

  1. What is FEMA?
  2. What is flood zone?
  3. What is Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)?
  4. What is FIRM?
  5. What is NFIP and what does it do?
  6. What Are Flood Hazard Zones?
  7. Why are FIRMs important?
  8. Why do I need to know the Flood Zone for my property?
  9. How do I obtain or review the flood map for my area, and how do I read it?
  10. How do I find out in which “flood hazard area” or “flood Zone” my home is located?
  11. New maps [preliminary (CLOMR, LOMR) or effective] show my home now to be located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA); how does this affect my property and me?
  12. What is LOMR?
  13. What is CLOMR?
  14. When does LOMR become effective?
  15. When does CLOMR become effective?
  16. How does the LOMR affect my property?
  17. How does the CLOMR affect my property?
  18. How will the LOMR and CLOMR affect my property insurance?
  19. FEMA mandatory purchase of insurance requirement.
  20. If a LOMA, LOMR-F, or LOMR is issued by FEMA, will a lending institution automatically waive the flood insurance requirement?
  21. If a LOMA, LOMR-F, or LOMR is granted and the lender waives the requirement for flood insurance, how can a flood insurance policy be cancelled?
  22. If I disagree with my lender's determination that I am in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), what can I do?
  23. I have looked at the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the area of my property and think the map is wrong. How can the map be changed?
  24. My lender says I need to buy flood insurance. However, I looked on the Floodsmart.gov site, and it says I am at low risk. Which one is FEMA's official answer as to which flood zone my house is located?
  25. Where can I learn more about purchasing flood insurance?
  26. How do I obtain a copy of the Elevation Certificate for my property?
  27. What is a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and where can I obtain one for my community?
  28. Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)? If it does, how does that affect me?
  1. What is FEMA?
    Federal Emergency Management agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

    Back to Top
  2. What is flood zone?
    Flood zones are areas that are subject to flooding risk caused by: heavy storm, dam or levee failure, snow melt or ice jams, hurricanes, or inadequate or overloaded drainage systems.

    Back to Top
  3. What is Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)?
    The area of special flood hazard is the land in the flood plain within a community subject to a 1 percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. The SFHA is mapped as a Zone A, A99, AE, AO, AH, AR, etc. In coastal areas Zone V is also a part of the SFHA. The SFHA may not encompass all of the community’s flood problems. SFHA is depicted on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for participating communities in the NFIP.

    Back to Top
  4. What is FIRM?
    Since the 1970s, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been creating, storing, and updating flood hazard maps for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for approximately 20,000 communities across the United States. Flood Insurance Rate Maps, known as FIRMs, are product of the Flood Insurance Study (FIS).

    The FIRMs are the official map of a community on which Administrator has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

    They are primary tool for state and local governments to mitigate the effects of flooding in their communities. The flood risk information presented on the FIRMs is based on historic, meteorology, hydrologic, and hydraulic data, as well as open space conditions, flood control works, and development.

    The FIRM for a community may also depict the portion of the SFHA designated as the “floodway”. FEMA defines the floodway as “the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land area that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water-surface elevation by more than a designated height.” A graphic of a typical FEMA defined floodway is included below for your reference. Current NFIP regulations allow increases in water-surface elevation (floodway surcharges) of up to 1.0 foot.

    Typical FEMA Floodway

    Back to Top
  5. What is NFIP and what does it do?
    The Mitigation Directorate, a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The three components of the NFIP are:


    Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities. Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary.

    Flood insurance is designed to provide an alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion a year through communities implementing sound floodplain management requirements and property owners purchasing of flood insurance. Additionally, buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance.

    In addition to providing flood insurance and reducing flood damages through floodplain management regulations, the NFIP identifies and maps the Nation's floodplains. Mapping flood hazards creates broad-based awareness of the flood hazards and provides the data needed for floodplain management programs and to actuarially rate new construction for flood insurance.

    • The NFIP Program Description offers a more detailed overview and history of the program.
    • Buying flood insurance is the best thing you can do to protect your home, your business, family, and financial security.

