What are CLOMRs and LONRs? So, CLOMRs and LONRs are regulatory documents that are issued by the Federal Emergency Management agency, also known as FEMA for short, as it relates to the floodplain. So, CLOMRs and LOMRs are documents that you can get from FEMA and also approved by the Army Corps of Engineers if you are looking to build or build in the floodplain or actually alter the floodplain through cut and fill, altering a body of water, a river, a stream, etc.

CLOMR stands for conditional letter of map revision and LONR simply stands for letter of map revision. So, if you as a homeowner or a builder are looking to build a structure in the floodplain, then you would get a CLOMR, a conditional letter of map revision showing that you are not adversely affecting adjacent property owners because of the water flow coming through. So, for example, if you build a home or a commercial building in the floodplain, water is going to run into that in the event of a flood and it could increase the size of the floodplain, affecting adversely neighboring properties. Let’s say you’re looking to actually alter the land through cut and fill. If you’re going to add a bunch of dirt, for example, to build out of the floodplain, if you’re going to alter a body of water, then you would need to get a letter of map revision. Now, keep in mind, you’re going to have to work with licensed surveyors, professional engineers, you’re going to have to work with FEMA and also get it approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. Obviously, these are federal government agencies.

This is a marathon not a sprint, minimum time frame you’re looking at probably 12 to 24 months. So, if you have it under contract with your land owner, you have to be upfront with them and you need to understand that this is going to take a long time. If you purchase the property, again this is a marathon not a sprint, but it can be very advantageous to you. I know a local developer who bought a piece of land and it was primarily in the floodplain, but over the years they allowed people to dump dirt from excavation sites locally, construction sites, with the one caveat that the dirt was not contaminated. And, then they slowly built that land up and then worked to get a letter of map revision from FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers. Because they were able to do that, they then sold that property, because most of it was now out of the floodplain, and they netted over $3 million.

So, it can be very advantageous, but it’s not as simple as just dumping a bunch of dirt. You have to work closely with FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers. It can be a very advantageous tool. Again, it is a long time frame and you need to work with professionals, so make sure that you’re talking to the right people.

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