Build Responsibly

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Permit Requirements

Columbia County's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance requires that ALL construction, additions, conversions and/or development located in areas of special flood hazard comply with certain minimum standards intended to minimize damage from floods.  For example, there are restrictions on the placement of fill material in areas of special flood hazard and houses and other structures are required to be built three feet above the 100-year base flood elevation (BFE). 

Columbia County also requires building permits be obtained from the Columbia County Building Standards Department prior to constrution.  All building permits are reviewed to determine if a property is encroached upon by the Special Flood Hazard Area.  If a property is determined to be within the Special Flood Hazard Area, an elevation certificate will be required for the structure, regardless of whether the structure is located within the Special Flood Hazard Area.  Columbia County must receive an elevation certificate for final construction prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.  Columbia County retains paper copies of all elevation certificates that have been submitted:  


To obtain a copy of any elevation certificate on the list contact the Stormwater Department at (706) 855-7246.


Substantial Improvement Requirements

Columbia County requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building's market value, then the building must meet the same construction and floodplain management requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards (e.g., a residence damaged so the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building's value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation).