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Building in a Flood Plain?

Technical Assistance: 866/849-0321

If you are conducting any construction project in an Iowa flood plain, some permits may be required. Below are the steps to follow. If you have any questions about this process, the DNR is ready to assist you. Simply call the technical assistance telephone number: 866/849-0321.


Step 1: Understanding Your Flood Plain Permitting Authorities

  • Local City or County Authorities: Your local city or county may have permitting requirements for construction in a flood plain. To find out, contact your city clerk or county officials to be directed to the correct authority, which may be a county/city engineer, planning and zoning commission, or other.
  • DNR Flood Plain Development: The State of Iowa requires a flood plain development permit for many projects. If you think there is a possibility that a DNR flood plain permit is not required for your project, review the determination checklist. Please note, even if a DNR flood plain permit is not required, other authorities (local, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, sovereign lands) may require a permit.
  • U.S. Army Corp of Engineers: Federal authorities also have jurisdiction over waterways in Iowa, which require a permit application.
  • DNR Sovereign Lands: Any construction occurring on, above or under state-owned lands or water must have a permit through the DNR sovereign lands program. Sovereign lands include: meandered sovereign lakes, meandered sovereign rivers, state forests, wildlife management areas, state parks, and state preserves.

Step 2: The Joint Application Process
To make the permitting process easier, a joint permit application is shared between the DNR flood plain development program, the DNR sovereign lands program, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

While there is one main application form, some additional information is required to process the DNR flood plain development part of the application (see Step 3).

Complete the joint application, and then submit two copies and all supporting documents to the Iowa DNR and one copy and all supporting documents to the Army Corp of Engineers, for a total of three copies submitted. Addresses are listed in the joint application.

Joint Application Form; Joint Application Form (Required for every project)


Step 3: Additional Flood Plain Development Information
Choose your project type below, then complete the forms associated with that project. These forms should be submitted with each copy of your joint application. The DNR will process applications in the order received. If an application is submitted that does not contain the required information, the DNR will mail the application back to you with an explanation of what is missing. An application will not be processed until it is complete.

If you cannot find your project type from the list below, call for assistance at 866/849-0321.
 

 

Project Type
DNR Form #
Required Supplemental
Application Form
   
DOC
PDF
Agricultural Levees & Dikes
542-1011
Word File
PDF File Format
Bridges & Roads
542-1023
Word File
PDF File Format
Channel Changes
542-1025
Word File
PDF File Format
Commercial, Industrial and Multi-Unit Residential Development and Associated Fill **
542-1033
Word File
PDF File Format
Culverts & Roads
542-1027
Word File
PDF File Format
Earth Embankment Dam
542-1015
Word File
PDF File Format
Low Head Dam
542-1017
Word File
PDF File Format
Miscellaneous Obstructions
542-1029
Word File
PDF File Format
Pedestrian Bridges & Roads
542-1021
Word File
PDF File Format
Single Family House **
542-1032
Word File
PDF File Format
Streambank Protective Devices: Basic Method++
542-1034
Word File
PDF File Format
Streambank Protective Devices: All other methods
542-1019
Word File
PDF File Format
Waste or Water Treatment Facilities
542-1013
Word File
PDF File Format

 

** Pre Application Form needed for confirmation of flood plain construction parameters, see form below.
++ Using riprap or broken concrete for streambank stabilization, with no resulting restriction of the stream cross section.

   
DOC
PDF
Pre Application Confirmation of Flood Plain Construction Parameters
542-1030
Word File
PDF File Format

 


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