City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Alteration and relocation of watercourse.
(1) 
No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse until all adjacent municipalities which may be affected by such action have been notified by the City or other requesting entity, and until all required permits or approvals have been first obtained from the City and the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office, and other required agencies.
(2) 
The requesting entity shall notify FEMA and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.
(3) 
No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse unless the requesting entity has obtained competent technical or scientific data that confirms that the activity will not reduce or impede the flood-carrying capacity of the watercourse in any way.
B. 
Submit technical or scientific data to FEMA for a letter of map revision (LOMR) within six months of the completion of any new construction, development, or other activity resulting in changes in the BFE.
C. 
Any new construction, development, uses or activities allowed within any identified floodplain area shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the provisions contained in this chapter and any other applicable codes, ordinances and regulations.
A. 
Residential structures.
(1) 
In AE, A1-30, and AH Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation.
(2) 
In A Zones, where the FIRM specifies no base flood elevations, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation in accordance with § 230-19C(2)(b) of this chapter.
(3) 
In AO Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) at or above the highest adjacent grade at least as high as the depth number specified on the FIRM.
(4) 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or the most recent revisions thereof, ASCE 24, and 34 Pa. Code 401 through 405, as amended, shall be utilized.
B. 
Nonresidential structures.
(1) 
In AE, A1-30 and AH Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement of a nonresidential structure shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation, or be designed and constructed so that the space enclosed below the regulatory flood elevation:
(a) 
Is floodproofed so that the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water; and
(b) 
Has structural components with the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.
(2) 
In A Zones, where the FIRM specifies no base flood elevations, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated or completely floodproofed up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation in accordance with § 230-19C(2)(b) of this chapter.
(3) 
In AO Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have its lowest floor elevated or completely floodproofed above the highest adjacent grade to at least as high as the depth number specified on the FIRM.
(4) 
Any nonresidential structure, or part thereof, made watertight below the regulatory flood elevation shall be floodproofed in accordance with the W1 or W2 space classification standards contained in the publication entitled "Flood-Proofing Regulations," published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (June 1972, as amended March 1992), or with some other equivalent standard. All plans and specifications for such floodproofing shall be accompanied by a statement certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the proposed design and methods of construction conform with the above referenced standards.
(5) 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC), the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or the most recent revisions thereof, ASCE 24, and 34 Pa. Code 401 through 405, as amended, shall be utilized.
C. 
Space below the lowest floor.
(1) 
Fully enclosed space below the lowest floor (excluding basements) which will be used solely for the parking of a vehicle, building access, or incidental storage in an area other than a basement, shall be designed and constructed to allow for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters for the purpose of equalizing hydrostatic forces on exterior walls. The term "fully enclosed space" includes crawl spaces.
(2) 
Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, or meet or exceed the following criteria:
(a) 
A minimum of two openings having a net total area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed space;
(b) 
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade;
(c) 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, etc., or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
D. 
Accessory structures. Structures accessory to a principal building need not be elevated or floodproofed to remain dry, but shall comply, at a minimum, with the following requirements:
(1) 
The structure shall not be designed or used for human habitation, but shall be limited to the parking of vehicles, or to the storage of tools, material, and equipment related to the principal use or activity of the property;
(2) 
Floor area shall not exceed 100 square feet;
(3) 
The structure will have a low damage potential;
(4) 
The structure will be located in an area of the site so as to cause the least obstruction to the flow of floodwaters;
(5) 
The structure shall be adequately anchored to prevent flotation or movement;
(6) 
The structure shall be designed to automatically provide for the entry and exit of floodwater for the purpose of equalizing hydrostatic forces on the walls. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, or meet or exceed the following criteria:
(a) 
A minimum of two openings having a net total area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed space.
