A Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is used in floodplain management and defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as: “An official amendment, by letter, to an effective National Flood Insurance Program map. A LOMA establishes a property’s location in relation to the SFHA. LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation.”
Beck Engineering has completed over 115 LOMAs to date. The majority of LOMAs that we work on do one of two things: Remove an existing structure from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and to remove a portion of or the entire legally recorded property.
The most commonly requested LOMA removes the structure from the SFHA. This ensures that the current or future owner will be exempt from having to pay flood insurance, and proves to a mortgage lender that the structure is not at risk of a 100-year flood which is sometimes required to secure a loan. To request a structure be removed we must research the property and complete field work, FEMA forms and other related paperwork. Removing a structure can be done electronically and sometimes we will receive a determination letter instantaneously. FEMA preforms random quality control audits on this type of submittal. When audited, FEMA is allowed up to 10 business days to complete their review of the LOMA.
The other type of a LOMA removes a portion of or the entire legally recorded property that lies above the SFHA. This is typically requested when an owner plans on building on the lot. This variation has a similar process to removing an entire structure but is much more extensive as FEMA requires the property lines be established and shown on a plat along with a legal description of the property that lies above the SFHA. This type of LOMA may also be submitted online, but FEMA is allotted up to 60 days to be reviewed.