    Back to Top
  6. What Are Flood Hazard Zones?
    • (V zones) are those areas closest to the shoreline and subject to wave action, high-velocity flow, and erosion during the 100-year flood.
    • (VE zones) Newer FIRMs label V zones with BFE determined as “VE”.
    • (A zones) are areas subject to flooding during the 100-year flood, but where flood conditions are less severe than those in V zones.
    • (AE zones) Newer FIRMs label A zones with BFE determined as “AE”.
    • (AO zones) are areas subject to shallow flooding or sheet flow during the 100-year flood. If they appear on a coastal FIRM, they will most likely occur on the landward slopes of coastal dunes. Flood depths, rather than BFEs, are shown for AO zones.
    • (X zones) are areas that are not expected to flood during the 100-year flood.

    Older FIRMs label zones with a letter and number (e.g., A1, A10, V10). Ignore the number and look at the letter.

    Older FIRMs label X zones as zone “B” or zone “C.” Treat the old and new zone designations the same.

    Back to Top
  7. Why are FIRMs important?
    • All buildings constructed after publication of the (FIRM), located in areas designated as Flood Hazard Area, may require flood insurance.
    • FIRMs show the limits of mapped flood hazard areas in a community.
    • The insurance zone designations shown on FIRMs are used in determination of flood insurance rates and premiums.
    • The 100-year flood elevation and flood depths shown on FIRM are the minimum regulatory elevations on which community flood plain management ordinances are based on.
    • The information shown on FIRMs can affect the design and construction of new buildings, the improvement and repair of existing buildings, and additions to the existing buildings.

    Back to Top
  8. Why do I need to know the Flood Zone for my property?
    The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for federally backed mortgages on buildings located in (SFHA). It also affects all forms of Federal or Federally related financial assistance for buildings located in SFHA.

    Back to Top
  9. How do I obtain or review the flood map for my area, and how do I read it?
    The most widely distributed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood map product is the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). A FIRM offers much useful information and represents the official depiction of flood hazards for a community.

    At the online Map Service Center you may research, view (free), and purchase the available inventory of effective NFIP products, including the FIRM, the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report that accompanies the FIRM, and other mapping products. The "effective date" is the date on which the NFIP map for a community becomes effective and all sanctions of the NFIP apply. Therefore, an "effective FIRM" is the NFIP map issued by FEMA that is in effect as of the date shown in the title block of the map as "Effective Date," "Revised," or "Map Revised."

    You can also create a customized FIRMette—a paper copy of a user-defined portion of an effective FIRM, produced and saved on your computer. The FIRMette is true to scale and includes title block, scale, and north arrow. It can be used to help determine the location of a property or structure relative to the Special Flood Hazard Area.

    You may also order copies of the effective FIRM, FIS report, and other NFIP products by calling the FEMA. FEMA Map Information eXchange toll-free at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627). When ordering, you will need the six-digit community identification number (CID) for the community in which you are interested. The CID appears in the title block of each map panel or may be found in FEMA's online Community Status Book.

    You may also view copies of the effective FIRM and FIS report by visiting the City of Oceanside City Hall, Engineering Division. Engineering Division is the official community floodplain administrator and maintains all the current maps.

    Using the How to Read a FIRM Tutorial along with the FIRM for your property can assist you in determining the potential flood risk for your property and whether you should insure your home from flood loss. The How to Read a FIS Tutorial will assist you in understanding the information presented in the FIS report.

    Back to Top
  10. How do I find out in which “flood hazard area” or “flood Zone” my home is located?
    You can find out which flood insurance risk zone shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for your community applies to your property by: See also above.

    • Visiting Engineering Division front counter at normal business hours; or
    • Ordering or viewing the FIRM at the FEMA Map Service Center

    Back to Top
  11. New maps [preliminary (CLOMR, LOMR) or effective] show my home now to be located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA); how does this affect my property and me?
    When FEMA releases a preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report for a community, caution must be exercised in using this data. For insurance purposes, preliminary FIRMs and FIS reports cannot be used to make official flood determinations. The currently effective FIRM is the only official document for this purpose.

