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50% Rule Information
Building Construction Services > 50% Rule Information
 
The "50% Rule" is a requirement mandated by the Floodplain Management Ordinance. Please note that the rule does NOT apply to structures located in an "X" or "D" zone. In all other flood zones, the rule applies and it requires any building or structure improved, damaged or repaired 50 percent or more than the value of the building or structure to be brought up to Florida Building Code, including any FEMA, elevation requirements. To assist in the process, the Community Development Department has developed a 50% Substantial Improvement or Damage Review Application that can be downloaded by selecting the link below.
 
This document, with instructions on the front page, should be filled out as completely as possible with an affidavit attached from at least one of the following:
  • Architect
  • Engineer
  • Contractor
  • Owner (accompanied by photos)
If the owner chooses to be the person to fill out the affidavit, photos of the outside structure (foundation, roof, back, front, side views and cracks) must be included along with photos of any interior damage. This will assist the plans examiner in making a determination about the structure.
 
The last two pages of the document are an evaluation checklist to be filled out by the architect, engineer, contractor or owner. These pages are for screening purposes only and are an estimate of damages. Line items are prepared for each structural component of the home. A check mark should be placed beside the line item being evaluated and under the corresponding estimated damage. Every application along with every picture submitted will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The paperwork can be mailed, dropped off, or hand delivered to the Building Construction Services Building located at the Charlotte County Administrative Complex, 18400 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948 . If the home is close to the 50 percent rule, the plans examiner will contact the owner. The office is mainly concerned with safety issues, specifically with structural damage to the weight bearing walls and foundation. In addition, if your property is below the base flood elevation and is damaged 50 percent or more, your home will have to be raised to comply with the new flood plain regulations.
 
These steps are necessary for Charlotte County to comply with FEMA regulations as well as the Florida Building Codes. By complying, Charlotte County is able to rank highest in the state (equal to Miami-Dade County) for flood insurance discount rates. This in turn translates into a savings of nearly $3 million per year in discounts for our residents. This is an average savings of about $133 per home that carries flood insurance.
 
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