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Prohibited Development


Special provisions apply to development within the area referred to as the floodway and to watercourse alterations within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The floodway is the part of the floodplain that is necessary to discharge the base flood without the cumulative increase of the base flood’s elevation by more than one foot. It is specifically the areas designated as a floodway by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the City of Austell's adopted FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map).

The floodway is usually extremely hazardous during flooding due to the velocity of flood waters, which also carries debris. It is also important for this area to remain unobstructed in order to hold and convey floodwaters out of our community. All encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development is prohibited unless certified by a registered professional engineer or architect with sufficient documentation demonstrating that encroachments shall not result in ANY increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood.

Watercourse Alterations

Special requirements also apply to watercourse alterations. The watercourses that are regulated are those shown on the FIRM and are usually labeled, such as Buttermilk Creek, Noses Creek, Powder Springs Creek, Olly Creek, and Sweetwater Creek. Alterations to watercourses must maintain their hydraulic capacity and meet other requirements.

For More Information

Anyone interested in purchasing, developing or redeveloping property that is even partially within the floodway is encouraged to contact Austell Public Works Stormwater Management at (770) 944-4325, option 4, to schedule an appointment. Anyone interested in altering a watercourse should also contact city staff.

Flood Hazard Information Assistance

Austell Public Works Stormwater Management provides Flood Insurance Rate Map determinations to let you know if you are in a flood hazard area. Approximate maps of the regulated floodplain are available on the Georgia DFIRM flood map viewer website. You may also create and print a FIRMette at the FEMA Map Service Center website. For additional information, you may contact the Austell Public Works Stormwater Management division at (770) 944-4325, option 4, or by e-mail to

Related Links and Documents

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Flood Map Viewer

Floodplain Development Permit Application

FEMA Non-Residential Floodproofing 

FEMA Elevation Certificate and Instructions 2019 Edition