    However, for regulatory purposes, preliminary FIRMs and FIS reports may be used by the community. Local regulations usually allow for the use of the best available data, and in most instances, the data provided on the preliminary FIRMs is much better than the older data on the currently effective FIRMs. The use of preliminary maps as "best available data" is only allowable when the preliminary data are more conservative than the effective data; i.e. the elevations of the base (1-percent-annual-chance) flood are higher or the SFHA is more extensive. Please contact your community's floodplain administrator to determine whether preliminary data is being used by your community and whether it has any impact on construction or other use of your property.

    If the currently effective FIRM shows your property outside the SFHA and the newer preliminary FIRM shows your property as being in the SFHA, you may also want to contact your community floodplain administrator to determine whether your community is planning to appeal the information shown on the preliminary FIRM. If your community is not planning to appeal and you believe the information shown on the preliminary FIRM is incorrect, you may also want to ask the floodplain administrator what you have to do to appeal the information shown on the preliminary FIRM yourself.

    If the information shown on the preliminary FIRM will not be appealed, you may want to contact your insurance agent to determine your options for purchasing a flood insurance policy. The flood insurance premium rates for a property that is shown outside the SFHA on the effective FIRM are lower than the rates for a structure inside the SFHA.

    If a new FIRM becomes effective for your community and your structure is now in an SFHA, and you have federally related financing for your property and have not already purchased a flood insurance policy, your lender is required by law to document the flood zone determination and require that you purchase flood insurance. A 30-day waiting period follows the purchase of a flood insurance policy before it goes into effect. There are exceptions to the 30-day waiting period for policies purchased in connection with the making, increasing, extending, or renewing a loan, or certain map changes. If you do not purchase the insurance within 45 days after being informed that flood insurance is required, the lender is required to force-place the insurance and charge you for the cost. To dispute the lender's determination that your property is located in a flood zone, you and your lender can jointly request a Letter of Determination Review (LODR) from FEMA. This request must be submitted within 45 days of the date your lender informs you that your property is in a SFHA, the area subject to inundation by the base (1-percent-annual-chance) flood.

    If your structure was built before the effective date of your community's first FIRM (pre-FIRM), your structure's flood insurance policy will be rated using "subsidized" rates that are, for the most part, significantly less than actuarial rates that fully reflect their risk of flooding. If your structure was instead built after the first FIRM (post-FIRM), the policy will be rated based on a building's risk of flooding, or are considered actuarial. In those zones where Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) have been established, Post-FIRM Rates are determined based on the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) of the building in relation to the BFE. In zones where BFEs have not been established, i.e., referred to as A zones or approximate zones, the rates may be based on an accepted locally determined BFE and can be comparable to zones with BFEs, or may be determined by the height of the building above its highest adjacent grade. Contact your local insurance agent for more information.

    Elevation Certificates are required to rate most post-FIRM buildings. If an Elevation Certificate is prepared for your structure, you may want to consider, as an alternative to the LODR, submitting the Elevation Certificate, and all other required data, in support of an application (MT-EZ) for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or an application (MT-1) for a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F). LOMAs and LOMR-Fs are official determinations from FEMA of a structure's relationship to the SFHA.

    If you do not have federally related financing, you are not required by Federal regulations to have flood insurance, although it is available to you if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. You should contact your insurance agent for more information because the purchase of flood insurance is a prudent means of protecting your financial interests.

    Back to Top
  12. What is LOMR?
    A Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) is FEMA's modification to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), or both. LOMRs are generally based on the implementation of physical measures that affect the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source and thus result in the modification of the existing regulatory floodway, the effective Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), or the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The LOMR officially revises the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), and sometimes the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report, and when appropriate, includes a description of the modifications. The LOMR is generally accompanied by an annotated copy of the affected portions of the FIRM, FBFM, or FIS report.

