City of Orange Beach ▪ Community Development Department
P.O. Box 2432 ▪ 4101 Orange Beach Blvd. ▪ Orange Beach, AL 36561
Office 251.981.2610 ▪ www.orangebeachal.gov
The City of Orange Beach, following National Flood Insurance Program (FEMA) requirements, has
the responsibility to determine “substantial damage” and “substantial improvement” and has
implemented the following procedures to do so:
The City of Orange Beach will estimate Market Value by using the tax assessment value of
your structure (excluding the land).
If you disagree with this estimate of Market Value, you may hire a state licensed appraiser
and submit a comparable property appraisal.
You must submit to the City of Orange Beach a detailed and complete cost estimate for the
addition, remodeling, reconstruction or repair of all the damages sustained by your home, which
has been prepared and signed by a licensed general contractor or design professional. The
contractor must sign an affidavit indicating that the cost estimate submitted includes all
damages or all improvements to your home. (See attached form.)
The City of Orange Beach will evaluate the cost of improvements or repairs and determine if
they are fair and reasonable and in accordance with the cost of construction with the Building
Valuation Data published by the International Code Council. For damage repairs, pre-storm
prices and rates will be utilized. The cost of improvements or repairs does not include items not
considered a permanent part of the structure (i.e., plans, surveys, permits, sidewalks, pools,
screens, sheds, gazebos, fences, etc.). (See attached form.)
If your home is determined to have “substantial damage” or is proposed to be “substantially
improved”, then an Elevation Certificate must be submitted to the City of Orange Beach to
determine the lowest floor elevation.
If the lowest floor is below the design flood elevation, the building must be elevated to or
above that design flood elevation. Likewise, all electrical and mechanical equipment (heating
and cooling, etc.), bathrooms and laundry rooms must be elevated above the design flood
elevation. Only parking, building access, and limited, incidental storage is allowed below the
design flood level (velocity zones and regulatory floodways have further restrictions).
If the lowest floor, electrical and mechanical equipment, laundry and bathrooms are already
above the design flood elevation, the building can be repaired and reconstructed without further
Building plans must be prepared to show how the building is to be elevated. If located in a
velocity zone or regulatory floodway, or if the building is to be floodproofed, additional
requirements and certifications exist. These plans must be prepared and certified by a registered
professional engineer or architect. (Certificates for this purpose are available from the
Community Development Department).