caption freeform

Floodplain Information and Development

June 7, 2021 -- The City of Highland Park, in partnership with Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (LCSMC), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), administers the floodplain management program. FEMA designates the floodplain areas through its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Within our City, floodplain areas are primarily designated along Skokie River (East Fork) and Middle Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River. The common flood plain area, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), is defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs within the City of Highland Park are typically labeled on the FIRM as Zone A. Additional information is available on FEMA’s website at:

The City is a certified National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) community. FEMA provides the City of Highland Park residents with subsidized flood insurance rates as a good standing member of the NFIP. The NFIP program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. More information about the NFIP can be found

In order to determine if a particular lot is in the floodplain, please see the options below:

  1. Visit the FEMA Map Service Center website, Type in an address to view the map online. Scale your lot on the map to see the limits of the floodplain.
  2. Visit the Lake County website, and under Layer List click on National Flood Hazard Layer and zoom in to your property.
  3. Visit the City's website,, under Quick Links click on Interactive Maps and turn on Highland Park Layer. Zoom in to your property. Alternatively, please contact the Department of Public Works, Engineering Division at 847.432.0807 to get details on floodplain information. Please note City staff does not disclose the FEMA flood zone information over the phone for lots, which are close to the floodplain areas (adjacent to water bodies). You can view the FIRM maps at the Department of Public Works located at 1150 Half Day Rd. Please call ahead if you plan to visit.

The City regulates all development within the flood plain lots per the requirements of the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) and City Code. The City Code requires properties to comply with both City and FEMA floodplain requirements. Typically, City floodplain elevation is a foot higher than FEMA floodplain elevation providing additional protection to the properties. The City updated its floodplain river profiles for Skokie River and Middle Fork. The river profiles can be viewed on the City's website, Under the Public Works Department, click on Engineering and River Profile FAQ.

If you need additional information on development within the floodplain, please contact Emmanuel Gomez, P.E, City Engineer at 847.432.0807.