(b) 
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
(c) 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, etc., or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
(7) 
Sanitary facilities are prohibited;
(8) 
Permanently affixed utility equipment and appliances such as furnaces, heaters, washers, dryers, etc., are prohibited;
(9) 
Power lines, wiring, and outlets will be elevated to the regulatory flood elevation.
The following minimum standards shall apply to all proposed construction and development within any identified floodplain area:
A. 
Fill. If used, fill shall:
(1) 
Extend laterally at least 15 feet beyond all points on the building line;
(2) 
Consist of soil or small rock materials only. Sanitary landfill is expressly prohibited;
(3) 
Be compacted to provide the necessary permeability and resistance to erosion, scouring, or settling;
(4) 
Be no steeper than one foot vertical to two feet horizontal, unless competent technical or scientific data justifying steeper slopes is submitted to, and approved by, the Floodplain Administrator after review by the City Engineer; and
(5) 
Be used only to the extent that it does not adversely affect adjacent properties.
B. 
Drainage facilities. Storm drainage facilities shall be designed to convey the flow of stormwater runoff in a safe and efficient manner. The system shall ensure proper drainage along streets, and provide positive drainage away from buildings. The system shall also be designed to meet City, PennDot, and/or commonwealth guidelines to convey the flow in a manner that avoids the discharge of excess runoff onto adjacent properties.
C. 
Water and sanitary sewer facilities and systems.
(1) 
All new or replacement water supply and sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be located, designed and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damages and the infiltration of floodwaters.
(2) 
Sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be designed to prevent the discharge of untreated sewage into floodwaters.
(3) 
No part of any on-site sewage system shall be located within any identified floodplain area except in strict compliance with all state and local regulations for such systems. If any such system is permitted, it shall be located so as to avoid impairment to it, or contamination from it, during a flood.
(4) 
The design and construction provisions of the UCC, FEMA #348, Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damages, and the International Private Sewage Disposal Code, shall be utilized.
D. 
Other utilities. All other utilities such as gas lines, electrical and telephone systems shall be located, elevated (where possible) and constructed to minimize the chance of impairment during a flood.
E. 
Streets. The finished elevation of all new streets shall be no more than one foot below the regulatory flood elevation.
F. 
Storage. All materials that are buoyant, flammable, explosive, or in times of flooding could be injurious to human, animal, or plant life, and not listed in § 320-25, Development which may endanger human life, shall be constructed and stored at or above the regulatory flood elevation and floodproofed to the maximum extent possible.
G. 
Placement of buildings and structures. All buildings and structures shall be designed, located, and constructed so as to offer the minimum obstruction to the flow of water and shall be designed to have a minimum effect upon the flow and height of floodwater.
H. 
Anchoring.
(1) 
All buildings and structures shall be firmly anchored in accordance with accepted engineering practices to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
(2) 
All air ducts, large pipes, storage tanks, and other similar objects or components located below the regulatory flood elevation shall be securely anchored or affixed to prevent flotation.
I. 
Floors, walls and ceilings.
(1) 
Wood flooring used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be installed to accommodate a lateral expansion of the flooring, perpendicular to the flooring grain without causing structural damage to the building.
(2) 
Plywood used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant variety.
(3) 
Walls and ceilings at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be designed and constructed of materials that are water-resistant and will withstand inundation.
(4) 
Windows, doors, and other components at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be made of metal or other water-resistant material.
J. 
Paints and adhesives.
(1) 
Paints and other finishes used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant quality.
(2) 
Adhesives used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant variety.
(3) 
All wooden components (doors, trim, cabinets, etc.) shall be finished with a marine or water-resistant paint or other finishing material.
K. 
Electrical components.
(1) 
Electrical distribution panels shall be at least three feet above the base flood elevation.
(2) 
Separate electrical circuits shall serve lower levels and shall be dropped from above.
L. 
Equipment. Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning and ventilating units, and other electrical, mechanical or utility equipment or apparatus shall not be located below the regulatory flood elevation.
M. 
