Mayor Colin McIntyre

A flood plain is a land area that will flood in a storm event that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. Flood plains are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and cover parts of the Village of Lakemoor. Much of the Village original subdivision and parts of the Ports of Sullivan Lake. A flood plain is susceptible to be inundated with floodwater in the event of a major storm. For a house built in the flood plain, a 100-year storm event potential translates into a 26% chance of flooding occurring over the life of a typical 30-year household mortgage. FEMA commonly refers to the 100-year flood plain as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

The Village of Lakemoor has adopted the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) which is designed to regulate development to ensure that it will not have adverse effects on surrounding properties.  This includes permitting authority for watershed development permit applications.  Since the Village is not currently a Designated Community, all stormwater related project inspections are conducted by the respective County Stormwater Management Agency. 

In many instances, the WDO is much stricter than the Village’s own ordinances, especially with respect to flood plain construction issues.  The Village must require compliance with the more restrictive of the two jurisdictional agencies’ ordinances.  All requirements set forth herein reflect the more restrictive requirements.  Any permit for a property which lies within 100 feet of the flood plain, must comply with pertinent sections of the WDO.    

When developing property within the flood plain, or within 100 feet of the flood plain, there are certain criteria that must be met prior to the issuance of the building permit.  These criteria vary depending on the type of development proposed.  The different types of development include new construction; substantial improvements, non-substantial improvements to an existing, pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) home; detached auxiliary buildings; and/or any land work that fills or otherwise alters the grade within the flood plain. 

Once the property owner has determined a plan for the property, one of the first steps in developing a property located within the floodplain or adjacent to the flood plain is to obtain a topographic survey.  Second story additions and/or interior remodeling would generally not warrant a topographic survey.  A topographic survey can be prepared either by an Illinois Registered Professional Engineer or Land Surveyor.  A topographic survey provides important land grade and structure elevation information, and is the only definitive method of determining the limits of the 100-year floodplain.  

If it has been determined that a home or proposed improvement is located within the 100-year flood plain, or within 100 feet of the 100-year flood plain, the property owner and design professionals must make themselves aware of the requirements set forth in the Lake County's WMO.  Then, as part of the building permit process, the Village’s required permitting through the respective Stormwater Management Organization to be submitted along with a certified copy of the topographic survey, as required, a copy of either the certified appraisal or adjusted assessed value of the structure and copies of the executed contracts for the proposed improvements.  If the proposed improvement encroaches into the 100-year flood plain, compensatory storage calculations and the related grading plan must be designed and certified by the design professional, typically a Professional Engineer, and submitted with the Building Permit application.  Upon completion of the project, the “as-built” conditions must be certified, to ensure that all engineering and flood plain requirements have been met. It is important to note that any alteration to a structure or land requires a permit from the Village and be issued with approval by the Building Department.  Also, ANY alteration, regrading or filling in the flood plain requires a permit by Stormwater Water Management. 

Keep in mind, ANY alteration, regrading or filling in the flood plain requires a permit by the County or by the Army Corps of Engineers.  These permits can take a long time to obtain, so plan well in advance of any grading changes.

About the Flood Plain


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New construction can be defined as a structure for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of the FIRM affecting the property, and includes any subsequent improvement to such structures.  That means any new home or improvement to an existing home that was constructed on or after the date of the related FIRM, or substantial improvement, must comply with all aspects of the flood protection requirements for buildings.  Therefore, the lowest level of the existing and/or proposed structure and all attendant utilities must be constructed at least 2 feet above the base flood elevation (Flood Protection Elevation - FPE).  Also, improvements to an existing home must be valued at less than 50% of the current market value of the structure, excluding the land, to be considered a non-substantial improvement.  The cost of the improvements will be taken cumulatively from May 1, 2014, forward. 

On May 4, 2001, FEMA published a regulation entitled “National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): Letter of Map Revision and Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill” and issued Technical Bulletin (TB) 10-01 (see FEMA, which became effective on June 4, 2001.  TB 10-01 allows new homes/sites to be engineered to have their lowest level built below the BFE only upon the issuance of a Letter of Map Revision-Fill (LOMR-F) from FEMA. 

Within these high risk areas, the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) flood plain management regulations must be enforced within the SFHA by the Village, as a condition of participation in the flood insurance program. All home and business owners within an SFHA (with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders) are required to buy flood insurance. Homeowners with questions about flood plain locations and insurance can view FEMA’s maps directly online at FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center (  These maps are meant to be a guide and are a first step towards determining what regulations apply to each development.

The flood plain is composed of a flood way and a flood fringe. The flood way is typically determined to be the channel of a river or stream and the overbank areas adjacent to the channel. The flood fringe is the area to either side of the flood way that is subject to flooding, but conveys little or no flow. 

New Construction/Substantial Improvements


General Permit Requirements