We are in the Braes Heights neighborhood, where Hurricane Harvey struck last year. This year, the City of Houston is releasing new ordinances that require buildings be constructed two feet above the 500-year floodplain. With me to talk about this, I have Benjamin Lavine of Stoneacorn Builders.
Starting September 1, all permits that are given out will be under these new ordinances. Back in 2001, Tropical Storm Allison led FEMA to revise the flood maps. At that time, regulations required builders to build a foot higher than the 100-year flood mark. Most elevated homes you see are new construction from the past 10 years when this requirement came into effect. The homes’ finished floors had to be higher than the 100-year floodplain.
With Harvey in this area, we were considerably above that mark at nearly 18 inches away.

“The new ordinance will apply to not only new construction but also additions to current homes.”Meanwhile, with the new law, the point at which your finished floors can be will be much higher, two feet above the 500-year floodplain, as can be seen in the video at 2:00. This new height will add extra costs exponentially in the form of more materials, more labor, more steel, more concrete, etc. It will apply to not only new construction but also additions to pre-existing homes.
It is important to note that not all neighborhoods will be affected as much. While Braes Heights will have much higher buildings, other neighborhoods will not require the same height because it is based on the 500-year flood maps. West of Braes Heights in Bel Air, the difference will only be about a foot. It will all depend on the topography of the neighborhood.
If you would like to speak to Benjamin further, you can give him a call at (713) 838-8808 or contact him by email at info@stoneacorn.com.
And, if you have any real estate inquiries for me, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email. I look forward to speaking with you soon.