Fuel supply systems. All gas and oil supply systems shall be designed to prevent the infiltration of floodwaters into the system and discharges from the system into floodwaters. Maintenance of such systems shall include a plan. Additional provisions shall be made for the drainage of the systems in the event that floodwater infiltration occurs.
[Amended 1-15-2014 by Ord. No. 1-2014]
N. 
Uniform Construction Code coordination. The following shall apply to supplement the requirements of this section:
(1) 
34 Pa. Code 401 through 405, as amended.
(2) 
Other sections and subsections of this chapter, to the extent that they are more restrictive.
(3) 
International Building Code (IBC) 2009 or the latest edition thereof: Secs. 801, 1202, 1403, 1603, 1605, 1612, 3402 and Appendix G.
(4) 
International Residential Building Code (IRC) 2006 or the latest edition thereof: Secs. R104, R105, R109, R323, Appendix AE101, Appendix E and Appendix J.
A. 
The following materials and substances are considered to be dangerous to human life:
Acetone
Ammonia
Benzene
Calcium carbide
Carbon disulfide
Celluloid
Chlorine
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrocyanic acid
Magnesium
Nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen
Petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oil, etc.)
Phosphorus
Potassium
Sodium
Sulphur and sulphur products
Pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides)
Radioactive substances, insofar as such substances are not otherwise regulated
B. 
In accordance with the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act,[1] and the regulations adopted by the Department of Community and Economic Development as required by the Act, the following new or substantially improved structures shall be prohibited in any floodway:
(1) 
Those which will be used for the production or storage of any of the listed materials or substances; or
(2) 
Those which will be used for any activity on the premises involving the maintenance of a supply of more than 550 gallons, or comparable volume, of any of the listed materials or substances; or
(3) 
Those which will involve the production, storage, or use of any amount of radioactive substance.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq.
C. 
Where permitted within any floodplain area, any new or substantially improved structure of the kind described in Subsection B above shall be:
(1) 
Elevated or designed and constructed to remain completely dry up to at least 1 1/2 feet above base flood elevation;
(2) 
Designed to prevent pollution from the structure or activity during the course of a base flood.
D. 
Any such structure, or part thereof, that will be built below the regulatory flood elevation shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the standards for completely dry floodproofing contained in the publication "Flood-Proofing Regulations" (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, June 1972 as amended March 1992), or with some other equivalent watertight standard.
All subdivision proposals and development proposals containing at least 50 lots or at least five acres, whichever is the lesser, in flood hazard areas where base flood elevation data are not available shall be supported by hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses that determine base flood elevations and floodway information. The analyses shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer in a format required by FEMA for a conditional letter of map revision or letter of map revision. Submittal requirements and processing fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
A. 
Within an approximate floodplain or special floodplain area, manufactured homes shall be prohibited within the area measured 50 feet landward from the top-of-bank of any watercourse.
B. 
Where permitted within any floodplain area, all manufactured homes, and any improvements thereto, shall be:
(1) 
Placed on a permanent foundation.
(2) 
Elevated so that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at least 1 1/2 feet above base flood elevation.
(3) 
Anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
C. 
Installation of manufactured homes shall be done in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions as provided by the manufacturer. Where the applicant cannot provide the above information, the requirements of Appendix E of the 2009 International Residential Building Code or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Permanent Foundations for Manufactured Housing, 1984 Edition, or latest revision thereof, shall apply and 34 Pa. Code Chapter 401 through 405.
D. 
Consideration shall be given to the installation requirements of the 2009 IBC and the 2009 IRC or the most recent revisions thereof and 34 Pa. Code, as amended, where appropriate and/or applicable to units where the manufacturers' standards for anchoring cannot be provided or were not established for the unit's proposed installation.
Recreational vehicles in Zones A, A1-30, AH and AE must either:
A. 
Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days;
B. 
Be fully licensed and ready for highway use; or
C. 
Meet the permit requirements for manufactured homes in § 230-27.