Municipality of Kingston, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 97-35 Interpretation.

Unless specifically defined below, words and phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give this chapter its most reasonable application.

§ 97-36 Specific definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY USE OR STRUCTURE — A use or structure on the same lot with, and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to, the principal use or structure.
BASE FLOOD
A flood which has a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (also called the "one-hundred-year flood" or "one-percent-annual-chance flood").
BASE FLOOD DISCHARGE
The volume of water resulting from a base flood as it passes a given location within a given time, usually expressed in cubic feet per second (cfs).
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE)
The elevation shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for Zones AE, AH, and A1-30 that indicates the water surface elevation resulting from a flood that has a one-percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor below ground level on all sides.
BUILDING
A combination of materials to form a permanent structure having walls and a roof. Included shall be all manufactured homes and trailers to be used for human habitation.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to the construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, expansion, or alteration of buildings or other structures; the placement of manufactured homes; streets and other paving; utilities; filling, grading and excavation; mining; dredging; drilling operations; storage of equipment or materials; and the subdivision of land.
EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.
EXPANSION TO AN EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
The preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads).
FLOOD
A temporary inundation of normally dry land areas.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
The official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency has delineated both the areas of special flood hazard and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
The official report provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that includes flood profiles, the Flood Insurance Rate Map, the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
FLOODPLAIN AREA
A relatively flat or low land area which is subject to partial or complete inundation from an adjoining or nearby stream, river or watercourse; and/or any area subject to the unusual and rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source.
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
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot.
HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
The highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.
HISTORIC STRUCTURES
Any structure that is:
A. 
Listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the 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 or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
C. 
Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or
D. 
Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
(1) 
By an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior; or
(2) 
Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest floor of the lowest fully enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished, flood-resistant, partially enclosed area, used solely for parking of vehicles, building access, and incidental storage, in an area other than a basement area, is not considered the lowest floor of a building, provided that such space is not designed and built so that the structure is in violation of the applicable nonelevation design requirements of this chapter.
MANUFACTURED HOME
A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The term includes park trailers, travel trailers, and recreational and other similar vehicles which are placed on a site for more than 180 consecutive days.
MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
MINOR REPAIR
The replacement of existing work with equivalent materials for the purpose of its routine maintenance and upkeep, but not including the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exitway requirements; nor shall minor repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, oil, waste, vent, or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after November 2, 2012, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures. Any construction started after June 1, 1977, and before November 2, 2012, is subject to the ordinance in effect at the time the permit was issued, provided the start of construction was within 180 days of permit issuance.
NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.
PERSON
An individual, partnership, public or private association or corporation, firm, trust, estate, municipality, governmental unit, public utility or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
POST-FIRM STRUCTURE
A structure for which construction or substantial improvement occurred after December 31, 1974, or on or after the community's initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), dated June 1, 1977, whichever is later, and, as such, would be required to be compliant with the regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program.
PRE-FIRM STRUCTURE
A structure for which construction or substantial improvement occurred on or before December 31, 1974, or before the community's initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), dated June 1, 1977, whichever is later, and, as such, would not be required to be compliant with the regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicle which is:
A. 
Built on a single chassis;
B. 
Not more than 400 square feet, measured at the largest horizontal projections;
C. 
Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck; and
D. 
Not designed for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
REGULATORY FLOOD ELEVATION
The base flood elevation (BFE) or estimated flood height as determined using simplified methods plus a freeboard safety factor of 1 1/2 feet.
REPETITIVE LOSS
Flood-related damages sustained by a structure on two separate occasions during a ten-year period for which the cost of repairs at the time of each such flood event, on average, equals or exceeds 25% of the market value of the structure before the damages occurred.
SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (SFHA)
An area in the floodplain subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. It is shown on the FIRM as Zone A, AO, A1-A30, AE, A99, or AH.
SPECIAL PERMIT
A special approval which is required for hospitals, nursing homes, jails, and new manufactured home parks and subdivisions and substantial improvements to such existing parks, when such development is located in all or a designated portion of a floodplain.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
Includes substantial improvement and other proposed new development and means the date the permit was issued, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement, or other improvement was within 180 days from the date of the permit and shall be completed within 12 months after the date of issuance of the permit, unless a time extension is granted, in writing, by the floodplain administrator. 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 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. 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 affects the external dimensions of the building.
STRUCTURE
A walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
SUBDIVISION
The division or redivision of a lot, tract, or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, partition by the court for distribution to heirs or devisees, transfer of ownership or building or lot development; provided, however, that the subdivision by lease of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than 10 acres, not involving any new street or easement of access or any residential dwelling, shall be exempted.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage from any cause sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% or more of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
A. 
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or 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" or "repetitive loss," regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include 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 official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions.
B. 
Historic structures undergoing repair or rehabilitation that would constitute a substantial improvement as defined in this chapter must comply with all ordinance requirements that do not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure. Documentation that a specific ordinance requirement will cause removal of the structure from the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic places must be obtained from the Secretary of the Interior or the State Historic Preservation Officer. Any exemption from ordinance requirements will be the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE (UCC)
The statewide building code, adopted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1999, applicable to new construction in all municipalities, whether administered by the Municipality, a third party or the Department of Labor and Industry. Applicable to residential and commercial buildings, the code adopted the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC), by reference, as the construction standard applicable to state floodplain construction. For coordination purposes, references to the above are made specifically to various sections of the IRC and the IBC.
VIOLATION
The failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community's floodplain management regulations. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in 44 CFR 60.3(b)(5), (c)(4), (c)(10), (d)(3), (e)(2), (e)(4), or (e)(5) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.