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A “substantial improvement” is any improvement or repair to your home the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty percent of the home’s market value. This means that if you undertake a substantial improvement, you will need to raise the lowest floor of your home to or above the height of where the 100 year flood is expected to rise.
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The Town’s SFHAs are depicted on the Town’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps which available for review at the Community Development Department and online at Granit and at FEMA Flood Map Service Center you can also search the Town GIS for your specific property at Axis GIS (click on map layer and choose Flood map.
FEMA has recently up-dated its Flood Map Service Center (MSC) at FEMA to provide easier access to flood hazard mapping information. The MSC web-based repository allows users to access the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) that determine floodplain boundaries and flood insurance regulations for the entire country, as well as flood risk data, Geographical Information System (GIS) datasets, and engineering reports.
If the home has a basement or crawlspace, the floor of the basement or crawlspace is considered the lowest floor of the structure and therefore must be constructed at or above the height of where the 100 year flood is expected to rise. The Town of Windham Zoning Ordinance and Land Use Regulations Section 607 covers floodplain development
The most significant requirement for new construction and substantial improvements of homes located in an SFHA is that the lowest floor of the structure must be constructed at or above the height of where the 100 year flood is expected to rise.
A Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) includes any area of Town that has a one percent chance or greater possibility of flooding in any given year. The one percent flood is also known as the 100 year flood.