Ocean City, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Prior ordinance history: Ordinance Nos. 85-27, 87-10, 87-30, 89-23, 91-22, 93-1, 13-10, 13-31 and 15-11.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has in N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, et seq., delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the City Council of the City of Ocean City of Cape May County, New Jersey does ordain as follows.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
a. 
The flood hazard areas of the City of Ocean City 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.
b. 
These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazard which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, causes damage in other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
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:
a. 
Protect human life and health;
b. 
Minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;
c. 
Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
d. 
Minimize prolonged business interruptions;
e. 
Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets, bridges located in areas of special flood hazard;
f. 
Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas;
g. 
Ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and
h. 
Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
In order to accomplish its purposes, this Chapter includes methods and provisions for:
a. 
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;
b. 
Requiring that uses vulnerable to floods including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;
c. 
Controlling the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel flood waters;
d. 
Controlling filling, grading, dredging, and other development which may increase flood damage; and,
e. 
Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert flood waters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
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.
ADVISORY BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (ABFE)
Shall mean elevation shown on a community's Advisory Flood Hazard Area Map that indicates the advisory stillwater elevation plus wave effect (ABFE = SWEL + wave effect) resulting from a flood that has a one (1%) percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
ADVISORY FLOOD HAZARD AREA (AFHA)
Shall mean the land in the floodplain within a community subject to flooding from the one (1%) percent annual chance event depicted on the Advisory Flood Hazard Area Map.
ADVISORY FLOOD HAZARD AREA MAP
Shall mean the official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Administration has delineated the areas of advisory flood hazards applicable to the community.
AH ZONE
Shall mean area subject to inundation by one (1%) percent annual-chance shallow flooding (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between one (1') and three (3') feet. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) derived from detailed hydraulic analyses are shown in this zone.
AO ZONE-
Shall mean areas subject to inundation by one (1%) percent-annual-chance shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between one (1') and three (3') feet.
APPEAL
Shall mean a request for a review of the interpretation of the City's Business Administrator, or his designee, of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING
Shall mean a designated AO or AH Zone on a community's Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) with a one (1%) percent annual or greater chance of flooding to an average depth of one (1') to three (3') feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.
AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
Shall mean land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one (1%) percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. It is shown on the FIRM as Zone V, VE, V1-30, A, AO, A1-A30, AE, A99, or AH.
ATTACHED GARAGE
A garage or enclosed parking area attached to a building without living space above it.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
BASE FLOOD
Shall mean a flood having a one (1%) percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE)
Shall mean the flood elevation shown on a published Flood Insurance Study (FIS) including the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). For Zones AE, AH, AO, and A1-30 the elevation represents the water surface elevation resulting from a flood that has a one (1%) percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. For Zones VE and V1-30 the elevation represents the stillwater elevation (SWEL) plus wave effect (BFE = SWEL + wave effect) resulting from a flood that has a one (1%) percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASEMENT
Shall mean any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
BEST AVAILABLE FLOOD HAZARD DATA
Shall mean the effective Flood Insurance Risk Maps or most recent Advisory Flood Hazard Area Maps FEMA has provided.
BEST AVAILABLE FLOOD HAZARD DATA ELEVATION
Shall mean that which is depicted on the effective FIRM or FIS, or an Advisory Flood Hazard Area Map or Advisory FIS.
BREAKAWAY WALL
Shall mean 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.
COASTAL A ZONE
Shall mean the portion of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) starting from a Velocity (V) Zone and extending up to the landward Limit of the Moderate Wave Action delineation. Where no V Zone is mapped the Coastal A Zone is the portion between the open coast and the landward Limit of the Moderate Wave Action delineation. Coastal A Zones may be subject to wave effects, velocity flows, erosion, scour, or a combination of these forces. Construction and development in Coastal A Zones are to be regulated the same as V Zones/Coastal High Hazard Areas.
COASTAL HIGH HAZARD AREA
Shall mean an area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources.
DESIGN FLOOD ELEVATION
The height requirement for all new construction and substantial improvements which is determined by combining the base flood elevation (BFE) shown on the adopted Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) with freeboard as required by this chapter or other governing entity, whichever is higher.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
DEVELOPMENT
Shall mean 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.
DIGITAL FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (DFIRM)
Shall mean 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.
