Floodplain Development

In compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIP), and the State of Montana, the City of Whitefish adopted regulations in 2007 governing work occurring within areas mapped as 100-year floodplain on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).


The intent of the Whitefish Floodplain Ordinance is to promote public health, safety and general welfare, and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas.

See Title 14 - Whitefish Floodplain Ordinance.

2014 Floodplain Mapping Update


Anyone proposing work within the boundary of the 100-year floodplain identified on one of the adopted FIRM panels must have an approved Floodplain Development Permit prior to beginning work.

The following are examples of work for which a permit is required:

  • Agricultural structures
  • Bank Stabilization projects
  • Boat docks, marinas, picnic shelters
  • Buried or suspended utility transmission lines
  • Commercial Structures
  • Excavation
  • Fences crossing stream channels
  • Fill placement
  • Irrigation, livestock and/or domestic water supply wells
  • Manufactured Homes
  • Public or private recreational uses
  • Residential Structures
  • Road, highway, street, or stream crossings
  • Storage of materials and equipment
  • Any other work, not herein mentioned, that may have an impact on the floodplain

Obtaining Permits

The property owner is responsible for assuring that a permit has been obtained. Work commencing without a permit is a violation of the Whitefish Floodplain Regulations and is turned over to the City Attorney for prosecution.

If you are unsure whether a permit is required for the work you propose, contact Nelson Loring with the City of Whitefish Planning Department at 406-863-2412.

Permit Application Form
Access the Floodplain Development Permit Application (PDF).