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Development Review and Permits after Flood Damage

For Municipal Administrative Officers

After damage by flooding, building owners and volunteers worked to salvage structures and make emergency repairs. Now the owners of buildings are considering how to move forward. Any permanent repairs need to be done in compliance with your municipal bylaws.

Below are some resources that may be helpful to you during the permitting process.

Thank you for your work to make our families and communities safer and more resilient.


After flood damage one of the critical but unfamiliar elements is to determine if a structure has been Substantially Damaged (44 CFR §59.1) exiting DEC web site


Substantial damage means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to it's before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

Any repairs to a substantially damaged structure must bring the structure into compliance with the community’s flood hazard area regulations.

Flood Response Information exiting DEC web site - FEMA web site

After the Flood Fact Sheet (pdf 178kb)

Repairing Your Flooded Home FEMA 234 (pdf 1 MB)

Floodplain Management Publications (pdf, 61kb) - Answers to questions about the NFIP, protecting utilities, understanding floodplain maps, retrofitting homes, administering NFIP regulations, etc.

Technical Bulletins (pdf, 51kb) - Resources designed to aid in buidling design and construction in flood prone areas

Floodplain Management Requirements: A Study Guide and Desk Reference for Local Officials FEMA 480 exiting DEC web site - FEMA web site

Before You Begin Repairs Flowchart (pdf 32 kb) A poster showing the municipal permit process after flooding

Substantial Damage in the Disaster Recovery Environment (pdf 1.4 mb)

How to Determine Structure/Market Value and the Cost of Improvements or Repairs (pdf 91 kb)

Contact Letter (Template) Regarding Substantial Damage (pdf 18 kb)
Contact Letter (Template) Regarding Substantial Damage (MS Word 29 kb)

Checklist for development applications being referred to VT DEC (72 kb)

Other community opportunities:

Waive fees or use an Interim Bylaw: Some communities may decide to waive fees for permits or may consider modifying the local review process through an interim bylaw (pdf 8kb) to expedite safer post-flood reconstruction for substantially damaged structures. If the community is considering this direction, please contact VT DEC to discuss this option.

Contact Vermont Emergency Management

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants exiting DEC web site

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plans exiting DEC web site

VT Emergency Management Planning Grants (EMPG)

Update Flood Hazard Area Bylaws

Flood Hazard Management

For more information please contact: or 1-802-241-3759



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