DRY FLOODPROOFING
A combination of measures that results in a structure, including the attendant utilities and equipment, being watertight with all elements substantially impermeable and with structural components having the capacity to resist flood loads.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
ELEVATED BUILDING
Shall mean a non-basement building (i) built, in the case of a building in an Area of Special Flood Hazard, to have the bottom of the elevated floor or, in the case of a building in a Coastal High-Hazard Area or Coastal A Zone, to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated floor, elevated above the base flood elevation plus freeboard by means of piling, columns (posts and piers), or shear walls parallel to the flow of the water, and (ii) adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood 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 flood waters. In Areas of Coastal High Hazard and Coastal A Zones "elevated buildings" also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building" even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway walls.
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
EROSION
Shall mean the process of gradual wearing away of land masses.
EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
Shall mean 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.
FLOOD OR FLOODING
Shall mean a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
a. 
The overflow of inland or tidal waters and/or
b. 
The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
Shall mean 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 INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
Shall mean the official report in which the Federal Insurance Administration has provided flood profiles, as well as the Flood Insurance Rate Map(s) and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
Shall mean zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as a floodplain ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other applications of police power. The term describes such State or local regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.
FLOODPROOFING
Shall mean 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.
FREEBOARD
Shall mean a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a flood level for purposes of flood plain management. "Freeboard" tends to compensate for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed.
HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
Shall mean the highest natural elevation of the ground surface next to the proposed or existing walls of a structure.
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
HISTORIC STRUCTURE
Shall mean 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 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 with historic preservation programs 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.
LIMIT OF MODERATE WAVE ACTION (LIMWA)
Shall mean inland limit of the area affected by waves greater than 1.5 feet during the Base Flood. Base Flood conditions between the V Zone and the LiMWA will be similar to, but less severe than those in the V Zone.
LOWEST FLOOR
Shall mean the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area [including basement]. An unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, useable 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 non-elevation design requirements of 44 CFR Section 60.3.
MANUFACTURED HOME
Shall mean a structure, transportable in one (1) 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 "manufactured home" does not include a "recreational vehicle."
MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION
Shall mean a parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two (2) or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Shall mean structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
Shall mean 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 the floodplain management regulations adopted by the municipality.
PRIMARY FRONTAL DUNE
Shall mean continuous or nearly continuous mound or ridge of sand with relatively steep seaward and landward slopes immediately landward and adjacent to the beach and subject to erosion and overtopping from high tides and waves from coastal storms. The inland limit of the primary frontal dune occurs at the point where there is a distinct change from the relatively steep slope to a relatively mild slope.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Shall mean a vehicle which is [i] built on a single chassis; [ii] 400 square feet or less when measured at the longest horizontal projections; [iii] designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and [iv] designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
SAND DUNES
Shall mean naturally occurring or man-made accumulations of sand in ridges or mounds landward of the beach.
SHADED X ZONE
An area shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that is outside of the area with a 1% chance of flooding within a given year, but within an area with a 0.2% chance of flooding within a given year.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
START OF CONSTRUCTION
Shall mean for other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. No. 97-348) includes 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 pilings, 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 affects the external dimensions of the building.
STRUCTURE
Shall mean a walled and roofed building, a manufactured home, or a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Shall mean damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its condition before damage would equal or exceed fifty (50%) percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. A structure can be determined as substantially damaged regardless of whether the damage is repaired or not.
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Shall mean 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," regardless of the actual repair work performed. Costs for work performed on projects within a calendar year must be included when determining whether a proposed improvement is a substantial improvement. For previous work to be excluded from the substantial improvement determination, a calendar year must elapse after the date of the certificate of approval or certificate of occupancy for the previous project and the commencement of the proposed work. The term does not, however, include either:
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
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."
VARIANCE
Shall mean a grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter that permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.
VIOLATION
Shall mean the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with this chapter. A new or substantially improved 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), (e)(2), (e)(4), or (e)(5) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
WET FLOODPROOFING
A floodproofing method that relies on the use of flood-damage-resistant materials and construction techniques in areas of a structure that are below the elevation required by this chapter by intentionally allowing those areas to flood.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
X ZONE
An area shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that is outside of the area with a 0.2% chance of flooding within a given year.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
[Ord. #17-16 § 1; amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
This chapter shall apply to "all mapped special flood hazard jurisdictions" of the City of Ocean City.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
The areas of special flood hazard for the City of Ocean City, Community No. 345310, are identified and defined on the following documents prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
a. 
A scientific and engineering report "Flood Insurance Study, Cape May County, New Jersey (All Jurisdictions)" dated October 5, 2017.
b. 
