Current Status: The Appeal and Comment Period deadline has passed. FEMA is actively reviewing appeals.
By federal regulation, all appeals must be delivered to Lee County, which will then forward them in a single submission to FEMA. Lee County will not review the content of these appeals, which must be based on the technical aspects of FEMA’s coastal surge modeling. To accommodate this process, the Lee County Floodplain Administrator has provided an Appeal Form to be completed by the applicant. This must accompany the appeal submission. FEMA will not accept appeals or comments that are not first submitted to the County.
FEMA's Federal Register Notice regarding the Appeal and Comment period
Newspaper Publication #1
Newspaper Publication #2
Residents and business owners are encouraged to review the updated maps to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements. Residents may submit an appeal if they perceive that modeling or data used to create the map is technically or scientifically incorrect. Appeals and Protests submitted to FEMA must include scientific or technical information that explains why you believe floodplain boundaries, base flood elevations or zone designations are incorrect. An appeal must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim. Appeals cannot be based on the effects of proposed projects or projects started after the study is in progress.
If property owners see incorrect information that does not change the flood hazard information—such as a missing or misspelled road name in the Special Flood Hazard Area or an incorrect corporate boundary—they can submit a written comment.
The next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps.
Directions for submitting appeals: Complete the Lee County Appeal Form. Submit the completed form and required back up documentation to FIRMinfo@leegov.com
Link to FEMA Requirements for Supporting Documentation
Link to general 2019 FEMA Preliminary Flood Map Revisions page
Link to the interactive "Find My Preliminary Map" Information app
Link to the Lee County Appeal Form
A Comment is any submittal that does not meet the requirements outlined for an appeal (above). Comments may include: feedback regarding road names, jurisdictional boundaries and other base map features; concerns regarding proposed flood hazard information; or, any technical submittal that does not meet the full requirements for appeals.
FEMA will review the submitted information and prepare an acknowledgement that will state one of the following:
- The appeal is valid and a change to the Preliminary FIRM and/or FIS is warranted
- Additional data or information is needed to complete the review. The appellant will have 30-days to provide additional information
- The information is considered a Comment and will not be incorporated
Due to map scale limitations, making flood zone changes at the individual lot or structure level impossible to show on the FIRM. The appeals process typically cannot be used to remove a structure or property from the floodplain. Instead, FEMA’s Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process is the avenue to follow for this purpose. Because LOMAs officially change the flood zone designation for a structure or property on an effective FIRM, not a Preliminary FIRM, it is recommended that applicants submit their CHAMP-related LOMA application directly to FEMA through their online Letter of Map Change application portal 30 to 60 days prior to the effective date for the Preliminary FIRMs (likely in 2021). Once approved, an official amendment to an effective map is sent out by letter to the property owner. Please note that LOMAs apply to individual structures or properties and do not change the flood zone boundaries on the FIRM.