Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) Project
Updates About the Process
- January 3, 2020: Most Existing LOMAs/LOMRs will be rescinded with New Maps: Preliminary Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) (PDF): This is a list of map changes currently in effect that will likely be extinguished when the new flood maps become effective. As expected, almost all existing map changes (LOMAs and LOMRs) will be rescinded when the new maps take effect. We held a LOMA Project workshop on June 14, 2016. This 40-minute video is now available for viewing online. The handout being referenced during this workshop is also available for viewing.
- March 6, 2017: New LOMA Mailing Address: If you’re planning to mail a LOMA application to FEMA, the address has changed to:
3601 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304-6426
- December 19, 2016: Printing Property Online Tax Maps: After the workshop video was made, an online method of finding and printing the tax map online was discovered via the Monroe County Property Appraiser’s website.
- September 12, 2016: Since we held this workshop, about two dozen property owners have obtained LOMAs for their property. Some report savings upwards of $1,000 to $3,000 a year on their flood insurance premiums. It’s also possible to obtain a refund for the prior year’s over-payment (contact your flood insurance agent, once you have your LOMA.)
When buildings within a regulated flood zone, are located on a site where the land is higher than the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-designated flood level, these buildings may be reclassified as being in less-expensive flood zones. The LOMA Project aims to identify and educate eligible property owners about the LOMA application process.
A home is located within an "AE-6" flood zone, where the minimum expected flood level is six-feet above sea level. Yet the ground - at its lowest point alongside the house - is 6.1-feet above sea level. Since the ground is higher than the minimum flood level, the building is eligible for FEMA reclassification. In this example, a LOMA changes the building’s flood insurance classification from "AE-6" to the much less expensive "Shaded-X" flood zone.
The flood zone boundary lines were drawn with a rather broad brush. FEMA knew there were going to be instances within these zones that weren’t going to be accurate, so it devised a method to reclassify such buildings.
There are several benefits to this:
- Fewer construction requirements
- Improve the resale value of your property
- Lower flood insurance rates
How It Works
FEMA’s Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process is the method for reclassifying such buildings. A completed LOMA application usually needs to be accompanied by certain certified documents: Deed, Tax map, Elevation Certificate and copy of the flood map. As of mid-August 2016, LOMA application processing times are now being projected at 8 weeks.
Example of AE-6 Flood Level
Using newly acquired software, City staff identified a number of buildings where the ground is higher than the minimum flood level. The following example shows a neighborhood within an AE-6 flood zone. Aerial survey LIDAR measurements (black numbers every 10 feet) indicate the ground is higher than six-feet above sea level:
The following map, highlights properties believed to have buildings within the AE-6 flood zone, where the ground is higher than six-feet, and are thus LOMA eligible.
The grey shaded areas are outside the Special Flood Hazard Area; officially known as "X" and "Shaded-X" type flood zones. The areas shaded in pale-yellow are in different level flood zones.
If you have a FEMA Elevation Certificate for your building, there’s an easy way to tell if your building qualifies for a LOMA. In Section B, Block "B9" for "Base Flood Elevation" it should say "6" (for six feet above sea level). Look in Section C, for the measurement on Line "C2f" for "Lowest Adjacent Grade." If this measurement is 6.0 or higher, your building qualifies.