    All requests for changes to effective maps, other than those initiated by FEMA, must be made in writing by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community or an official designated by the CEO. Because a LOMR officially revises the effective NFIP map, it is a public record that the community must maintain. Any LOMR should be noted on the community's master flood map and filed by panel number in an accessible location.

    Back to Top
  13. What is CLOMR?
    A Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) is FEMA's comment on a proposed project that would, upon construction, affect the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source and thus result in the modification of the existing regulatory floodway, the effective Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), or the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The letter does not revise an effective NFIP map; it indicates whether the project, if built as proposed, would be recognized by FEMA. This process generally takes anywhere from 90 days to over a year. FEMA charges a fee for processing a CLOMR to recover the costs associated with the review. Building permits cannot be issued based on a CLOMR, because a CLOMR does not change the NFIP map.

    Once a project has been completed, the community must request a revision to the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) to reflect the project. "As-built" certification and other data must be submitted to support the revision request.

    Back to Top
  14. When does LOMR become effective?
    The LOMR will become effective once FEMA has approved the map revision. This process generally takes anywhere from 90 days to over a year.

    Back to Top
  15. When does CLOMR become effective?
    It is important to note that a CLOMR does not update the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) or the effective floodplain/floodway. The CLOMR can only be approved as a “conditional” map revision. This process generally takes anywhere from 90 days to over a year. However, once construction of the City Detention Basin Project finishes, a LOMR will be processed to officially update the FIRMs and thus the regulatory floodplain/floodway. Not until the LOMR (based on the CLOMR) is approved will the changes to the FIRMs be considered effective.

    Back to Top
  16. How does the LOMR affect my property?
    The current LOMR updates the floodplain for Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek to reflect changes in topography and construction since the last update. To review the effects of the LOMR on your property, you should refer to the maps and/or exhibits located at the City of Oceanside. To obtain more detailed information, a copy of the LOMR can also be found at the City of Oceanside.

    Back to Top
  17. How does the CLOMR affect my property?
    The current CLOMR maps the floodplain for Loma Alta Creek and Garrison Creek to reflect the construction of the City Detention Basin Project. To review the effects of the LOMR on your property, you should refer to the maps and/or exhibits located at the City of Oceanside. To obtain more detailed information, a copy of the LOMR can also be found at the City of Oceanside.

    Back to Top
  18. How will the LOMR and CLOMR affect my property insurance?
    If the LOMR is adopted by FEMA it becomes effective as the current FIRM. In that case you have to locate your property within the new adopted FIRM. If it is located in the SFHA then you will need to read the FEMA requirement for mandatory insurance (see No 19 below). CLOMR does not take effect unless a LOMR has been files after the construction is completed. (See No 15 & 17)

    Back to Top
  19. FEMA mandatory purchase of insurance requirement:

    City of Oceanside participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes Federally backed flood insurance available for all eligible buildings, whether they are in a floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and local drainage problems.

    The NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage: building and contents. Building coverage is for the walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately, if the contents are in an insurable building.

    Mandatory Purchase Requirement: The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for federally backed mortgages on buildings located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). It also affects all forms of Federal or Federally related financial assistance for buildings located in SFHAs. The SFHA is the base (100-year) floodplain mapped on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is shown as one or more zones that begin with the letter "A" or "V."

    The rule applies to secured mortgage loans from such financial institutions as commercial lenders, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions that are regulated, supervised, or insured by Federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervision. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.

    Federal financial assistance programs affected by the laws include loans and grants from agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Small Business Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    How it Works: Lenders are required to complete a Standard Flood Hazard Determination (SFHD) form when ever they make, increase, extend or renew a mortgage, home equity, home improvement, commercial, or farm credit loan to determine if the building or manufactured (mobile) home is in an SFHA. It is the Federal agency's or the lender's responsibility to check the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) to determine if the building is in an SFHA. Copies of the FIRM are available for review in most local government building or planning departments. Lenders may also have copies or they use a flood zone determination company to provide the SFHD form.

