FAQs about: Floodways

What is the floodway?
The floodway is the channel, bayou, or other watercourse and adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than the height specified for the site in the flood insurance study.

Who determines the floodway?
Engineers working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are charged with determination of the regulatory floodway in accordance with FEMA guidelines.

Will the Floodway ever be reduced?
The ultimate goal of floodplain management in New Braunfels will be to have all floodways limited to the bayou right-of-way. To accomplish this in some watersheds will require the future construction of major channel improvements or reduction in flows from regional stormwater detention facilities.

Can I build on my vacant land in the floodway?
Per Chapter 58 of the City Code of Ordinances, new construction on vacant land in the floodway will be permitted if the performance standards for the construction are met.

Can I repair or rebuild my home in the floodway?
Yes, permits for repairs or reconstruction for buildings in the floodway will be issued if the performance standards are met. Repairs over 50% of the market value will trigger substantial improvement requirements.

Can I request a variance in the floodway?
Variances may be issued by a community for new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use provided that:
  • The criteria outlined in Sec. 58-29.4. (1) – (9) are met, and
  • The structure or other development is protected by methods that minimize flood damages during the base flood and create no additional threats to public safety.

For fees and more information, contact the City of New Braunfels Building Department (NBBD) at (830) 221-4060