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What's the difference between a FEMA Floodplain and a Community (Future) Floodplain?

The FEMA Floodplain shows where flooding is likely to occur now. It is shown on the floodplain map in light blue.

The Community Floodplain shows where flooding is likely to occur in the future, based on expected development upstream. The Community Floodplain is shown on floodplain maps in gray.

In 2000, Charlotte-Mecklenburg became the first community in the nation to show both current and future floodplains on its official maps. See enlarged map.

FEMA Floodplain vs. Community Floodplain

Flood insurance 

Development Regulations 

FEMA Floodplain  

Usually required 


Community Floodplain     

    Strongly recommended      


Floodplain Development restrictions on:

  • construction
  • renovations or repairs
  • grading the land

apply to both the FEMA Floodplain and the Community Floodplain.

More about what floodplain maps are used for.

Applying for a Floodplain Development Permit

FAQs about Floodplain Construction

Flood Zone Map