    If the building is in a SFHA, the Federal agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. Federal regulations require building coverage equal to the amount of the loan (excluding appraised value of the land) or the maximum amount of insurance available from the NFIP, whichever is less. The maximum amount available for a single-family residence is $250,000. Government sponsored enterprises, such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, have stricter requirements.

    The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by a flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It does not affect loans for buildings that are not in an SFHA, even though a portion ofthe lot may be. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy, as a condition of a loan, for a property in any zone on a FIRM.

    If a person feels that a SFHD form incorrectly places the property in the SFHA, he or she may request a Letter of Determination Review from FEMA. This must be submitted within 45 days of the determination. More information can be found at http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/.


    Figure 320-1. Handout on mandatory purchase of flood insurance.
    CRS Coordinator's Manual 320-4 Edition: July 2007


    Back to Top
  20. If a LOMA, LOMR-F, or LOMR is issued by FEMA, will a lending institution automatically waive the flood insurance requirement?
    Although FEMA may issue a LOMA, it is the lending institution's prerogative to require flood insurance as a condition of its own beyond the provisions of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, before granting a loan or mortgage. Those seeking a LOMA should first confer with the affected lending institution to determine whether the institution will waive the requirement for flood insurance if a LOMA is issued. If it will, the policyholder may cancel flood insurance coverage and obtain a premium refund. If not, amending the NFIP map to remove the structure from the SFHA will generally lower the flood insurance premium.

    Back to Top
  21. If a LOMA, LOMR-F, or LOMR is granted and the lender waives the requirement for flood insurance, how can a flood insurance policy be cancelled?
    To effect a cancellation of a flood insurance policy, the policyholder must supply a copy of the LOMA, LOMR-F, or LOMR and a waiver for the flood insurance purchase requirement from the lending institution to the insurance agent or broker who services the policy. A completed cancellation form with the LOMA, LOMR-F, or LOMR and the waiver must be submitted by the agent to the NFIP or the appropriate WYO company. When a LOMA, LOMR-F, or LOMR is issued and cancellation requested, the policyholder may be eligible for a refund of the premium paid for the current policy year only if no claim is pending and no claim has been paid during the current policy year.

    For more information please check the following websites:

    Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Guidelines:
    http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2954

    FEMA Library: http://www.fema.gov/library

    FEMA Home page: http://www.fema.gov/index.shtm

    Back to Top
  22. If I disagree with my lender's determination that I am in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), what can I do?
    In some cases, a lender determines that a property is in a SFHA shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) but the property owner disagrees with that determination. The SFHA is also known as the 100-year floodplain. It is more precisely defined as the floodplain associated with a flood that has a 1-percent-annual chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. Therefore the SFHA is not a flood event that happens once in a hundred years, rather a flood event that has a one percent chance of occurring every year. Property owners in this situation have a couple of options. Depending on the specific circumstances, you may apply for a Letter of Determination Review (LODR), a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), or a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F).

    The application forms for LOMAs and LOMR-Fs can be found on the FEMA Forms Webpage and provide comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for requesters to follow ensuring that your submittal is complete and logically structured. Use of these forms allows FEMA to complete its review quicker and at lower cost to the National Flood Insurance Program. While completing the forms may seem burdensome, the advantages to you outweigh any inconvenience. The following paragraphs describe first the LOMA or LOMR-F process, followed by the LODR process.

    Upon receiving a completed MT-EZ (for LOMAs) or MT-1 (for LOMR-Fs) application, FEMA reviews property-specific information (including surveyed elevation data, typically the elevation of the lowest adjacent grade of the structure in question, provided by a Licensed Land Surveyor Note: the homeowner may be required to hire a land surveyor to perform this elevation survey, if this data is not readily available), and makes a final flood zone determination for the property. Once an application and all necessary data are received, the determination is normally issued within 30 - 60 days. If the LOMA or LOMR-F removes the SFHA designation from the property, it can then be presented to the lender as proof that there is no Federal flood insurance requirement for the property. However, even though a LOMA or LOMR-F may waive the Federal requirement for flood insurance, a lender retains the prerogative to require flood insurance. No fee is charged for the review of a LOMA; however, there is a review fee for a LOMR-F. Check the flood map-related fees on the Flood Hazard Mapping Website.