"Flood Insurance Rate Map for Cape May County, New Jersey (All Jurisdictions)" as shown on Index and panel(s) 34009C0069F, 34009C0088F, 34009C0086F 34009C0087F, 34009C0089F, 34009C0093F, 34009C0091F, 34009C0176F, 34009C0157F, 34009C0159F, whose effective date is October 5, 2017.
c. 
Best Available Flood Hazard Data. These documents shall take precedence over effective panels and FIS in construction and development regulations only. Where the effective mapping or Advisory Base Flood Elevation conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent requirement shall prevail.
The above documents are hereby adopted and declared to be a part of this chapter. The Flood Insurance Study, maps and advisory documents are on file at 115 E 12th Street, Ocean City, New Jersey.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, re-located to, 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 five hundred ($500.00) dollars or imprisoned for not more than ninety (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 City of Ocean City from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
This Chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this Chapter and other ordinance, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
In the interpretation and application of this Chapter, all provisions shall be:
a. 
Considered as minimum requirements;
b. 
Liberally construed in favor of the Governing Body; and,
c. 
Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under State statutes.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
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 area 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 City of Ocean City, 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.
[Ord. #13-31, § 21-3.7; Ord. #17-16 § 1]
In order to create and maintain a unified dune system, the City hereby adopts as its policy the report of Coastal and Marina Engineering Consultants, Inc. entitled "A Dune Establishment and Maintenance Program for the City of Ocean City, New Jersey" dated June 1, 1988. The creation and maintenance of sand dunes consistent with said report is hereby authorized, notwithstanding the provisions of any ordinance, including provisions of this Chapter to the contrary. The alteration of any existing sand dunes in order specifically to create and maintain other existing or new dunes is hereby authorized, provided the said alteration will not increase the flood potential of the property behind the sand dune so altered, and further provided that said action is undertaken by appropriate representatives of the City of Ocean City.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
A Development Permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins, including placement of manufactured homes, within any area of special flood hazard established in Subsection 21-3.2. Application for a Development Permit shall be made on forms furnished by the City's Business Administrator, or his designee 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:
a. 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures;
b. 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed.
c. 
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in Subsection 21-5.2b; and,
d. 
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
e. 
The description of any materials proposed below the design flood elevation (DFE).
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
f. 
The elevation of the grade adjacent to the proposed structure.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
The City's Business Administrator, or his designee is hereby appointed to administer and implement this Chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
Duties of the City's Business Administrator, or his designee shall include, but not be limited to:
a. 
Permit Review.
1. 
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this Chapter have been satisfied.
2. 
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.
3. 
Review all development permits in the coastal high hazard and Coastal A Zone area of the area of special flood hazard to determine if the proposed development alters sand dunes or other natural coastal protections so as to increase potential flood damage.
4. 
Review plans for walls to be used to enclose space below the base flood level in accordance with Subsection 21-5.3b,4.
b. 
Use of Other Base Flood Data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with Subsection 21-3.2, Basis For Establishing the Areas of Special Flood Hazard, the City's Business Administrator, or his designee shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation data available from a Federal, State or other source, in order to administer subsections 21-5.2a, Specific Standards, Residential Construction, and 21-5.2b., Specific Standards, Nonresidential Construction.
c. 
Information to Be Obtained and Maintained.
1. 
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.
2. 
For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:
(a) 
Verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level); and
(b) 
Maintain the flood proofing certifications required in Subsection 21-4.1c.
3. 
In coastal high hazard and Coastal A Zone areas, certification shall be obtained from a registered professional engineer or architect that the provisions of subsections 21-5.3b,1 and 21-5.3b,2(1) and (2) are met.
4. 
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this Chapter.
d. 
Alteration of Watercourse.
1. 
Notify adjacent communities and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Flood Control and the Land Use Regulation Program prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.
2. 
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so the flood carrying capacity is not diminished.
e. 
Substantial Damage Review.
1. 
After an event resulting in building damages, assess the damage to structures due to flood and non-flood causes.
2. 
Record and maintain the flood and non-flood damage of substantial damage structures and provide a letter of Substantial Damage Determination to the owner and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Flood Control.
3. 
Ensure substantial improvements meet the requirements of Subsections 21-5.2a, Specific Standards, Residential Construction, 21-5.2b, Specific Standards, Nonresidential Construction and 21-5.2c, Specific Standards, Manufactured Homes.
f. 
Interpretation of Firm Boundaries. 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 actual field conditions). The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in Subsection 21-4.4.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
a. 
Appeal Board.
1. 
