[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Wrightstown by Ord. No. 1986-1 (Sec. 11-4 of the Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has in N.J.S.A. 40:48-1 delegated the responsibility to local government units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Borough Council of the Borough of Wrightstown, County of Burlington and State of New Jersey, does ordain as follows.
The flood hazard areas of the Borough of Wrightstown are subject to periodic inundation which results in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety and general welfare.
These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazards which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Uses that are inadequately flood-proofed, elevated or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss.
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed:
To protect human life and health.
To minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public.
To minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects.
To minimize prolonged business interruptions.
To minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges located in areas of special flood hazard.
To help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the second use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas.
To ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard.
To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.
In order to accomplish its purposes, this chapter includes methods and provisions for:
Restricting or prohibiting uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion hazards, or which result in damaging increases in erosion or in flood heights or velocities.
Requiring that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction.
Controlling the alteration of natural flood plains, stream channels and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel floodwaters.
Controlling filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase flood damage.
Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1987-5; Ord. No. 1991-9]
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
- AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
- The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
- BASE FLOOD
- The flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
- Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
- 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.
- 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, or storage of equipment or materials located within the area of special flood hazard.
- 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 (post 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.
- FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
- The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
- FLOOD or FLOODING
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
- HISTORIC STRUCTURE
- Any structure that is:
- A. Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register.
- B. Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district.
- C. Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
- 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.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. No. 97-348) shall include substantial improvements and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, 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 or 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. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration effects the external dimensions of the building.
- A walled and roofed building or a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.
- SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
- Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
- SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:
- A. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement officer and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
- B. Any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.
- A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by the section.
Lands to which this chapter applies. This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the Borough of Wrightstown.
The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Insurance Administration on its Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM), No. H-02, dated May 11, 1979, with accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Map No. 1-02 and Flood Boundary Floodway Map, is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. The FHBM is on file at Municipal Building, 7 East Main Street, Wrightstown, New Jersey.
No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall upon conviction thereof be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both, for each violation, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the borough from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.
In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:
The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes. This chapter does not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazards or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages. This chapter shall not create liability on the part of the Borough of Wrightstown, any officer or employee thereof or the Federal Insurance Administration, for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
Establishment of development permit. A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 89-7. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the township construction code official and may include, but not be limited to: plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions and elevations of the area in question, existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities and the location of the foregoing.
Specifically, the following information is required:
Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures.
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed.
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in § 89-24.
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
The township construction code official is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
Duties of the township construction code official shall include, but not be limited to:
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
Review all development permits to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required.
Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development adversely affects the flood-carrying capacity of the area of special flood hazard. For the purposes of this chapter, "adversely affects" means damage to adjacent properties because of rises in flood stages attributed to physical changes of the channel and the adjacent overbank areas.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1987-5]
When base flood elevation and floodway data has not been provided in accordance with § 89-7, Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard, the township construction code official 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 § 89-24, specific standards.
Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement.
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
Notify adjacent communities and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
Make interpretations where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and the actual field conditions).
[Amended by Ord. No. 1987-5]
General standards. In all areas of special flood hazards the following standards are required:
Anchoring. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1987-5]
All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system.
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters in the systems and discharge from the systems into floodwaters.
On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.
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.
All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage.
All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage.
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed development which contain at least 50 lots or five acres (whichever is less).
[Amended by Ord. No. 1987-5]
Any proposed development shall be analyzed to determine effects on flood-carrying capacity of the area of special flood hazard as set forth in § 89-14, Permit review. Encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development shall be prohibited in any floodway unless a technical evaluation demonstrates that the encroachments will not result in any increase in the flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1987-5]
In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in § 89-15, Use of other base flood data, the following standards are required:
Residential construction. New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to or above the base flood elevation.
Nonresidential construction. New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to the level of the base flood elevation, or:
Be floodproofed so that below the base flood level the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water;
Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy; and
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. Such certification shall be provided to the official as set forth in § 89-16B.