In the City of Sammamish, the only mapped and regulated flood hazard zone occurs along the Lake Sammamish shoreline. In addition, the City is required to ensure that development activities occurring in the flood hazard zone occur consistent with Flood Damage Prevention standards of SMC Chapter 15.10.
These requirements occur in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency responsible for administering the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP provides subsidized insurance for properties within flood hazard zones, as long as Sammamish meets certain conditions, including regulating development according to FEMA's minimum requirements. These standards work to protect human health and safety, minimize the need for publicly-funded flood control projects, and ensure sound use and development activity on affected properties primarily though restrictions on certain uses and requiring elevation of inhabited structures.
All floodplain development projects must complete a Floodplain Habitat Assessment. A Habitat Assessment is required to ensure that your proposal will not result in negative effects on several Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species in the Puget Sound basin, including Chinook salmon and Orca whales. There are no Orca whales in Lake Sammamish, but the lake does provide important habitat for migrating and rearing Chinook salmon, a major component of Orca whales’ diet.
The City knows that Floodplain Habitat Assessment expectations and guidance from FEMA Region X and the State of Washington Department of Ecology has been overwhelming for many property owners. The City has coordinated with these agencies to streamline expectations, depending on the complexity of your project. This website is intended to guide you through expectations for Floodplain Habitat Assessment and provides links to the information that you will need.
How Do I Complete a Floodplain Habitat Assessment?
Use the following steps to determine the path forward for your project:
Step 1 – Check to see if your proposed project qualifies for a Floodplain Habitat Assessment Exception.
If YES, verify exemption with permit review staff.
Once verified, no additional habitat assessment is required.
If NO, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2 – Is your proposal a ‘Minor’ project? Check the following lists:
If YES, proceed with completing the appropriate Floodplain Habitat Assessment Short Form (links above)
Once your completed Short Form is approved by the City, no additional habitat assessment is required.
If NO, proceed to Step 3
Step 3 – Your proposed project will require completion of a more detailed Floodplain Habitat Assessment for Complex Projects. The City recommends the following course of action for completing the detailed assessment:
The Habitat Assessment Guidance/Checklist should be used as the template for your project’s Floodplain Habitat Assessment. Once completed by a qualified professional, the Assessment should be submitted with your floodplain permit application for City review and concurrence.
For more background and explanation, see:
If you have questions, need more information or would like to schedule a pre-application conference regarding a land use application and associated floodplain permit, please contact the City of Sammamish, Community Development Department – Permit Center. The Permit Center's hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. - 12 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please contact the Permit Center directly if you have any questions (425) 295-0531 with regard to your submittal.
Permits & Regulations