Scarborough is one of several local communities impacted by Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) flood map changes going into effect this June. FEMA’s decade-long effort to
remap the flood hazard areas of Cumberland and York Counties culminated with a letter of final
map determination issued to all affected communities in December 2023. As a participating
member community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Scarborough is required
to adopt the new maps and associated Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate
Map (FIRM). The effective date for the new maps is June 20, the deadline given by

There are 679 properties in Scarborough that will become part of the flood zone with the new
maps. Some properties will now be within the new special flood hazard areas (SFHA). An SFHA
is an area with a 1% annual chance of flood that meets or exceeds that base flood elevation.
There are three major impacts that property owners who will now be within an SFHA need to be aware of:

● They may now be required to obtain flood insurance if they have a federally secured
mortgage on their dwelling.

● They will be subject to floodplain management standards when making improvements to
their property, such as additions, remodels, new structures, or even septic system

● They will be subject to substantial improvement/substantial damage provisions, which
involves repairs or improvements to the building with a cost equal to or exceeding 50%
of the market value of the building alone. At that point, the entire building will need to be
brought into compliance with the floodplain management standards.

For those that were already in a SFHA, but find that their base flood elevation has increased,
they may experience a rate change in their flood insurance policy, and will also be subject to
floodplain management standards for any new construction or substantial improvement or
substantial damage. The same applies for any properties that were in a SFHA and experience a
flood zone change. For any property owners that find they are no longer in a SFHA and wish to
or are allowed by their mortgage holder to discontinue their flood insurance, they may be able to receive a prorated refund on their insurance premium for the current year only.


Also affected by the change are property owners who have been in the flood zone but submitted
a request for a letter of map change (LOMC) in the past. FEMA reviewed these properties and
placed them in 4 different categories for when the updated maps go into effect:

1. LOMCs Incorporated – Will be reflected in the new FIRM and will remain in effect until

2. LOMCs Not Incorporated – Will not be reflected in the new FIRM because of scale
limitations or being outside the new special flood hazard areas, but will be revalidated
upon the effective date of the new FIRM.

3. LOMCs Superseded – Will no longer be effective due to the new flood hazard

4. LOMCs To Be Redetermined – Previous LOMC information will be reviewed and, if
appropriate, a new determination will be made by FEMA.

There were no LOMCs in category #1 and #4. The Town has issued letters to property owners
in category 3 to make them aware that their status has changed and, in most cases, they will
now find their property in a special flood hazard area and be subject to the regulatory
requirements in the Floodplain Management Ordinance. Properties in category 2 will not be
impacted as their LOMC will be revalidated free of charge 1 day after the new FIRM becomes
effective. This only involves properties that, in years past, applied for and received a LOMC.
Scarborough has recently updated the Maps page on the Town website with the new FIRMs.
Access the flood maps at


The timeline for the adoption process moving forward is as follows:
• Town Council Workshop – March 20 (View a recording on the Scarborough Maine
Public Meetings YouTube channel)

• Town Council First Reading of Ordinance – April 3

• Planning Board Public Hearing – April 16

• Town Council Public Hearing #1 – May 1

• Town Council Second Reading and Adoption of Ordinance – May 15

• Ordinance & Maps Effective Date – June 20

For more information, go to or contact Floodplain Administrator Brian Longstaff at (207)730-4050 or by email at

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