Development in the floodplain
All development within the City of Fort Worth requires local and state permits. Contact the City of Fort Worth’s Planning and Development Department at 817-392-2222 for advice before you build, fill, place a manufactured home or otherwise develop.
The zoning ordinance, Floodplain Provisions Ordinance and the International Building Codes have special provisions regulating construction and other developments within floodplains. Without these provisions, affordable flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) would not be available to property owners in the City of Fort Worth. Any development in the floodplain without a permit is illegal. Such activity can be reported to the Stormwater Management Division’s Customer Service at 817-392-6261.
Substantial Improvement Requirements
Substantial Improvement — The NFIP requires that if the cost of any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement to a structure exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the start of the construction, the improvements must conform to or meet the same construction requirements as a new building and satisfy minimum finish floor requirements specified in the Floodplain Provisions Ordinance.
Substantial Damage — Substantial damage means damage of any origin sustained by a building or structure when the cost of restoring the building to its pre-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the building before the damage occurred. Substantial damage is determined regardless of the actual repair work performed.
The City of Fort Worth requires by ordinance that any substantial improvement or substantial damage improvement must have a building permit. Building permits can be obtained at the Planning and Development Department located at City Hall or by calling 817-392-2222.
Lot-to-lot Drainage and Lot Grading
A drainage problem within your lot or water running from lot-to-lot is considered to be a civil matter and is not regulated by the City of Fort Worth. Contact an engineer or landscape professional to assist you in solving these matters.
Floodplain and Contractor Information
Visit our Contractor/Developer page for floodplain information and the Storm Water Design Manual.
The City Council adopted a Grading Ordinance on June 5, 2012 after a series of reviews with stakeholders. Major features include:
- Land alteration in excess of 0.5 acres or more will require an approved Integrated Stormwater Management (iSWM) Plan Grading Permit. Previously, this approval was required for new plats. A $50 administrative fee will be charged for processing the Grading Permit.
- Single family and building permits applicants will be required to provide lot grading patterns. Non-standard (other than HUD) patterns will be subject to review. No fee will be charged for this requirement.
Stormwater Management Manual
Design standards and the new grading ordinance are detailed in the 2012 City of Fort Worth Integrated Stormwater Management Criteria Manual. This manual was adopted at the June 5, 2012, City Council meeting and is effective starting Aug. 1, 2012. The new manual updates and replaces criteria contained in the 2006 City of Fort Worth Storm Water Management Manual. New and revised criteria are specified for development and runoff from construction.
Printed copies of the city iSWM Criteria Manual will be available in limited quantities at the Stormwater Engineering Office, 1000 Throckmorton St., for $50.00.
For questions about any development anywhere within the City of Fort Worth, contact the Planning and Development Department at 817-392-2222.
For questions or concerns about development specifically in a floodplain within the City of Fort Worth, contact the Stormwater Management Division’s Customer Service at 817-392-6261.
- Get a great deal on a rain barrel
- Grading Permit information and Integrated Stormwater Management (iSWM) Plan Grading Permit
- Forest Park-Berry/Central Arlington Heights Feasibility Study
Visit the projects page to learn more about upcoming storm water projects.
- View Storm Water Utility rates and other information.
- If you have reported a storm water issue and received a survey door hanger from City staff, complete the survey online.
- Association of State Floodplain Managers
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Federal Emergency Management Administration
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
- National Weather Service
- North Central Texas Council of Governments
- Tarrant County
- Tarrant Regional Water District
- Tarrant Water Development Board
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
- Texas Department of Transportation
- Trinity River Authority
- Trinity River Vision
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Geological Survey