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Division of Land Use Regulation
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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NOTE: All webpages and forms listed on this website are being amended in accordance with the December 18, 2017 rule changes. We will be updating these pages as soon as possible. While these updates are in progress, our web pages may contain inaccuracies. Please refer to the appropriate rule for the most accurate and updated regulations for your activity of concern.

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FHA General Permit 5: Relocation of a Building to Reduce Flood Damage

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Flood Hazard Area General Permit Number Five authorizes the relocation of a lawfully-existing building to another location (on the same site) in order to reduce damage from future floods.  A lawfully-existing building means an existing building which meets all Federal, State and local laws, and which is not in violation of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules.  (See the definition of a “building” at N.J.A.C. 7:13-1.2.)

It should be noted that this general permit is not meant for buildings with proposed additions greater than 300 square feet.  In addition, the construction of any habitable area beneath the regulatory flood elevation, such as a basement, is prohibited.  Furthermore, even if the existing building has a basement, the relocated building cannot have that basement space.  That is, that space must be completely filled in.  Lastly, any enclosed area beneath the first finished floor (of the relocated building) must meet the requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:13-11.5(l).

The flood hazard area design flood elevation and floodway limits must be known in order to determine compliance with a General Permit Number Five.  If a Department delineation or FEMA flood Insurance study is available for the regulated water in question, a flood hazard area verification is not required prior to obtaining an authorization under a General Permit Number Five.  However, if the limit of the flood hazard area is established by the approximate method or through hydrologic and hydraulic calculations, then a verification must be obtained from the Department prior to, or concurrent with, obtaining authorization under a General Permit Number Five.

To determine which State mapping is available for a particular “Regulated water” a list of Department delineated “waters” can be found on the Department’s website at  To obtain copies of the maps or other information regarding the use of these studies, contact the Department’s Office of Flood Plain Management at the following address:
State of New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control
P.O. Box 419
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0419
Telephone: (609) 984-0859.

It is important to note that, if a Department delineation is available for a particular watercourse; the limit of the flood hazard area must be established using this study.  If no State delineation is available other methods that are approved by the Department may be used.  These methods are described in detail in the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules at N.J.A.C. 7:13-3.1.
Requests for copies of FEMA flood insurance studies or flood profiles, as well as any questions regarding their use, should be directed to FEMA at (800)358-9616.

This page is for informational purposes only. Please see N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.7 for the precise rules concerning this General Permit.

Common Mistakes when applying for a General Permit Number Five:

  1. The building (existing or proposed) is located in a floodway.
  2. The building is enlarged by more than 300 square feet of the existing building footprint.
  3. The relocated building will be built on a basement foundation.
  4. Using the FEMA 100 year flood elevation as the regulatory flood elevation (New Jersey Flood Hazard Area Design flood elevation) to comply with the first finished floor elevation requirement.
  5. Excessive clearing and cutting of vegetation in the riparian zone.

Some building relocation projects are not eligible for a General Permit No. Five.  For example, a homeowner proposes to relocate an existing building, currently in the floodway, that has been repeatedly damaged by floods.  In this example, the existing building sits on a basement foundation and will be moved outside the floodway, to another location (onsite), with a basement and in the flood fringe area.  In this case, the applicant is not eligible for a General Permit Number Five because the existing building is located in the floodway and the relocated building is proposed with a basement.

All flood hazard area general permits must comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.1(b) and the specific requirements of the applicable general permit.

The permittee must comply with all conditions of the permit authorization, supporting documents and approved drawings.  Noncompliance with a general permit authorization constitutes a violation of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules.

Note: For your convenience, an Administrative Checklist for General Permits has been developed by the Department.  Please follow carefully the requirements as outlined on this checklist to ensure that you have all of the required information necessary for a complete application.

A direct link to the rules cited in our standard approval letter for this General Permit can be found below.

N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.5 FHA General permit 5

N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.1 Standards applicable to all general permits

N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.2 “General Permit Conditions”

N.J.A.C. 7:13 - Index to the entire rule.

Please Note: The Department has made every effort to ensure that the text of this regulation is identical to the official, legally effective version set forth in the New Jersey Register. However, should there be any discrepancies between the text on this web site and the official version of the rule, the official version will govern. For more information on obtaining official versions of the rules, How To Get a Paper Copy of Department Rules

Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see an answer to your question below, please use the Land Use Contact form on this website. We will make every attempt to answer your question as promptly as possible.

No FAQ for this general permit at this time.


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Last Updated: January 16, 2018