An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Revised draft flood hazard maps available for review

Nearly 15,000 properties have been removed from high-risk zones on the revised draft of Sarasota County's Special Flood Hazard Area maps following a review by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Sarasota County and its partners at the cities of North Port, Sarasota and Venice, the Town of Longboat Key and the Southwest Florida Water Management District worked as a team to submit more than 800 comments and eight separate technical appeals to FEMA in April in an effort to improve the accuracy of the flood risk maps. The submission resulted in adjustments and a revised flood hazard map that was sent to local communities on Oct. 14. Those revised maps are available for the public to review online at For assistance, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.

"Special thanks should be given to the public for their participation in seven public workshops held last January through April," said Molly Williams, stormwater manager with Sarasota County Public Utilities.

The submission of the appeals and comments resulted in the removal of more than 14,000 properties that had been newly mapped into a high risk zone when the preliminary map update was made available last December. An additional 658 properties have been mapped out of the high risk zone.

These important changes are part of a multi-year project to update the maps, and three more steps remain:

  1. Sarasota County, the cities of North Port, Sarasota and Venice and the Town of Longboat Key will respond to the revised draft maps by mid-November
  2. Final quality reviews will be conducted again by FEMA, resulting in issuance of a Letter of Final Determination (LFD), which is anticipated sometime in January
  3. The LFD will specify a six-month compliance period, during which time communities can make necessary adjustments to current ordinances in order to adopt the new maps. Sarasota County anticipates the compliance period deadline to be sometime in June-July 2016.

  4. For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit