Township of Riverside, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Riverside 5-11-1977 as Ord. No. 1977-6 (Section 5:6 of the 1967 Code); amended in its entirety 7-25-1979 by Ord. No. 1979-16. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 131.

Zoning — See Ch. 255.

§ 153-1
Findings and purpose. 

§ 153-2
Maps. 

§ 153-3
Definitions. 

§ 153-4
Regulations governing developments in floodway and flood hazard areas. 

§ 153-5
Procedure for issuance of permits. 

§ 153-6
Standards for consideration of permits. 

§ 153-7
Document file. 

§ 153-8
Appeal to Township Committee. 

§ 153-9
Disclaimer. 

§ 153-10
Violations and penalties. 

§ 153-1 Findings and purpose.

A. 

It is hereby found that the Rancocas Creek in the Township of Riverside is subject to recurring flooding; that such flooding damages and endangers life and public and private property and facilities; and that this condition is aggravated by developments and encroachments.

B. 

It is therefore determined that the special and paramount public interest in the floodplain justifies the regulation of structures and property located in the flood hazard areas as provided in this chapter, which is in the exercise of the public power of the municipality, for the protection of the persons and property of its inhabitants and for the preservation of the public health, safety and general welfare.

§ 153-2 Maps.

Editor's Note: The maps and studies referred to in this section are on file in the office of the Township Clerk.
A. 

This chapter shall consist of this text and a Flood Insurance Study dated January 1979, and Flood Boundary and Floodway Map dated July 2, 1979, issued by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration.

B. 

This chapter shall also consist of a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) dated July 2, 1979, issued by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration.

§ 153-3 Definitions.

As used herein, the following terms have the meanings indicated:

BASE FLOOD
The flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, or a one-hundred-year flood. The elevation of the base flood is 10.5 feet United States Coast and Geodetic Survey datum.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
[Added 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]
BREAKAWAY WALL
A wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system.
[Added 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]
CHANNEL
The bed and banks of the Rancocas Creek which conveys the normal flow of the stream that occurs most of the time.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations.
ELEVATED BUILDING
A nonbasement building built, in the case of a building in an area of special flood hazard, to have the top of the elevated floor or, in the case of a building in a coastal high-hazard area, to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated floor elevated above the ground level by means of piling, columns (posts and piers) or shear walls parallel to the flow of the water; and adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood of up to the magnitude of the base flood. In an area of special flood hazard, "elevated building" also includes a building elevated by means of fill or solid foundation perimeter walls with openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded movement of floodwaters. In areas of coastal high hazard, "elevated building" also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building," even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway walls.
[Amended 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]
A. 

A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

(1) 

The overflow of inland or tidal waters.

(2) 

The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

(3) 

Mudslides which are approximately caused or precipitated by accumulation of water on or under the ground.

B. 

The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by currents of water or waves exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusually high water level in a natural body of water, accompanied by a severe storm or by an unanticipated force of nature, such as flash flood or an abnormal tidal surge, or by some similarly unusual and unforeseeable event which results in flooding as defined in Subsection A(1) of this definition.

FLOOD HAZARD AREA OR FLOOD-PRONE AREA
The regulatory floodway and additional portions of the adjacent area that are subject to flood flow at lesser depths and lower velocities than the regulatory floodway that are inundated by water from any source and that are delineated in the floodplain reports as flood-prone areas or flood hazard areas. The "flood hazard area" is delineated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map as "Zone A." (See "flooding.")
FLOOD HAZARD BOUNDARY MAP (FHBM)
An official map of Riverside Township issued by the Administrator of the Federal Insurance Administration, where the boundaries of the flood, mudslide or related erosion areas having special hazards have been designated.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
An official map of Riverside Township, on which the Administrator of the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to Riverside Township.
FLOODPLAIN
Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source. (See "flooding.")
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
Zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as a flood hazard area ordinance) and other applications of police power, providing standards for the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.
FLOODPROOFING
Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.
FLOODWAY ENCROACHMENT LINES
The lines marking the limits of regulatory floodways on federal, state and local floodplain maps.
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement is not considered a building's "lowest floor," provided that such enclosure is not built so to render the structure in violation of other applicable nonelevation design requirements.
[Added 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]
MAJOR IMPROVEMENT
Any repair, reconstruction or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure, either before the improvement or repair is started or, if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred.
MINOR IMPROVEMENT
Any repair, reconstruction or improvement of a structure, the cost of which is less than 50% of the market value of the structure, either before the improvement or repair is started or, if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred. "Minor improvement" shall exclude ordinary repairs to a structure for which a building permit is not required.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the Township of Riverside.
PERSON
Includes any individual or group of individuals, corporation, partnership, association or any other entity, including state and local governments and agencies.
REGULATORY FLOODWAY
The channel and portions of the adjacent floodplain that carry the greater part of flood flow at greater depths and velocities than do the other parts of the floodplain that constitute the minimum area which must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevations more than 0.2.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. 97-348), includes substantial improvement and means the date the building permit was issued, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The "actual start" means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of a slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns or any work beyond the stage of excavation, or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling, nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers or foundations or the erection of temporary forms, nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure.
[Amended 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]
STRUCTURE
A walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground.
VARIANCE
A grant of relief from the terms of a floodplain management regulation.
WATERCOURSE
A stream of surface water that flows along a definite channel, with bed and banks, for a sufficient time to give it a substantial existence.

§ 153-4 Regulations governing developments in floodway and flood hazard areas.

The following regulations shall govern developments in the regulatory floodway and flood hazard areas:

A. 

No structure shall be erected or moved, nor major improvements or minor improvements be made (including placement of prefabricated buildings), nor shall any material or equipment be stored, nor shall any fill be placed, nor shall the elevation of any land be substantially changed in the regulatory floodway, except in accordance with a permit issued therefor as provided by this chapter.

B. 

No structure shall be erected or moved, nor major improvements or minor improvements be made (including placement of prefabricated buildings), nor shall any material or equipment be stored, nor shall any fill be placed, nor shall the elevation of any land be substantially changed in the flood hazard area except in accordance with a permit issued therefor as provided by this chapter.

C. 

All proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage within the flood hazard area, all public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems are located and designed to minimize or eliminate flood damage, and adequate drainage is provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards. New or replacement water supply systems and new or replacement sanitary sewer systems within the flood hazard areas shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system and minimize or eliminate discharge from the system into the floodwaters. On-site waste disposal systems must be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.

D. 

Structures shall be designed or modified and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure, be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage and be constructed by methods and practices which minimize flood damage.

E. 

When base flood elevation and floodway data has not been provided in accordance with this chapter, the Planning Board Engineer shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source in order to administer the standards set forth in this chapter.

[Added 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]

F. 

Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.

[Added 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]

G. 

All new construction, major improvements and minor improvements of residential and nonresidential structures within the flood hazard area shall have the lowest habitable floor (including basement) elevated at least one foot above the base flood level, or:

(1) 

Residential structures.

(a) 

If an exception to the aforementioned lowest habitable floor requirement is requested, a variance may be granted. If said variance is granted, floodproofing of the structure will be required. The criteria for granting of said variance are set forth as follows:

[1] 

Variances shall only be issued upon showing of good and sufficient cause, a determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant and a determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety or extraordinary public expense or create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

[2] 

Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.

(b) 

The township shall notify the applicant, in writing, that the issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the base flood level will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance and such construction below the base flood level increases risks to life and property. Such notification shall be maintained with a record of all variance actions, including justification for their issuance, and such record of variances issued shall be included in the annual report submitted to the Administrator by the township.

(2) 

Nonresidential structures. If an exception to the aforementioned lowest habitable floor requirement is requested, floodproofing of the structure will be required.

(3) 

Floodproofing.

(a) 

If an exception to the aforementioned lowest habitable floor requirement is granted for either residential or nonresidential structures, floodproofing will be required of the structure to at least one foot above the base flood level, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities. The floodproofing must provide a watertight structure with walls impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.

(b) 

Where said floodproofing is permitted, a registered professional engineer shall certify that the floodproofing methods are adequate to withstand the flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with the base flood, and a record of such certification indicating the specific elevation to which such structures are floodproofed shall be maintained in the township.

(4) 

Enclosure openings. For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria: a minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided. The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

[Added 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]

H. 

No subdivision proposal shall be approved in the flood hazard area except in accordance with a permit issued therefor as provided by this chapter. All subdivision proposals greater than three lots shall include base flood elevations.

I. 

Accepted practices of soil husbandry and the harvesting of crops in connection with farming, lawns, gardens and recreational usage that do not include structures are not included in the foregoing prohibitions.

J. 

In cases of doubt or uncertainty as to the exact limit of the flood hazard area or regulatory floodway in a proposed development, the Planning Board Engineer shall, upon the application and with the consent of the landowner, determine the precise location of a flood hazard area or regulatory floodway limit by close inspection, field survey or other appropriate method and cause the same to be marked on the ground, notifying the landowner, the State of New Jersey, Bureau of Floodplain Management, the Zoning Officer, the Building Inspector and the Riverside Township Planning Board of the results thereof.

K. 

The Township of Riverside shall notify adjacent communities and the State Coordinating Office prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit copies of such notification to the Administrator and assure that the flood-carrying capacity within the altered or relocated portion of the watercourse is maintained.

§ 153-5 Procedure for issuance of permits.

The following procedure shall govern the issuance of flood hazard area land use permits as required by the provisions of § 153-4 of this chapter.

A. 

No building permits shall be issued by the Building Inspector for new construction, major improvements, minor improvements, paving, grading, filling, excavation, dredging or drilling operations or any other activity in the flood hazard area as governed by this chapter until plans have been submitted to the Zoning Officer and the procedures as required in this section of this chapter have been completed. The plans shall be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the applicable provisions of this subsection. Said certification shall be provided to the township along with the application.

[Amended 11-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-15]

B. 

The property owner shall submit a flood hazard area land use permit application and six copies of the development plans to the Zoning Officer for approval of development within the flood hazard area.

(1) 

The development plans shall contain the following information and data:

(a) 

A scale of not less than one inch equals 50 feet.

(b) 

A key map of the development area drawn at a scale of not less than one inch equals 400 feet.

(c) 

Signature lines for the property owner, Zoning Officer, Planning Board Chairman, Secretary and Engineer.

(d) 

The exact dimensions and acreage of each lot to be built upon or otherwise developed.

(e) 

The location of the regulatory floodway and flood hazard area limits.

(f) 

The elevation of existing ground and proposed grading based upon United States Coast and Geodetic Survey datum; also, the elevation of the lowest habitable floor of existing and proposed buildings.

(g) 

The exact size, shape and location of existing and proposed buildings and structures.

(h) 

The location, layout and elevation of existing and proposed parking areas, drainage systems and sewer and water systems.

(i) 

Plantings, seedings, screening, fences, signs and such other information as shall be reasonably required for an evaluation of the effect of the development upon flood control.

(2) 

For good cause, the Planning Board may waive or modify the information required to be submitted in accordance with this subsection, provided that the Planning Board Engineer and the Planning Board determine that such waiver of modification would not prevent a full evaluation of the flood hazard area land use permit application.

C. 

Fees.

(1) 

A nonrefundable filing fee in the amount of $25 shall be paid to the Township of Riverside for each application for a flood hazard area land use permit.

(2) 

If the proposed development is new construction or major improvement, as defined in § 153-3 of this chapter and as determined by and at the discretion of the Zoning Officer, an additional fee of $100 shall be deposited in escrow with the Township of Riverside for costs expended by the Zoning Officer, Planning Board Engineer and Planning Board for review of plans. If there are additional fees, the applicant shall remit such fees to the township before final Planning Board approval is granted. The aforementioned costs shall be deducted from said escrow, and any remaining balance shall be returned to the applicant at the conclusion of all proceedings.

D. 

The Zoning Officer, upon receipt of the flood hazard area land use permit application and all other required documentation and fees, shall within 45 days after receiving the application make the following determinations:

(1) 

The Zoning Officer shall review the proposed development to determine that all necessary permits have been secured from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law, including Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 33 U.S.C. § 1334.

(2) 

If the proposed development consists of minor improvements, as defined in § 153-3 of this chapter, and if the development plans and application submitted therewith conform to the requirements in § 153-4 of this chapter, the Zoning Officer will issue the permit together with a written report certifying approval of floodproofing, elevations and other special conditions for construction within the flood hazard area. If the application is denied, the Zoning Officer shall notify the applicant, in writing, specifying his findings and reasons in which the development plans did not comply with this chapter.

(3) 

If the proposed development consists of new construction or major improvements, as defined in § 153-3 of this chapter, and if the application and development plans submitted therewith conform to the requirements in § 153-4 of this chapter, the Zoning Officer will require the filing of the escrow fees [§ 153-5C(2)], will issue a written report and will submit the application, plans and report to the Riverside Township Planning Board for review and recommendations.

(4) 

The Planning Board, upon receipt of the application, plans and Zoning Officer's report, shall fix a date, time and place for a public hearing before such Planning Board and notify the applicant of such date, time and place, in writing.

(a) 

The applicant shall cause a notice of said public hearing to be published in a newspaper authorized to publish legal notices and circulated within the Township of Riverside and to be delivered personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 10 days prior to the public hearing upon every property owner within 200 feet of the property in question and also upon the Clerk of the Township of Riverside.

(b) 

The Planning Board shall review the application and, after giving the applicant and the public an opportunity to appear and be heard with respect thereto, shall approve or disapprove the same, being guided in its action by the standards set forth in § 153-6 of this chapter. The Planning Board shall state its findings and reasons for its action in writing, and a copy thereof shall be given to the applicant.

E. 

If the application shall be approved, the Zoning Officer shall issue a flood hazard area land use permit for the development in accordance with such approval. All other laws and requirements of Chapter 255, Zoning, Chapter 231, Subdivision of Land and Site Plan Review, the building code and other regulations governing development in the Township of Riverside are also applicable. Neither the failure of the Zoning Officer to so notify the applicant, nor the omission of any noncompliance from such notification, shall relieve the applicant from the requirements.

F. 

If the Planning Board shall fail to take action within 90 days after the date of the submission of the application to the Zoning Officer or within such further time as shall have been agreed to by the applicant, the application shall be deemed to have been approved.

§ 153-6 Standards for consideration of permits.

In reviewing applications submitted under § 153-5, the Zoning Officer and Riverside Planning Board shall consider and be guided by the general purposes set forth in § 153-1 and, in addition, shall apply the following standards:

A. 

Regulatory floodway. Primary consideration shall be given to preserving this area, defining the minimum capacity required for the passage of flood flows without aggravating flood conditions upstream and downstream. Encroachments therein shall therefore be permitted most sparingly and only in cases in which the public interest will be served, such as bridges, roads, utility installations and the like, and the temporary storage of material or equipment in connection with and during the construction thereof, or where the obstruction is minimal, such as surface parking or recreation areas, open fencing and the like and then, in either case, only in accordance with the conditions designed to limit the obstruction of the practicable minimum.

B. 

Flood hazard area.

(1) 

The land use shall not produce a significant potential of increasing the risk of flood damage.

(2) 

The land use shall not increase the dangers to human life, human safety or property as a result of flooding.

(3) 

The land use shall prohibit nonessential or improper installation of public utilities and public facilities.

(4) 

The land use shall not increase the danger of disruption to transportation and the vital utilities as a result of flooding.

(5) 

The land use shall not produce a significant adverse impact on the environment.

(6) 

The land use will not aggravate present recurring flooding, nor produce runoff intensity greater than it was prior to the proposed land use.

(7) 

Diversion of development to areas safe from flooding in light of the need to reduce flood damages and the need to prevent environmentally incompatible floodplain use.

(8) 

Relocation of occupants away from flood-prone areas.

(9) 

Preservation of the flood-prone areas for open space purposes.

(10) 

Acquisition of land, frequently flood-damaged structures or land development rights for public purposes consistent with a policy of minimization of future property losses.

(11) 

Foundations for structures in the flood-prone areas should be designed to minimize the requirements for fill material in order to maintain the storage capacity of the floodplain.

§ 153-7 Document file.

The flood hazard area land use permit applications, plans, drawings, specifications, correspondence, floodproofing certifications and any other documents associated with such permit applications shall be segregated from other Planning Board and Township Committee materials and such shall be maintained in a place within the Riverside Township Municipal Building exclusively designated as a repository for such permit applications.

§ 153-8 Appeal to Township Committee.

After the final approval or denial of the permit, any person who shall be aggrieved by such action of the Zoning Officer or the Planning Board may appeal, in writing, to the Township Committee within 10 days after the date of final approval or denial. A hearing thereon shall be held on public notice published by the Municipal Clerk notifying all parties in interest who shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard. After such hearing, the Township Committee may affirm or reverse the action of the Zoning Officer or Planning Board by a recorded vote of a majority of the total members thereof. The findings and reasons for the disposition of the appeal shall be stated on the records of the Township Committee, and the applying party shall be given a copy.

§ 153-9 Disclaimer.

The grant of a flood hazard area land use permit or approval of a subdivision plan involving floodplain delineation shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by the township or by any official or employee thereof of the practicability or safety of the proposed use and shall create no liability upon the township, its officers or employees.

§ 153-10 Violations and penalties.

Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.

Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be subject to one or more of the following: a fine not exceeding $1,000; a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days; or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days. Each day in which such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation or offense.