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Measuring Building Height

Post Date:04/24/2019 9:51 AM

On April 16, 2019, the City Commission adopted Ordinance No. 02-19, which amends the Land Development Regulations (LDR) by changing the way that building height is measured. Before the amendments, building height was measured from either the average mean elevation of the adjacent crown of road(s), or from the average crest of the dune located within the property limits. The amendments take into consideration the latest adopted Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for the City that were effective October 5, 2017, and eliminate the potential penalization of properties within areas where elevated floor heights are required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Florida Building Code. 

Current FEMA requirements set the base flood elevation for buildings at either the lowest finished floor elevation for buildings not located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or the bottom of the lowest structural member for structures in a SFHA. Florida Building Code then applies an additional height (12 inches) to the base flood elevation set by FEMA.  In some of the SFHA, the distance between the elevation of the crown of the road (the current basis for building height) and the required elevation of the floor slab (under the new FEMA and Florida Building Code requirements) substantially reduces the potential height of a building relative to current allowances in the LDRs.  The LDRs did not previously encourage freeboard or floor elevations higher than the minimum requirements to increase resiliency. 

Measuring Building Height: A graphic to assist in determining how to measure building height for your property. 

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