    Within 45 days following the date your lender notified you that your property is in the SFHA shown on the FIRM for your community, you and your lender may jointly request that FEMA review your lender's determination; FEMA's response to such requests is a LODR. In response to such requests, FEMA reviews the same information your lender used to determine that your structure was located in an SFHA. Unlike with a LOMA or LOMR-F, the elevation of the structure or property relative to the elevation of the 1-percent-annual-chance flood is not considered for a LODR. Just like your lender, FEMA only considers the location of the structure relative to the SFHA boundary shown on the FIRM. FEMA reviews this information and issues its finding of whether the structure is located in the SFHA according to the currently effective FIRM. While this determination cannot consider the elevation of your structure or property, it can be useful if you feel the lender's interpretation of the FIRM is incorrect.

    There are obviously some important distinctions between the processes (LODR, LOMA, and LOMR-F).

    1. The determinations are based on different data.
      The LODR process does not consider the elevation of the structure or property. Rather, it considers only the horizontal location of the structure relative to the SFHA shown on the FIRM. For the LOMA and LOMR-F processes, actual survey elevation data are required to determine if the property or structure is at or above the 1-percent-annual-chance flood elevation.
    2. There are different review and processing fees involved.
      Process Fee
      LOMA FREE
      LODR $80
      LOMR-F $425
    3. The determinations result in different actions.
      A LODR does not result in an amendment or revision to the FIRM. It only presents the FEMA finding regarding the structure's location with respect to a delineated SFHA. An approved LOMA or LOMR-F actually removes the SFHA designation from the structure or lot by letter.
    Back to Top
  23. I have looked at the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the area of my property and think the map is wrong. How can the map be changed?
    Homeowners, community officials, and others who have adequate scientific and/or technical data may submit those data (including the required MT-2 application forms) to FEMA at any time to support a request for a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to revise the flood hazard information shown on the effective FIRM. Individuals who would like changes to non-technical information such as road names, road configurations, and corporate limits, should submit the required information to support a map change request to FEMA. If warranted by the technical or non-technical data or information submitted, FEMA will issue a LOMR to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community and send a copy to the floodplain administrator of the community. The LOMR has the effect of revising the FIRM without physically revising and reprinting the affected FIRM panel(s). LOMRs are generally issued within 90 days of the date all required data, forms, and processing fees are received. If the submitted data and information do not warrant a revision to the effective FIRM, FEMA will send a letter to the CEO of the community explaining why the effective FIRM could not be revised and, if appropriate, what action may be taken in the future. All requests for map revisions, including LOMRs must be submitted through the CEO of the community, because it is the community that must adopt any changes to the FIRM.

    If you would like FEMA to make an official determination regarding the location of your property relative to the Special Flood Hazard Area, you can submit certain property and elevation information (include the required MT-EZ or MT-1 forms) and request that FEMA issue a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), if your property is located on natural ground, or a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F), if your property has been elevated by the placement of earthen fill.

    Back to Top
  24. My lender says I need to buy flood insurance. However, I looked on the Floodsmart.gov site, and it says I am at low risk. Which one is FEMA's official answer as to which flood zone my house is located?
    The result you see after using the risk tool on FloodSmart.gov is not an official FEMA determination. That determination is based on the structure's physical address and may not reflect how your property is shown on the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for your community. For virtually every mortgage transaction involving a structure in the United States, a lender reviews the currently effective FIRM for the community in which the property is located to determine its location relative to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), the area subject to inundation by the base (1-percent-annual-chance) flood.

