Model Floodplain Ordinances

The DNR Floodplain Management Program has developed model ordinances for use by communities. The ordinance your community should use will depend on the type of maps prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the types of flood zones shown on those maps, and the level of development that exists or could occur in floodplain areas.

We recommend that you contact DNR Eco-Waters Floodplain Program staff for assistance prior to adopting a floodplain ordinance. Each community is unique, and the generic ordinances included here should be tailored to each community. Also note that the DNR must approve new floodplain ordinances prior to their adoption in order to verify that minimum state and federal standards are met and ensure community eligibility for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Minnesota Model Floodplain Ordinance

This comprehensive ordinance includes three types of floodplain zones: (a) floodway, (b) flood fringe and (c) A Zones ("general floodplain"), identified as separate districts in the ordinance. It can be further customized based on the source of flooding in the community or to incorporate more protective standards.

Minnesota Simplified Floodplain Ordinance

This ordinance prohibits most types of development from the floodplain. Consider using this model ordinance if your community has a FEMA flood risk map, but has limited existing and potential development within the mapped floodplain, or if the mapped floodplain consists of large lots that can accommodate alternative building locations.

Minnesota No Map Floodplain Ordinance

This ordinance is written for those communities who wish to enforce minimum standards in their ordinance required for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. Use this model ordinance if your community does not have a FEMA flood risk map, or if there are no flood risk areas within your boundaries on a countywide FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map.


Ceil Strauss, State Floodplain (NFIP) Manager, [email protected]651-259-5713