The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in the Continental United States


A-Zone Construction

Notice:   This information is only intended to highlight certain common everyday aspects of floodplain related construction.  It's not intended nor designed to be a complete resource for all codes and requirements.  Contractors and owner-builders are still expected to educate themselves regarding all the necessary requirements.

Each building needs its own Building Permit Application, even if they're on the same lot.  Only one set of plans is needed, not a set for each application. 

New construction and renovations equating to a Substantial Improvement, are required to have the First Finished Floor at a minimum height of Base Flood Elevation (BFE) Plus 1-foot. (ROGO/BPAS =BFE +1.5').

If there's space between the ground and bottom of the house, it's considered non-habitable space, used solely for minimal storage, parking, and access to higher levels.

If enclosed, this non-habitable area must:

  • Have appropriately sized, placed and number of approved flood vents
  • Constructed using flood resistant materials
  • No interior finishes (e.g. drywall, paneling, flooring etc.)
  • Usage is strictly limited to limited storage, parking & access to higher levels of the building
    • Limited storage means storage of lawn mowers, rakes, wheelbarrows, and similar pieces of equipment that are normally stored outside. Limited storage does not apply to household furnishings, workbenches, freezers, refrigerators, appliances or other items subject to damage if exposed to flood waters.
    • If you are purchasing a home with a finished enclosure below the base flood elevation, it may not have been permitted construction and may be subject to enforcement proceedings. Check before you buy.
  • Elevation Certificates are required before, during and upon final construction

Anchoring of the building and all its components is required.  The building to it's columns/piers, the piers to the ground, stairways and porches to their foundations (using corrosion resistant hardware).


Swimming pools are required to be anchored to the ground.  Otherwise, flood waters could cause empty or partly filled pools to become buoyant and pop out of the ground. pool popped out of ground




Contact Us

Scott Fraser,
FEMA Coordinator/Floodplain Administrator
Building Department
1300 White St
Key West, FL 33040
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