    FEMA's official determination regarding whether a structure is in the SFHA is based on the receipt of certain property and elevation information in accordance with National Flood Insurance Program regulations. If you would like FEMA to make an official determination regarding the location of your property relative to the SFHA, you can submit certain property and elevation information and request that FEMA issue a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), if your property is located on natural ground, or a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F), if your property has been elevated above the base flood by the placement of earthen fill.

    Back to Top
  25. Where can I learn more about purchasing flood insurance?
    Many flood insurance related questions may be answered by visiting FloodSmart.gov. You may use the tools under the Insurance Center to determine policy coverage, estimate rates, and find an agent in your area.

    Back to Top
  26. How do I obtain a copy of the Elevation Certificate for my property?
    The Elevation Certificate is one way for a community to comply with the National Flood Insurance Program requirement that the community obtain the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved structures and maintain a record of such information. The Elevation Certificate also is required to properly rate structures constructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map for flood insurance premiums.

    If an Elevation Certificate has been prepared for your property, you may be able to obtain it from the property developer or from community officials. Communities often require preparation of Elevation Certificates for properties as part of the permitting process. You can contact your local floodplain officials or the planning and zoning office to see if an Elevation Certificate already exists for your property.

    Elevation Certificates must be prepared and certified by a Licensed Land Surveyor, Registered Professional Engineer, or Registered Architect who is authorized by State or local law to certify elevation information. Community officials who are authorized by local law or ordinance to provide floodplain management information may also sign the certificate.

    Back to Top
  27. What is a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and where can I obtain one for my community?
    A FIS report is a narrative description of the community's flood hazards that contains prior flooding information, flooding sources, and graphic descriptions of the flooding sources. An FIS report consists of text, graphics (including Flood Profiles), and tabular data (including Floodway Data Tables). The results of the engineering study that is summarized in the FIS report are used in compiling each community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FRIM).

    The FEMA Map Service Center (MSC) also offers the FIRM and FIS report images on CD-ROM or for immediate download. All National Flood Insurance Program maps, including FIRMs, are viewable online at the MSC at no cost. Users may also create a free "FIRMette" which is a user-defined portion of the map at 100-percent scale that can be printed in standard paper sizes.

    An image viewer, called Flood Map Image Tool (F-MIT) Basic version 1.0, is also packaged with the scanned maps on CD-ROM. It allows users to view, zoom in, and pan the image. In addition, F-MIT enables customers to create a "FIRMette." The F-MIT Basic image viewer can be downloaded directly from the MSC website at no cost.

    Alternatively, you may use the MSC site to place an online order for paper copies of the maps or texts. You may also call the MSC, toll free, at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627) to place a telephone order.

    If you would like to examine the FIS report or FIRM and speak with someone knowledgeable about your local circumstances, you may also contact your local map repository, an office that keeps the FEMA maps for public reference and use. This office is usually in your local planning, engineering, or public works department.

    Back to Top
  28. Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)? If it does, how does that affect me?
    City of Oceanside is participating in NFIP:
    Community ID No. 060294
    Initial flood hazard base map for community was identified 05/10/74
    Initial FIRM was identified 9/5/84
    Current effective map date 9/29/06

    Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary. Communities that join the NFIP agree to manage flood hazard areas by adopting the minimum regulatory standards of the NFIP. These standards are listed in Section 60.3 of the NFIP regulations, which may be accessed through the Guidance Documents and Other Published Resources page on the FEMA Website.

    If a community chooses not to participate in the NFIP, property owners in that jurisdiction are unable to purchase Federal flood insurance. In addition, Federal grants, loans, disaster assistance, and Federal mortgage insurance are unavailable for the acquisition or construction of structures located in the floodplain as shown on the NFIP maps.

    Similarly, if a community chooses not to participate in the NFIP, property owners are not subject to the Federal flood insurance purchase requirements. However, a lender is still required to inspect any flood maps to determine flood hazard risk and provide notice of such risk. A lender may require a borrower to obtain flood insurance even in the absence of a Federal purchase requirement.

    Back to Top