The Ocean City Planning Board shall serve as Ocean City's Flood Damage Prevention Appeal Board and shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this Chapter.
(a) 
Notice of Applications.
(1) 
Applications for appeal of decisions of the Construction Code Official, and applications for variances shall be filed with the Secretary to the Appeal Board. The application for appeal shall be filed on forms provided by the Appeal Board. When presenting the application, the applicant shall provide ten (10) copies of any plans, drawings, surveys, reports or other written documents upon which the applicant relied when seeking a development permit.
(2) 
Notice of hearing for a variance pursuant to Subsection 21-4.4a, 1 and 2 shall be given to the owners of all real property as shown on the current tax duplicates, located within two hundred (200') feet in all directions of the property which is the subject of such hearing; provided that this requirement shall be deemed satisfied by notice to the (1) condominium association, in the case of any unit owner whose unit has a unit above or below it, or (2) horizontal property regime, in the case of any co-owner whose apartment has an apartment above or below it. Notice shall be given by: (1) serving a copy thereof on the property owner as shown on the said current tax duplicate, or his agent in charge of the property, or (2) mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the property owner at his address as shown on the said current tax duplicate.
Notice to a partnership owner may be made by service upon any partner. Notice to a corporate owner may be made by service upon its president, a vice president, secretary or other person authorized by appointment or by law to accept service on behalf of the corporation. Notice to a condominium association, horizontal property regime, community trust or homeowners' association, because of its ownership of common elements or areas located within two hundred (200') feet of the property which is the subject of the hearing, may be made in the same manner as to a corporation without further notice to unit owners, co-owners, or homeowners on account of such common elements or areas.
(3) 
Upon the written request of an applicant the Tax Assessor of Ocean City shall, within seven (7) days, make and certify a list from said current tax duplicates of names and addresses of owners to whom the applicant is required to give notice pursuant to Subsection a,1(a)(2) of this subsection. The applicant shall be entitled to rely upon the information contained in such list, and failure to give notice to any owner not on the list shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding. A sum not to exceed twenty-five ($.25) cents per name, or ten ($10.00) dollars, whichever is greater, may be charged for such list.
(4) 
The applicant shall file an affidavit of proof of service with the Appeal Board holding the hearing on a variance.
(5) 
Following the receipt of a completed appeal application, the Appeal Board shall meet and consider the applicable within forty-five (45) days.
(b) 
Hearing.
(1) 
The Appeal Board shall make the rules governing hearings. Any applications, maps, surveys or other documents filed in connection with an application shall be available for public inspection at least ten (10) days before the date of the hearing, during normal business hours in the office of the Construction Code Official. The applicant may produce other documents, records, or testimony at the hearing to substantiate or clarify or supplement the previously filed maps and documents.
(2) 
The officer presiding at the hearing or such person as he may designate shall have power to administer oaths.
(3) 
The testimony of all witnesses relating to an application for development shall be taken under oath or affirmation by the presiding officer, and the right of cross-examination shall be permitted to all interested parties through their attorneys, if represented, or directly, if not represented, subject to the discretion of the presiding officer and to reasonable limitations as to time and number of witnesses.
(4) 
Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable to the hearing, but the Appeal Board may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
(5) 
The Appeal Board shall provide for the verbatim recording of the proceedings by either stenographer, mechanical or electronic means. The Appeal Board shall furnish a transcript, or duplicate recording in lieu thereof, on request to any interested party at his expense.
(6) 
The Appeal Board shall include findings of fact and conclusions based thereon, in each decision on any appeal or variance request. Said findings and conclusions shall be reduced to writing.
[a] 
A memorializing resolution shall be adopted at a meeting held not later than forty-five (45) days after the date of the meeting at which the Appeal Board voted to grant or deny approval. Only members of the Appeal Board who voted for the action taken may vote on the memorializing resolution, and the vote of a majority of such members present at the meeting at which the resolution is presented for adoption shall be sufficient to adopt the resolution. If the Appeal Board fails to adopt a resolution or memorializing resolution as hereinabove specified, any interested party may apply to the Superior Court in a summary manner for an order compelling the Appeal Board to reduce its findings and conclusions to writing within a stated time.
(7) 
A copy of the decision shall be mailed by the Appeal Board within ten (10) days of the date of decision to the applicant or, if represented, then to his attorney, without separate charge, and to all who request a copy of the decision, for a reasonable fee. A copy of the decision shall also be filed by the Appeal Board in the office of the Construction Code Official. The Construction Code Official shall make a copy of such filed decision available to any interested party for a reasonable fee and available for public inspection at his office during reasonable hours.
