The new Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac flood insurance guidelines require lenders to determine whether a structure is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The key distinction for government officials is between providing information and making a determination that a property is in or out of a SFHA. If a local official makes a determination and fills out the Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form (SFHDF), he/she could be liable for inaccuracies or misrepresentations. Local officials' only obligation is to have the information available and accessible to the public, including the determination companies.
In Wisconsin, it is recommended that local officials require the property owner to provide a site plan showing the location of the proposed project in relation to the SFHA. The site plan should be done by a licensed engineer or surveyor.
The above information was obtained from "Floodplain and Shoreland Management Notes", Volume 4, Number 1, Winter 2006, WI Department of Natural Resources.