Flood Zone Resources
- Citizens' Flood Zone Committee
- Know your Flood Zone
- Flood Preparedness
- Building and Development in the Floodplain
- Insuring your Property against Flood Hazards
- Protecting Natural Floodplain Functions
- San Francisco Bay Tidal Gauge
- Elevation Certificates
- Helpful Flood Zone Links
1. Citizens' Flood Zone Committee
The Citizens' Flood Zone Committee was formed in 2010 as a response to FEMA's issuance of the 2009 flood maps. The Committee continues to meet to address issues that arise as a result of their flood zone designations.
The Committee's webpage contains links to the most recent and archive agenda packets and minutes, as well as regular meeting times and locations. You may also listen to archived audio recording of past meetings.
History of City's Appeal of FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps
In 2009, FEMA revised the FIRM for Marin and as a result, many properties in the Lagoon, West Shore Road, and Corinthian Island areas of the City were placed in either the AE or VE Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). In 2010, FEMA began to update the flood and wave data used to create the 2009 FIRM for the San Francisco region and in 2013 released working maps reflective of the new data and analysis that increased the Base Flood Elevation in SFHAs throughout Belvedere. With the assistance of Stetson Engineers, the City provided comments on FEMA's 2013 Draft Coastal Flood Mapping.
A table of the City's comments can be viewed here, or the entire report is available online (PDF). In 2014, after considering and responding to comments from affected agencies, FEMA released the 2014 preliminary FIRM (search by State - California, County - Marin; portions of Belvedere can be found in Item ID 06041C0488E, 06041C0489E, 06041C0526E and 06041C0527E). In August 2014, the City appealed the maps following FEMA's appeal criteria. The City's Appeal can be viewed online (PDF). In January 2015, FEMA submitted a response to the Appeal, rejecting the City's arguements. FEMA's response can be viewed online (PDF). The revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps were adopted in 2016.
- June 20, 2013 - City's Comments on FEMA 2013 Draft Coastal Flood Mapping (PDF)
- March 24, 2014 - FEMA 2014 pre-FIRM
- August 19, 2014 - City's Appeal of FEMA 2014 Preliminary FIRM (PDF)
- January 26, 2015 - FEMA response to 2014 FIRM Appeal (PDF)
2. Know Your Flood Zone
During strong storm events, heavy rain and coastal overtopping can lead to flooding in certain low lying areas of the City. This means that for the majority of properties in the Belvedere Lagoon and West Shore Road neighborhoods, you are in a special flood hazard area. FEMA has designated properties in these areas as being in either an AE or VE Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). To determine your property's SFHA, you may search by address at FEMA's Flood Map Service Center.
3. Flood Preparedness
Flooding in Belvedere may occur when heavy rainfall is combined with high tide. Storm runoff can also cause flooding to hillside homes. Preparation before a flood event can save property and lives.
FEMA's Flood Map Service Center allows you to search by address for an area's flood map to help determine where flooding is likely to occur.
Know the Flood Warning Signals: Early Warning & Notification Systems
In the event of a flood or other natural disaster, there are several methods used to warn the community as early as possible. Four sirens installed around the Tiburon Peninsula will sound alerting residents to the situation. For important information and updates, residents should tune their radio to SNAP 1140 a.m. (Siren Notification Alerting the Peninsula). Residents may also sign up for the Alert Marin emergency notification system to receive essential information about tests and emergencies sent directly to their home phone, cell phone, text, or email. Finally, in the City's Notify Me center, residents may sign up to be alerted to a variety of community alerts and notifications. During a flooding event, updates will be posted on the City's website in an emergency banner at the top of the page.
Protect your Property from the Hazard: Flood Safety Precautions
The Tiburon Peninsula's disaster preparedness organization, Get Ready 94920!, provides many resources for Belvedere residents, including classes and resources to prepare your home for a flooding event or other natural disaster. Below are a few of their flood precaution tips:
- If your house is in the path of heavy runoff, keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to divert water.
- If your house is in a low lying flat area and your basement is subject to flooding, consider installing a sump pump with generator back up.
- Keep gutters free of leaves and debris.
- If there is a possibility that water will engulf electrical or gas outlets, turn of electricity and gas meters.
- Don't walk through flood waters that are more than knee deep. If you are trapped in your home, wait for help to come.
Shelter locations will vary depending on the specifics of a disaster situation and will be decided on in coordination with the Red Cross to determine the location that best suits the needs of the effected residents. The pre-designated shelter locations on the Peninsula include:
- Bel Aire School
- Community Congregational Church
- Del March School
- Kol Shofar
- Reed School
- St. Hilary School
- St. Stephen's Church
- Tiburon Baptist Church
- Westminster Presbyterian Church
4. Building & Development in the Floodplain
Get a Permit before you Build! Properties located in the AE and VE SFHA Zones have special building requirements. Please contact the Building Department at 415-435-3838 before you begin your building projects in order to insure compliance.
The following handouts were created to assist in your floodplain building project:
5. Insuring your Property against Flood Hazards
Certain areas of the City of Belvedere may be prone to flooding. Flooding is not covered by normal homeowners' insurance, and a separate flood policy is necessary. Flood insurance is available to the community through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program backed by the Federal Government and FEMA.
6. Protecting Natural Floodplain Functions
Belvedere is surrounded by water resources that should be protected. No pollutants down the storm drains; they drain to the Bay!
More information is available through the website of the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP) Belvedere is a member of MCSTOPPP.
7. San Francisco Bay Tidal Gauge
On June 30, 1854, the United States Coast Survey installed a self-recording tide gauge in San Francisco Bay. This station has measured the rise and fall of tides continuously ever since, even surviving the 1906 earthquake, making it the nation's oldest continually operating tidal observation station. Located in the Presidio, the gauge at Station ID 9414290 provides real-time tidal information of the San Francisco Bay.
8. Elevation Certificates
The City of Belvedere maintains records of the elevation certificates for all new building projects in the flood zone. To view these certificates, please visit City Hall.
9. Helpful Links
- The Official Website of the NFIP - Floodsmart.gov
- Floodsmart.gov Frequently Asked Questions
- Policy and Rates for the NFIP
- FEMA Website
- FEMA NFIP Information
- FEMA Answers to Questions about the NFIP (PDF)
- FEMA Mapping Services Center
- Citizens' Flood Zone Committee
- Stetson Engineer Presentation on Hydrology Study (PDF)
- Stetson Engineer Lidar Survey of Building Heights Maps (5.6 MB File) (PDF)
- Get Ready 94920!
- Building Department Form: Floodplain Development Worksheet (PDF)
- Building Department Form: Substantial Improvement Worksheet (PDF)