(c) 
Scope of Review.
(1) 
The scope of review of any appeal taken to the Appeal Board by an applicant shall be those set forth in the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70. In hearing and deciding such appeals, the Appeal Board shall consider those factors set forth in Subsection 21-4.3a of this Chapter.
2. 
The Flood Damage Prevention Appeal Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the City's Business Administrator, or his designee in the enforcement or administration of this Chapter.
3. 
Those aggrieved by the decision of the Flood Damage Prevention Appeal Board, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the Superior Court of New Jersey, as provided in statute.
4. 
In passing upon such applications, the Flood Damage Prevention Appeal Board, shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this Chapter, and:
(a) 
The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
(b) 
The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
(c) 
The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
(d) 
The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
(e) 
The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
(f) 
The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
(g) 
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
(h) 
The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program of that area;
(i) 
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(j) 
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the flood waters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and,
(k) 
The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, and streets and bridges.
5. 
Upon consideration of the factors of Subsection 21.4-4a,4 and the purposes of this chapter, the Flood Damage Prevention Appeal Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this Chapter.
6. 
The City's Business Administrator, or his designee shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
b. 
Conditions for Variances.
1. 
Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing items (a) — (k) in Subsection 21-4a,4 have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
2. 
Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
3. 
Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
4. 
Variances shall only be issued upon:
(a) 
A showing of good and sufficient cause;
(b) 
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and,
(c) 
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in Subsection 21-4.4a,4 or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
5. 
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
In all areas of special flood hazards, compliance with the applicable requirements of the Uniform Construction Code (N.J.A.C. 5:23) and the following standards, whichever is more restrictive, is required:
a. 
Anchoring.
1. 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure.
2. 
All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not to be limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable State and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces.
b. 
Construction Materials and Methods.
1. 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage.
2. 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage.
3. 
The floor of any enclosure below a building or structure must be constructed at or above the lowest adjacent grade.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
c. 
Utilities.
1. 
All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the system;
2. 
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems and discharge from the systems into flood waters;
3. 
On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding; and
4. 
For all new construction and substantial improvements the 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.
5. 
All new, (not replacement) mechanical, electrical, or plumbing systems shall be located at or above the design flood elevation (DFE).
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
d. 
Subdivision Proposals.
1. 
All subdivision proposals and other proposed new development shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage;
2. 
All subdivision proposals and other proposed new development shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage;
3. 
All subdivision proposals and other proposed new development shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage; and,
4. 
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed new development which contain at least fifty (50) lots or five (5) acres (whichever is less).
e. 
Enclosure Openings. All new construction and substantial improvements having fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement and which 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 (2) openings in at least two (2) different walls of each enclosed area, having a total net area of not less than one (1) 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 (1) foot above grade. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other covering or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data have been provided as set forth in section 21-3.2, Basis for Establishing the Areas of Special Flood Hazard or in Subsection 21-4.3b, Use of Other Base Flood Data, the following standards are required:
a. 
Residential Construction.
1. 
For Coastal A Zone construction see Subsection 21-5.3 Coastal High Hazard Area and Coastal A Zone.
2. 
New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure located in an A or AE Zone shall have the lowest floor, including basement together with the attendant utilities (including all electrical, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other service equipment) and sanitary facilities, elevated at or above the best available flood hazard data elevation plus two (2) feet or as required by ASCE/SEI 24-14, Table 2-1, whichever is more restrictive;
3. 
Require within any AO or AH Zone on the municipality's FIRM that all new construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement together with the attendant utilities and sanitary facilities, elevated above the depth number specified in feet plus two (2') feet, above the highest adjacent grade (at least three (3') feet if no depth number is specified). And, require adequate drainage paths around structures on slopes to guide floodwaters around and away from proposed structures.
4. 
New construction, substantial damage repairs, and substantial improvements of any residential structure located wholly within an X Zone or Shaded X Zone shall conform to the requirements of the highest adjacent A or AE Zone located on the landward side of the dune or bulkhead.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
5. 
All newly created residential space not for parking, access, or storage, must be located at or above the design flood elevation (DFE).
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
6. 
Any enclosed space below the design flood elevation (DFE) shall be used solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or limited storage and not for human habitation.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
b. 
Nonresidential Construction. In an Area of Special Flood Hazard, all new construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure located in an A or AE Zone (for Coastal A Zone construction see subsection 21-5.3 Coastal High Hazard Area and Coastal A Zone) shall have the lowest floor, including basement, together with the attendant utilities and sanitary facilities as well as all electrical, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other service equipment:
1. 
