Code Enforcement Department 

120 E Caney St.

Wharton, TX 77488


Ph:   (979) 532-2491

Fax:  (979) 532-0181


Office Hours

Mon - Thurs 7:30 am to 5:30 pm 

Fridays         8:00 am to 5:00 pm



Claudia Velasquez

Building Official


Shelby Robertson

Building Official Assistant

Email: srobertson@cityofwharton.com


Nathan Vogt

Code Enforcement Officer

Email: nvogt@cityofwharton.com

Substantial Damage/Substantial Improvement

The City of Wharton is a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As a participating community, City of Wharton must adhere to FEMA requirements for new construction within flood zones. Part of the requirements relate to substantial improvements and substantial damage to existing buildings. These requirements are an issue in particular when an existing structure is located within a special flood hazard area and its existing lowest floor is not in compliance with FEMA requirements.


Substantial Damage

Damaged buildings must have their lowest floor elevated to one foot above the base (100-year) flood elevation if damaged by any cause for which repair costs are 50% or more of the value of the building. The cause of damage could be from flooding, fire, earthquake, wind, or man. 

This applies to all buildings located in a designated special flood hazard area, regardless of whether the building has flood insurance coverage. The costs to repair must be provided for full repair to "before-damage" condition, even if the owner elects to do less. The total costs of repair include both structural and finished material and labor.


Substantial Improvement

For existing buildings any combination of repairs, reconstruction, alteration, addition, or other improvement to a building must be evaluated by City staff to determine whether they constitute a "substantial improvement". If the cost of improvements are 50% or more of the building value before the "start of construction" of the improvement, the building must come into compliance with NFIP standards just like a "substantial damage." The "market value" or value of the structure = the market value of the structure only. Land and exterior improvements, such as accessory structures, landscaping, paving, fencing, etc., are excluded. Market value = the appraised value of the existing building.


Please refer to the City's substantial improvement/substantial damage Standard Operating Procedure (PDF) 


Always contact the City of Wharton Code Enforcement Department at (979) 532-2491 before doing any work in a floodplain. 



NFIP Substantial Damage/Substantial Improvement (Fact Sheet)

Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) User Manual and Field Workbook


The following FEMA publications are useful when considering how to build a safe and compliant home in the floodplain.


Wharton seal

City of Wharton
120 East Caney Street
Wharton, Texas 77488
Phone: (979) 532-2491

Wharton Volunteer Fire Department
319 N. Fulton St.
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-4811 Ext 400


Wharton Police Department
1407 N Richmond Rd

Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3131

City of Wharton Civic Center
1924 N Fulton St.
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-2491 Ext 600
Wharton Emergency Management
1407 N Richmond Rd.
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-4811 Ext 570
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