LOMA Instructions for Structures in the Flood Zone (with LiDAR)
-This LOMA application method is for those whose structure touches or is in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Because the updated FEMA flood zone layer is inaccurate, many structures that are shown to be in the flood zone are actually out and can be removed from the SFHA with an approved LOMA. In the past, these types of LOMAs required the home owner get a property survey done. Fortunately, the State of MN has FEMA certified LiDAR elevation data that can be used in place of a survey. A map containing LiDAR elevation data, aerial photos, base flood elevation (BFE) information and the SFHA layer can be submitted with a LOMA application in lieu of a survey if the structure is at least one foot above the BFE. If it is less than a foot or too close to determine then a property survey will be needed.
-The following documents must be submitted for a LOMA to be reviewed by FEMA: 1. FIRMette Map 2. Property Site Map with LiDAR Contours 3. Copy of the Plat (or Deed) 4. Completed LOMA MT-EZ form 5. Copy of the State of MN LiDAR Certification Letter
1. FIRMette Map
Go to FEMA's NFHL FIRMette mapping application (FEMA mapping application) and input your address in the search box. Choose the pushpin tool under the NFHL Print screen and place a market pin on your structure. Click "Execute" and PDF map will be generated. Open this map and then save it to your computer or print a copy. This map is called a FIRMette and will be submitted with your LOMA application.
2. Property Site Map with LiDAR Contours
Anoka County has created an interactive GIS website called the Anoka County Floodplain Mapper (ACFM) that enable residents to create property site maps and to assist with filling out the LOMA MT-EZ form. If this map shows your structure is at least one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE) then it can be submitted with your LOMA application in lieu of a property survey. Any reference to “ACFM” in the documentation below is referring to this website.
Open the ACFM website and enter your address in the address search (note: only enter your street address, not the city, state or zip) window and click “Search.” Click on the returned address match to zoom to the property.
Next you will need to locate the base flood elevation (BFE) on the map. The BFE for the lake, river, stream or wetland your property is on can be obtained from several sources including the city/township you live in, the watershed district or the MN DNR. Once you have that elevation number, left click on that elevation contour on the map to highlight it. These elevation contours are the LiDAR elevation data referenced above. Technically, this is the elevation the SFHA boundary should be at. Next, look at the contour that is below your structure (toward the water) but does not touch it. If that contour is more than one foot above the BFE contour then you can submit your LOMA with this map as supporting evidence and do not need a survey.
The sample below shows a house that is within the flood zone. The BFE for this body of water 896 feet which is highlighted on the map. The lowest adjacent contour that is not touching the house is 900 feet. Since the lowest adjacent contour is more than one foot above the BFE, the map can be submitted in place of a survey. If the lowest adjacent contour is less than a foot above the BFE or you cannot determine elevation difference then a survey is required.
Once you get the BFE contour highlighted on the map you are ready to print the map. Click the printer icon at the top of the screen. When the print dialog screen opens, enter your full address, the property owner name, base flood elevation (BFE) and the BFE source and then click “Print."
The resulting map can be printed and/or downloaded and saved as PDF. This is the property site map has all the necessary information and citations and should be submitted with your LOMA application. Keep the ACFM website open as you can use it to help fill out the LOMA MT-EZ form in step three and in step four.
3. Print A Copy of Your Plat
Open the ACFM website and enter your address in the address search (note: only enter your street address, not the city, state or zip) window and click “Search.” Click on the returned address match to zoom to the property. In the "LOMA Information" box, click the "Click Here For A Copy of The Plat" and it will open a PDF of your plat in a separate screen. The plat PDF can be printed and/or downloaded and saved as a PDF. This is the plat you should submit with your LOMA application. Note: If your property is not platted, you will need to obtain the deed from your city or Anoka County Property Tax.
4. Completed LOMA MT-EZ Form
The blank LOMA MT-EZ form can be downloaded here.
Follow the MT-EZ directions below closely. Much of the information needed for the form can be obtained through the ACFM website. You will have to provide the elevation data (BFE or survey elevation). After inputting your address in the ACFM website, click on the returned address match to zoom to your property. The "LOMA Information" box below will display information you will need to fill out the MT-EZ form.
1. Assuming you have not added fill to your property to raise ground that previously below the base flood elevation, check the "No" box. If fill has been placed below the BFE after the date the property was first shown to be in the SFHA, you cannot apply for a LOMA. You will need to apply for a Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F).
2. Write the legal description and address of your property in this section. The legal description can be obtained from line 1 of the "LOMA Information" box from ACFM website.
3. In most cases, the applicant will be attempting to get a flood zone determination on their structure so check the box next to "A Structure on your property?" and type in the date the structure was built.
4. Fill out the property owner information in last box in section A and sign and date the form.
Despite what the instructions say, Section B does not need to be filled out by a licensed land surveyor or engineer if you are submitting the LOMA with LiDAR data. If you have the property surveyed then have the surveyor fill out his portion of the LOMA.
Check the box next to "Structure located on natural grade (LOMA) as are you trying to get the structure removed from the SFHA.
1. PROPERTY INFORMATION - Provide the parcel identification number of your property in this section. This can be obtained from line 2 of the "LOMA Information" box that appears after you input your address on the AFCM website.
2. STRUCTURE INFORMATION - Provide the address of the building or buildings on the property and check the box next to the type of foundation your structure has.
3. GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATE DATA - Check the "NAD83" box for both sections. The latitude (Lat) and longitude (Long) coordinates can be obtained from the ACFM website. While zoomed into your property on the ACFM website, move the cursor around the map and notice that the Lat and Long in the upper right corner change. This will tell you the exact Lat/Long of the tip of your mouse cursor.
The "structure" section asks for the most upstream edge of the structure. If your structure is on a ditch, stream or river then use the most upstream corner. If it is on a lake or wetland then use the corner closest to the water. Place the cursor on the structure's corner and copy the Lat and Long coordinates to the structure portion of section 3.
The "property" section asks for the most upstream edge of the property. If your property is on a ditch, stream or river then use the most upstream corner. If it is on a lake or wetland then use the corner closest to the water. Place the cursor on the propert corner and copy the Lat and Long coordinates to the property portion of section 3.
4. FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM) INFORMATION - The NFIP Community Number and Map Panel Number can be obtained from lines 3 and 4, respectively, of the "LOMA Information" box that appears after you input your address on the ACFM website.
You will need the base flood elevation (BFE) for the water body you live on or near. This can be obtained from several sources including the FIRM map, city or township, watershed district or the MN DNR. If a BFE has been determined for your water body, then a survey should not be needed to determine if you are in or out of the SFHA. Make sure to note the BFE source as well.
5. ELEVATION INFORMATION (SURVEY REQUIRED) - If you cannot determine a BFE for the water body and have a survey done, this portion of the MT-EZ (if not the entire application) should be filled out by the surveyor. They will need to fill out and sign the "Certifier's" portion at the bottom of this section as well. If you do not need a survey then you can omit and cross out this section.
In the final section, check the boxes shown below. If your property is not platted and your are supplying a deed, then check the third box instead of the second box.
5. State of MN LiDAR Certification Letter
A copy of the LiDAR certification letter can be downloaded here and should be included in your LOMA application packet.
You can mail hard copies of the FIRMette, property site map, plat and completed MT-EZ form to:
847 South Pickett Street
Alexandria, VA 22304-4605
Attn: LOMA Manager