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Planning, Building, & Development Department Mission Statement
The Planning, Building, & Development Department's mission and goal is to provide customer satisfaction by ensuring public safety, minimizing untimely delays to citizens, providing for expedited review procedures to increase public satisfaction, and remaining in compliance with with the Town's building code and zoning regulations.
Current building codes adopted by the Town of Greeneville:
2018 International Building Code
2018 International Residential Code
2018 International Plumbing Code
2018 International Mechanical Code
2018 International Fire Code
2018 International Fuel Gas Code
2018 International Energy Conservation Code with amendments
2018 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
ICC A117.1-2009 (Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings & Facilities)

The Building Department is responsible for the enforcement of the Building Code and other associated codes as adopted by the Town of Greeneville. This office also enforces the Zoning Ordinance and Sign Ordinance.

All permit fee schedules, sign applications, and building permit applications are located in the Forms & Downloads section.
Floodplain Management Public Information

The Town of Greeneville Floodplain Ordinance & Floodplain Development Permit Application can be located under Forms & Downloads.

In the face of mounting flood losses and escalating costs of disaster relief to U.S. taxpayers, Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968. The goals of the program are to reduce future flood damage through floodplain management and to provide people with flood insurance. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operates the NFIP for communities to establish floodplain areas and qualify for reduced flood insurance rates.

Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary although some states require NFIP partnership as part of their floodplain management programs. The Town of Greeneville participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

There are nearly 400 communities in Tennessee that participate in the NFIP. FEMA guidelines strictly regulate any form of construction or development within a regulatory floodplain. A developer must demonstrate that there are no impacts to the flood water surface elevations using FEMA application forms and analysis requirements as shown on the FEMA website. For this reason, it is very difficult and costly to develop within or near a floodplain. In addition to FEMA requirements, any proposed work within a stream typically requires permits from TDEC and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.

Flood Zones are land areas identified by FEMA. Each flood zone describes that land area in terms of its risk of flooding. Everyone lives in a flood zone. It's just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high risk area.

Land areas that are at high risk for flooding are called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), or floodplain. These areas are indicated on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS). A home located within an SFHA has a 26% chance of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage. In high risk areas determined by FEMA and communities participating in the NFIP, mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply to all A Zones.

What are the different zones located on FEMA maps?

Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Because detailed analyses have not been performed in zone A, no depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.

River or stream flood hazards areas, and areas with a 1% or greater chance of shallow flooding each year, usually in the form of sheet flow, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Average flood depths derived from detailed analyses are shown within these zones.

ZONE AE & A1-A30
Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. In most instances, base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones.

Areas with temporarily increased flood risk due to the building or restoration of a flood control system (such as a levee or dam). Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements will apply, but rates will not exceed the rates for unnumbered A zones if the structure is built or restored in compliance with AR floodplain management regulations.

Areas with a 1% annual chance of shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones. 

Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding that will be protected by a Federal flood control system where construction has reached specified legal requirements. No depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.

Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA) 
Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA) is an area that is in a low-to moderate-risk flood zone (ZONES B, C, X Pre- and Post FIRM). An NSFHA is not in any immediate danger from flooding caused by overflowing rivers or hard rains.

Moderate to Low Risk Areas
In Communities that participate in the NFIP, flood insurance is available to all property owners and renters with moderate to low risk.

Areas outside the 1% annual chance floodplain, areas of 1% annual chance sheet flow flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, areas of 1% annual chance stream flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile, or areas protected from the 1% annual chance flood by levees. No Base Flood Elevations or depths are shown within this zone. Insurance purchase is not required in these zones.

What is a FIRM?

A FIRM will show a community's base flood elevations, flood zones, and floodplain boundaries. Property owners and renters can use a FIRM to get a reliable indication of what zone they are in. Maps are constantly being updated due to changes in geography, construction and mitigation activities, and meteorological events.

Reducing Future Flood Damage in Town of Greeneville

Mitigation Measures To Make Your Home Safer And Stronger After A Flood.
There are three major causes of flooding in Tennessee, each affecting different areas of the state. In May 2010, river flooding, caused primary by heavy rains, was considered the greatest factor in a flood event unsurpassed in over 70 years. Completing the puzzle were storm waters and drainage issues, which can swiftly and unexpectedly present serious problems for affected communities.

Regardless of the cause of a flood or the resulting damage, you can take steps to reduce your risk of damages and loss of life from future floods. Taken together, these steps are called hazard mitigation, which is defined as actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects.

Following a flood, you will have many decisions to make about rebuilding or making repairs to your flood-damaged property. The decision will affect you, your family, and your community.

A great deal of information is available for you to consider, including suggestions on changes you can make to a building and property to increase your protection against future events. Ideally, mitigation steps are taken before a disaster happens. However, the availability of post-disaster financial assistance is often what makes it possible to take those steps.

This information outlines some flood mitigation options and resources that may be available to you, your business and your community through information and funding support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

No matter what decision you make don't forget to coordinate with your local officials to ensure you obtain all necessary permits and approvals for any work you intend to do on your house, commercial building or property.

Making Your Home Safe From Floods: Four Ways To RETROFIT 

What Is Retrofitting?
Retrofitting means making changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding or other hazards such as high winds and earthquakes. Check out FEMA Publication 312 Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting.

Four Ways To Retrofit
1. Elevation: Raising your house so that the floor of the lowest living space is above the Base Flood Elevation, which is determined in studies conducted by FEMA.

2. Relocation: Moving your house to a new, safer location.

3. Demolition: Razing your house and rebuilding on the same property or buying a house elsewhere.

4. Wet Floodproofing: Using vents or breakaway walls to reduce structural damage by allowing floodwaters to flow through uninhabited parts of a building.

Flood Facts:
  • In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
  • Everyone lives in a floodplain.
  • Most homeowner's insurance does not cover flood insurance.
  • If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high risk area and have a federally-backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance.
  • Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
  • Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
  • A car can be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
  • Hurricanes, winter storms and snow melt are common, but often overlooked, causes of flooding.
  • New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
  • Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000.00 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000.00 flood insurance premium, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).
  • Homes and businesses may qualify for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy, with premiums starting as low as $129 for a home and its contents and $643 for a commercial building and its contents.
  • You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. The Town of Greeneville does participate in NFIP.
  • In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect so it's important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.
  • In a high risk area, your home is more likely to be damaged by flood than fire.
  • Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file nearly 25% of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding.
  • From 2003 to 2012, total flood insurance claims averaged nearly $4 billion per year.
  • When your community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), you can qualify for an insurance premium discounts of up to 45% if you live in a high risk area and up to 10% in moderate-to low-risk areas.
  • Since 1978, the NFIP has paid more than $48.1 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs (as of 7/8/13).
  • More than 5.5 million people currently hold insurance policies in more than 21,800 communities across the United States.
  • The two most common reimbursement methods for flood claims are: Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cash Value (ACV). The RCV is the cost to replace damaged property. It is reimbursable to owners of single-family, primary residences insured to at least 80% of the building's replacement cost.
Helpful Information On Floodplain Management:
Protect Your Property From Flooding 

Floodplain Management Publications

Floodplain Management Summary

Policy & Claim Statistics for Flood Insurance

Contact the Planning, Building, & Development Department if you have questions or to view the most recent FIRMs or information on National Flood Insurance Program. Department hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.