A-Zone Requirements

Requirements for Development within the Coastal High Hazard
A, AE, AH, AO, A-1 through A-30 Zones
(excludes Coastal A-Zone and V-Zone)

  • A Temporary Benchmark or Elevation Certificate 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.
  • Lowest floor of structure must be elevated above level of Base Flood Elevation (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.
  • 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.*
  • Flood-proof walls for nonresidential structures, with certified design by a professional engineer is allowed.
  • All construction material used below BFE must be flood resistant to prevent rot or decay.#
  • 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.

*You may request a copy of the Requirements for Flood Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures, NFIP Technical Bulletin 1 (March 2020) or view online at https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1585162441620-bd1b5b0d5cf34eda30d6363c63290d9a/FEMATB1_508_031320_rev.508.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.