Flood Control Zone District

Building in a Floodplain

Building in a Floodplain

In February 1981, Chelan County joined the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Joining NFIP means residents are able to purchase flood insurance, a requirement of mortgages or home equity loans for property located within the floodplain. Residents are also able to buy, sell and build on property within the floodplain.

In addition, by joining NFIP, the county became eligible to receive disaster assistance from FEMA after a presidentially declared disaster. Since 1972, the county has had 26 Presidential Disaster Declarations related to floods, severe storms and wildfires, which can cause post-fire flooding.

As an NFIP member, the county also agreed to enforce federal regulations concerning development within a special flood hazard area shown on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The areas are referred to as the 100-year floodplain.

Local jurisdictions such as Chelan County must issue permits for all development in its flood-prone areas. This ensures that development is regulated so property damage is limited and property owners do not adversely impact other property owners by their actions. Chelan County Code Chapter 3.20 regulates the use and development of property within flood hazard areas in the unincorporated areas.

A Floodplain Development Permit is required prior to beginning any development within the 100-year flood. Development includes any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, digging, grading, filling, paving, drilling, mining, storing equipment or materials, or construction.

Common activities that may require a permit include:

The construction or addition of small storage sheds

Excavation or infill

Construction of some fences

Enclosing an open-sided structure

Cutting down trees to make room for future development

Landscaping activities, such as building of retaining walls or raised beds

Installation of propane tanks

Prior to beginning any development, landowners must apply for a Floodplain Development Permit from Chelan County Community Development.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Floodplain Development Permit

Posted: 03/03/2016 09:19 AM
Last Updated: 07/12/2019 04:34 PM

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Chelan County Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 15
    Dec 2021
    01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - December 15, 2021

    Posted by: Community Development

    By Zoom Video Conference
  • 15
    Dec 2021
    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Boundary Review Board

    Posted by: Board Of County Commissioners

    The newly formed Chelan County Boundary Review Board meets on Dec. 15.

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    Dec 2021
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    December Parenting Class - English Only

    Posted by: Superior Court Clerk

    Supporting Children Through Divorce is a four-hour educational program designed to help parents focus on the needs of their children during and after divorce and separation.

    Washington State University Extension
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    Dec 2021
    11:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    Coffee with Bob

    Posted by: Board Of County Commissioners

    A quarterly update for the Upper Valley community

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