Coastal AE-Zone and V-Zone Requirements

Requirements for Development within the Coastal High Hazard
Coastal AE Zones and V Zones

  • A Temporary Benchmark or Elevation Certificate is required before the permit is issued.
  • A Coastal AE Zone or V Zone Design Certificate Form is required before the permit is issued.
  • “Finished Construction” Elevation Certificate must be submitted to the Building Dept. prior to scheduling a final inspection. The Elevation Certificate must be signed and stamped by an Alabama registered design professional.
  • Construction plans submitted for review must be signed and sealed by an architect or engineer registered in the State of Alabama.
  • Engineered plans (signed and stamped) are required on all breakaway walls for enclosed rooms below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and for structural components attached to main structures below BFE.*
  • There shall be no man-made alterations or sand dunes in any V-Zone.
  • Top of concrete slabs and swimming pool walls must be level with adjacent grade or engineer approved.
  • All construction material used below BFE must be flood resistant to prevent rot or decay.#
  • All propane gas tanks are to be adequately anchored to resist flotation or movement during flood events.
  • Enclosures below BFE should be limited to a maximum of 299 square feet; larger enclosed areas may be subject to higher insurance premiums.
  • Bottom of lowest horizontal structural member must be elevated above BFE plus one (1) foot freeboard.
  • All enclosed areas below BFE shall only be used for parking of vehicles, unfinished building access, and limited storage area for maintenance items used in conjunction with the property.
  • No habitable area is allowed below Base Flood Elevation.
  • Bathrooms and not allowed below BFE.
  • Entrance foyers must be unfinished or must use flood resistant materials below BFE.
  • Electrical meters are allowed below BFE. Only one electrical outlet and switch with GFI protection is allowed below BFE; however, no additional electrical is allowed.
  • No HVAC systems, equipment, or components are allowed below BFE.
  • No plumbing fixtures or appliances (e.g. washers, dryers, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, etc.) are allowed below BFE.
  • Solid or flood-proof walls are not allowed below BFE.
  • All enclosed areas below BFE shall have hydrostatic vents installed, minimum two (2) separate walls, minimum two (2) hydrostatic openings, one square inch of vent area to one square foot of storage or parking area installed within 12 inches of ground to allow for the automatic entry and exit of floodwater. Engineer design in lieu of above may be accepted.*
  • Accessory structures larger than 100 SF must be installed above BFE.

You may request a copy of the  Free-of-Obstruction Requirements, NFIP Technical Bulletin 5 (March 2020) or view online at https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1585014651398-51e87b018df989c582615db14752736f/FEMA_TB5_508_rev03132020.pdf.

*You may request a copy of the Design and Construction Guidance for Breakaway Walls (August 2008) or view online at https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1511-20490-8359/fema_tb_9.pdf.

#You may request a copy of the Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements, Technical Bulletin 2 (August 2008) or view online at https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1502-20490-4764/fema_tb_2_rev1.pdf.