The purpose of this page is to define garages, a commonly used term in floodplain management.
A garage attached to a residential structure or in an enclosed area below an elevated building may have the garage floor slab below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Because such a garage is an enclosed area below the BFE, openings are required either in the exterior walls of the garage or in the garage doors themselves.
Below-grade Parking Garages
Below grade parking garages are only allowed in non-residential buildings in Zones A1-30, AE, AH, and AO and must be dry floodproofed. The construction of below grade parking garages is prohibited beneath residential buildings. Below-grade parking garages are prohibited beneath all residential and non-residential buildings in V Zones.
Small detached garages for residential uses may qualify as Accessory Structures under the NFIP.
- (a) (1) - Development Permit
- (a) (3) - Reasonably Safe From Flooding
- (c) (2) - A Zone Residential Buildings
- (c) (3) - A Zone Nonresidential Buildings
- (c) (4) - Floodproofing Certification
- (c) (5) - Openings
Other Applicable NFIP Regulations
- (b) (4) - Available Data
- (b) (5) - Elevation Certificate
- (c) (7) - Zone AO Residential Buildings
- (c) (8) - Zone AO Nonresidential Buildings
- (c) (10) - Cumulative Effects of Development
- (d) (3) - Floodway Encroachment
- (e) (4) - V Zone Structures
Special Topic Resources
- Page 4
- Page 2
Supplemental Information for Garages
Garage doors without openings specifically designed to allow for the free flow of floodwaters do not meet the openings requirement. Gaps that may be present between the door segments and between the garage door and the garage door jamb do not guarantee the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters. Also, the human intervention necessary to open garage doors when flooding threatens is not an acceptable means of meeting the openings requirement.