Enforcement Rules and Important Notes

Article Seven of the Floodplain Regulations for Maricopa County outlines the Enforcement process for floodplain violations and for interfering with flood control structures or property. These rules, established pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 48-3603 (D), 48-3609, 48-3613, 48-3614, 48-3615, 48-3615.01 and 48-3615.02, 48-3622, 48-3626 provide for penalties of up to $750 per day for individuals and $10,000 per day for corporations found to be in violation.

Section 707 of the Regulations outlines the Hearing Procedures to allow for parties to present information regarding a violation. The Hearing will be conducted by a Hearing Officer. The Chief Engineer issues a final decision and order from the Hearing Officer's findings. The parties have the right to appeal and may request a review of the final decision and order by the Board of Hearing Review. View the Procedures for the Board of Hearing Review (PDF).

Drainage and floodplains are regulated separately under two different legal authorities and two different agencies. However, all unincorporated Maricopa County applications for development start the permit process at the One Stop Shop located at the Maricopa County Planning and Development Department.

Arizona Revised State Statutes (Title 48, Chapter 21) govern regulation of development that will divert, retard, or obstruct the flow of water in any watercourse, including areas where drainage is restricted by flood retarding structures. These regulated areas are designated as floodplains on the Flood Management Maps and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).

Drainage systems and patterns extend beyond these designated floodplains. Arizona Revised Statutes (Title 11, Chapter 2, Article 4, 11-251) allow for counties to make and enforce regulations. Drainage Provisions are adopted as part of the Maricopa County Zoning Ordinance to regulate grading and drainage of all land within unincorporated Maricopa County.

If the determination is made that a parcel is not in a designated floodplain, the Planning and Development Engineering Staff will complete the review process without the applicant needing a Floodplain Use Permit from the Flood Control District. Should any application include development on a parcel where there is a designated floodplain, a Floodplain Use Permit will be required. The applicant must also adhere to the Floodplain Regulations for Maricopa County. Additionally, for individual residential lots, applications must be based on Arizona State Standard SS6-05.