A breakdown of the services we offer, with respect to understanding and identifying flood issues on your property, include:

Provision of Mapping Services/Preparation of Site Assessment(s)

County planning staff can assist you determine where floodplains are located on your property and provide basic mapping services to delineate them. While this service does not take the place of procuring a professionally prepared site plan where a surveyor formally delineates floodplains on your property, staff can provide vital information such as the depth of anticipated flood waters and the location of any structure with respect to its proximity to identified floodplains.

As a free service the Planning Department can prepare an environmental assessment of your property. This assessment, which utilizes Orange County Geographic Information Service (GIS) data, is intended to identify environmental conditions that may restrict the overall development of property.

Data provided on these assessments include, but are not limited to:

  • The location of flood plain/special flood hazard areas/floodways on your property including the provision of the necessary information found on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) needed to complete a flood insurance policy
  • Determining and denoting required floodplain buffers on your property
  • Identifying the location of streams and/or other protected water features including previously mapped wetlands. This includes identifying/denoting required stream buffers.
  • Stream buffers is a generic term for the required buffer around various water features (i.e. streams, hydrologically connected water bodies, floodplains, wetlands, etc.) intended to be left in a natural state as part of our water quality guidelines/pollution protection measures as well as the preservation of the features natural drainage function
  • Identifying the required base flood elevation requirements for the property based on local land use regulations
  • Determining the depth of flooding on your property (i.e. how deep flood waters can be anticipated to be) in order to provide you with a better concept of the property's potential flood hazard
  • Identifying the location of existing structures with respect to their distance from identified SFHA's as well as their elevation using existing contour data
  • Required minimum setbacks for structures from property lines
  • Impervious surface limits for the property
  • Erosion Control and Stormwater management land disturbance thresholds, specifically focusing on identifying if an erosion control permit or a stormwater management plan will be required based on the anticipated/proposed level of land disturbance
  • The presence of conservation or utility easements impacting the location of structure and/or utility systems (i.e. well and septic)
  • Soil types on a property


Staff is also able to provide electronic copies of flood maps and other similar data denoting flood prone areas on your property as part of this service. During the preparation of this map staff identifies any and all regulations impacting the overall development of the property and provides direction on how you can address compliance.

Contact the Planning Department

Please remember to always check with the Planning Department before you initiate construction or land disturbing activities, or deposit fill material, on your property in order to avoid unnecessary problems with respect to compliance established regulations.

You do not need to schedule an appointment to obtain a site assessment, which any staff person can complete during normal business hours at our main office located on the second floor of the West Campus Office building located at 131 West Margaret Lane in downtown Hillsborough.

Assistance with Flood Regulations

The Planning Department is able to provide assistance, with respect to existing flood regulations and FIRM data, on the following:

  • Base Flood Elevations as denoted on the most recent FIRM
  • 100 and 500 year floodplain maps
  • Archived FIRM maps and flood data
  • Cross section elevations at selected locations
  • Approximate location of parcel lines
  • Zoning and watershed overlay designations
  • 2 foot topographic contour lines
  • Approximate location(s) of structure(s) utilizing aerial photographic data
  • Any FIRM adjustment approved through the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map revision (LOMR) process
  • Elevation Certificates for certain parcels

As previously indicated herein the County has made available a variety of documents on existing flood data and local guidelines. Staff will be more than happy to schedule a formal meeting to review any issues, concerns, or questions you may have regarding our flood program.

Additional Services

In addition to the mapping services and review of applicable floodplain management regulatory standards as detailed above, staff is also available to assist with the following:

  • Completion of complementary site visits to review your specific situation. Staff can make themselves available, during normal business hours, to complete a site visit of your property in order to identify current opportunities and constraints related to flood issues on your property. Please note staff likes to complete a site visit before compiling documentation outlining options with respect to protecting your property.
  •  Preparation of documents detailing specific advice/options on ways to protect your property (i.e. retrofitting/flood proofing of structures, drainage improvements, etc.)
  • Review of any and all available financial assistance programs to assist with development/redevelopment activities