Building Services and Online Permitting and Planning System

Understanding Your Flood Zone for Construction Purposes

AE Zone - Areas that have at least a 1% annual chance of flooding, but where wave heights are less than 1.5 ft.

Coastal A Zone - Areas that have at least a 1% annual chance of flooding, but are subject to forces of wave heights of 1.5 - 3 ft. Properties located within the Coastal A Zone are required to build to V-Zone construction standards (however, dry floodproofing of non-residential structures is permitted).

VE Zone (Coastal High Hazard Area) - Areas that have at least a 1% annual chance of flooding and are subject to forces of wave heights 3 ft. or greater. V-Zone construction standards are more restrictive than A-Zone construction standards, as structures must be designed to withstand these additional wave forces.

New Construction

All new development and construction within the City of Treasure Island must adhere to the current Florida Building Code and City's floodplain management regulations.

Chapter 8 - Building Regulations and Fire Code

Chapter 66 - Floodplain Management
Local Technical Amendment - Pinellas Gulf Beaches Coastal Construction Code

Improvements/Repairs to Existing Structures

Pre-FIRM structures (built prior to May 1971 - adoption of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Map) and Post-FIRM structures (built after May 1971) that are no longer compliant with the new Base Flood Elevation(s) are subject to a substantial improvement/substantial damage determination, also known as the "FEMA 50% Rule".

Below are some key points regarding the FEMA 50% Rule:

  • Improvements (any reconstruction, rehabilitation, alteration, addition or other improvement) or repairs to a building must be below 50% of the value of the structure only. Land and other improvements, such as pools or docks, are not included in the structure's valuation.
  • If a proposed project or repair exceeds 50% of the value of the building, it is deemed a substantial improvement or substantial damage. This would require the structure to be demolished or brought into compliance with all current floodplain management regulations (including elevation for residential buildings).
  • Phasing of projects is not permitted.
  • The value of the structure is determined by the Pinellas County Property Appraiser's Office. Search by address - there will be a link in the top right corner labeled "FEMA/WLM". Under the FEMA 50% Rule section, you will find the value of the structure, as well as the 50% improvement threshold.
  • The City may accept specific private appraisals for permitting purposes in lieu of the County's valuation. Please see appraisal criteria below.
  • Costs that must be included in substantial improvement/damage determinations:
    • Materials and labor, including the estimated value of donated or discounted materials and owner/volunteer labor;
    • Site preparation;
    • Demolition and construction debris disposal;
    • Construction management and supervision;
    • Contractor's overhead and profit;
    • Sales tax on materials;
    • All structural elements and exterior finishes (ex: foundations, bearing walls, tie beams, trusses, joists, framing, ceilings, non-bearing walls, exterior finishes such as painting/siding/stucco, windows and doors, roofing, gutters, downspouts, hardware, attached decks and porches, etc.);
    • Interior finish elements (ex: flooring, bathroom tiling and fixtures, wall finishes such as drywall/paint, built-in cabinets, interior doors, finish carpentry, built-in bookcases and shelves, hardware, insulation, etc.);
    • Utility and service equipment (ex: HVAC equipment, plumbing fixtures and piping, electrical wiring, outlets and switches, light fixtures, ceiling fans, security systems, built-in appliances, central vacuum systems, water filtration, conditioning and recirculation systems, etc.);
    • Costs associated with complying with any other regulations or code requirement that is triggered by the work, including costs to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Costs that may be excluded from substantial improvement/damage determinations:
    • Clean-up and trash removal;
    • Costs to temporarily stabilize a building so that it is safe to enter to evaluate and identify repairs;
    • Costs to obtain plans and specifications;
    • Land survey costs;
    • Permit and inspection fees;
    • Carpeting and re-carpeting installed of finished flooring such as wood;
    • Outside improvements (landscaping, irrigation, driveways, fences, swimming pools, pool enclosures, and detached accessory structures);
    • Costs required for the minimum necessary work to correct existing violations of health, safety and sanitary codes;
    • Plug-in appliances such as washing machines, dryers and stoves.

Private Appraisals

The City may accept a private appraisal of a building for permitting purposes in lieu of PCPAO's assessed value. City staff will evaluate private appraisals for the following criteria:
  • The appraisal must be based on the market value of the structure only.
    • Market Value is defined as the Actual Cash Value (like-kind replacement cost depreciated for age, wear and tear, neglect, and quality of construction).
  • For improvements, the appraisal must be completed prior to the start of construction of the proposed work. Retroactive appraisals are not accepted for improvements.
  • For damage repairs, the market value of the building or structure shall be the market value before the damage occurred and before any repairs are made. In this instance, retroactive appraisals may be accepted if no repair work has been started.