No, a property owner may not construct improvements to their single family house in phases with the intention of avoiding compliance with FEMA requirements.
The City encourages all building projects in the flood zone, even those that are not FEMA substantial improvements, to comply with FEMA regulations and City ordinance. Structures in compliance with FEMA regulations keep people safer, improve the City’s emergency preparedness and disaster resilience.
All projects completed less that 36 months prior to an application for a building permit are counted toward the cost of the improvement project when deciding whether it is a substantial improvement. If 36 months have elapsed between the issuance of the ‘certificate of occupancy’ for a prior project and the date of application for a new project, then only the new project is counted when determining whether it is a substantial improvement.