Promoting Flood Resiliency Through the Regulatory Process

Zoning Practice — April 2012

By Terri Turner, AICP



One in three disaster declarations is a result of flooding, and an increase in population, increased development in flood-prone areas, and a predicted increase in intensified rain events due to climate change will only exacerbate those numbers. Flood resiliency can be defined as the integration of roles, responsibilities, and governance necessary to adapt to the various risks associated with flooding and the ability to withstand and rapidly recover from disruptions in function after a flood event.

The regulatory process is an essential tool in the arsenal of fighting floods and promoting flood resiliency. Zoning, building codes, and other regulatory measures can ensure that fewer vulnerable structures are built in flood-prone areas, fewer lives are put at risk, and fewer losses, to both property and people, are incurred due to unwise development patterns.

This issue of Zoning Practice explains key features of floodplain management ordinances and highlights examples of noteworthy efforts to minimize flood risk through development regulations.


Page Count
Date Published
April 1, 2012
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Terri Turner, AICP
<p>Terri L Turner, AICP, CFM is the owner / principal of HALO Strategic Planning, LLC - a company she founded to continue to do the planning and floodplain management work she loves doing, even in retirement.&nbsp;</p><p>Ms Turner was the Development Services Administrator, Floodplain Manager, and Hazard Mitigation Specialist for the Augusta Planning and Development Department in Augusta, GA from July of 1997&nbsp;to July of 2022.</p><p>Ms Turner is a previous Association of State Floodplain Manager&rsquo;s (ASFPM&rsquo;s) Region 4 Director, the current ASFPM No Adverse Impact (NAI) Committee Co-Chair, a Fellow with the ASFPM Foundation, and a previous member of her local (Aiken County, SC) Planning Commission for 21 years.&nbsp;Terri also serves on the Social Justice SubCommittee of ASFPM and the Climate Task Force for ASFPM, as well.</p><p>Terri has been awarded many prestigious awards for her work in GAFM, in ASFPM, and in the realm of floodplain management and hazard mitigation, being awarded the 2010 ASFPM Local Floodplain Manager of the Year Award, the 2010 Mary Fran Myers Scholarship from the Natural Hazards Center, numerous awards from the Georgia Association of Floodplain Management (GAFM) since its inception, the 2012 Champions of Change (Community&rsquo;s Choice) Award from the White House, the 2013 Limestone College Service to Community Award, and the 2015 Jerry Louthain Award for Distinguished Service from ASFPM. Terri would tell you that she would gladly give back all of the awards, even the one bestowed on her by the White House, if she could know for sure that her work had impacted the regulatory process in relation to planning, flood risk reduction and the overall realm of hazard mitigation; had protected property, lives and the well-being of communities;&nbsp;and had impacted &ldquo;how we do business&rdquo; on these vital issues for generations to come. She summed it up nicely in a recent line she wrote in a FaceBook post: &ldquo;There is still much to do before I sleep&rdquo;. and her ultimate goal is a part of her email signature when she was working full time, &quot;Today, may I do my job so well, that I don&rsquo;t have to dread the storms of tomorrow; instead, may I be able to dance for joy in the rain!&quot; So, Terri spends pretty much all of her free time traveling the nation promoting planning principles, sound floodplain management and hazard mitigation, and speaking on topics such as No Adverse Impact (NAI) Floodplain Management, Local Hazard Mitigation Initiatives, Risk-Reduction, Climate Change and Climate Change Adaptation, Sustainability and Resiliency, Green Infrastructure, and anything related to planning, sound floodplain management and hazard mitigation, to any audience that will sit still long enough to listen to what she has to say!</p><p>Terri is currently volunteering for NAI / CHARM Workshops, is Co-Lead on a recently released NAI Legal Guide project for ASFPM&nbsp;and is busy spoiling her youngest grand-daughter, lecturing across the US; and&nbsp;writing for periodicals nationwide.</p>