FEMA - CCAMP Project

As part of the California Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project (CCAMP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completed a study of coastal flood hazards and released a preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) reflecting the results.  FIRM maps are used to manage areas subject to flooding and show a community’s base flood elevations, flood zones, and floodplain/floodway boundaries.  The main difference between the old mapping (completed 30 years ago) and new mapping is that the new maps account for wave action and detailed engineering analyses to model coastal flood hazards.  Dune erosion, wave setup, wave run-up, seawall overtopping, overland wave propagation, and coastal structures were all studied and accounted for on the revised maps.  

While FEMA’s maps do not account for sea-level rise; the preliminary FIRM maps are consistent with the vulnerability analysis of projected flood hazards currently in process with the City as part of a larger Coastal Resiliency Planning effort. Read more about this on the Sea Level Rise website

The City of Del Mar floodplain is shown on two panels of the FIRM: 06073C1307 and 06073C1309. Currently, properties located west of Ocean Front Avenue are not in the Floodplain Overlay Zone and are exempt from floodplain development regulations.  However, the recent FEMA coastal hazard study indicates the beach front properties north of 18th Street to the San Dieguito Lagoon River Mouth should be mapped as Special Flood Hazard Area due to the associated high risk of wave action and coastal flooding.  This will extend the VE Zone eastward of the sandy beach, past existing seawalls, and onto private property.  Other floodplain areas (i.e. VE Zones south of 18th Street and the San Dieguito River floodplain) will remain unchanged.

FEMA Information Package


Owners may submit an appeal of FEMA’s maps to the City of Del Mar by January 22, 2018 to Alee@delmar.ca.us. The appeal must include the scientific or technical basis as to why the FEMA maps are incorrect.  The City of Del Mar will submit a consolidated appeal with all correspondence received by the January 29, 2018 deadline.  According to FEMA, no extension of the appeal period can be granted.  FEMA will make their final determination on the appeal after the 90 day appeal period.  The City will then have 6 months to adopt an Ordinance as needed for compliance.

FEMA’s preliminary FIRM and Flood Insurance Study can be viewed here and on the FEMA web page at:http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata.
The change in the FIRM map means the City must amend its Floodplain Overlay Zone (DMMC Chapter 30.56) and associated maps to incorporate the new Special Flood Hazard Area, or the City could face sanctions. New development in the Special Flood Hazard Area will be subject to permit requirements and development limitations to help avoid or reduce projected flood impacts.  Owners in the Special Flood Hazard Area will also be required to buy flood insurance. 

Following is a general flow chart for FEMA processing of the final FIRM map.  See the appeal period information above for applicable dates in Del Mar, including a deadline of January 19, 2018 for appeals to be submitted to the City of Del Mar.
floodplain management/insurance questions can be directed to FEMA staff:
  • Edith “Edie” Lohmann, Insurance Specialist Region IX (510) 627-7235
  • Ed Curtis, Engineer Region IX (510) 627-7208
  • Mark Delorey, FEMA Region IX Planner, San Diego County (510) 627-7057
Information has also been shared with affected owners via the Sea Level Rise Planning work program. Please visit the Sea Level Rise website for more information or contact Project Manager, Amanda Lee at Alee@delmar.ca.us or (858) 755-9313.