Either:
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
(a) 
Elevated to or above the best available flood hazard data elevation plus two feet or as required by ASCE/SEI 24-14, Table 2-1, whichever is more restrictive; and
(b) 
Require within any AO or AH Zone on the municipality's DFIRM to elevate above the depth number specified in feet plus two feet above the highest adjacent grade (at least three feet if no depth number is specified), and require adequate drainage paths around structures on slopes to guide floodwaters around and away from proposed structures;
2. 
Or:
(a) 
Be floodproofed so that below the best available flood hazard data elevation plus two feet or as required by ASCE/SEI 24-14, Table 6-1, whichever is more restrictive, the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water;
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
(b) 
Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy; and,
(c) 
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 subsection 21-4.3c,2(b).
3. 
New construction, substantial damage repairs, and substantial improvements of any commercial structure located wholly within an X Zone or Shaded X Zone shall conform to the requirements of the highest adjacent A or AE Zone located on the landward side of the dune or bulkhead.
[Added 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
c. 
Manufactured Homes.
1. 
Manufactured homes shall be anchored in accordance with subsection 21-5.1a,2.
2. 
All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within an area of special flood hazard shall:
(a) 
Be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage,
(b) 
Be constructed to minimize flood damage,
(c) 
Have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage; and,
(d) 
Be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the top of the lowest floor is at or above the best available flood hazard data elevation plus two (2') feet or as required by ASCE/SEI 24-14, Table 2-1, whichever is more restrictive; and,
(e) 
The manufactured home chassis is supported by reinforced piers or other foundation elements of at least equivalent strength that are no less than thirty-six (36") inches in height above grade and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement.
[Ord. #17-16 § 1]
Coastal High Hazard Areas (V or VE Zones) and Coastal A Zones are located within the areas of special flood hazard established in subsection 21-3.2. These areas have special flood hazards associated with high velocity waters from tidal surges and hurricane wave wash; therefore, the following provisions shall apply:
a. 
Location of Structures.
1. 
All buildings or structures shall be located landward of the reach of the mean high tide.
2. 
The placement of manufactured homes shall be prohibited, except in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision.
b. 
Construction Methods.
1. 
Elevation. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be elevated on piling or columns so that:
(a) 
The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the piling or columns) is elevated to or above the best available flood hazard data elevation plus two feet, or as required by ASCE/SEI 24-14, Table 4-1, whichever is more restrictive; and
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
(b) 
All electrical, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, mechanical equipment and other equipment servicing the building is elevated two feet above base flood elevation; and
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
(c) 
With all space below the lowest floor's supporting member open so as not to impede the flow of water, except for breakaway walls as provided or in subsection 21-5.3b,4.
2. 
Structural Support.
(a) 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be securely anchored on piling or columns.
(b) 
The pile or column foundation and structure attached thereto shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loading values each of which shall have a one (1%) percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (100-year mean recurrence interval).
(c) 
Prohibit the use of fill for structural support of buildings within Zones V1-30, VE, V, and Coastal A on the community's FIRM.
3. 
Certification. A registered professional engineer or architect shall develop or review the structural design specifications and plans for the construction and shall certify that the design and methods of construction to be used are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for compliance with the provisions of subsections 21-5.3b,1 and 21-5.3b.2(a)—(b).
4. 
Space Below the Lowest Floor.
(a) 
Any alteration, repair, reconstruction or improvement to a structure started after the enactment of this Chapter shall not enclose the space below the lowest floor unless breakaway walls, open wood lattice-work or insect screening are used as provided for in this section.
(b) 
Breakaway walls, open wood lattice-work or insect screening shall be allowed below the design flood elevation (DFE) provided that they are intended to collapse under wind and water loads without causing collapse, displacement or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. Breakaway walls shall be designed for a safe loading resistance of not less than ten (10) and no more than twenty (20) pounds per square foot. Use of breakaway walls which exceed a design safe loading of twenty (20) pounds per square foot (either by design or when so required by local or State codes) may be permitted only if a registered professional engineer or architect certifies that the designs proposed meet the following conditions.
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
(1) 
Breakaway wall collapse shall result from a water load less than that which would occur during the base flood and,
(2) 
The elevated portion of the building and supporting foundation system shall not be subject to collapse, displacement or other structural damage due to the effects of wind and water load acting simultaneously on all building components (structural and non-structural). Water loading values used shall be those associated with the base flood. Wind loading values used shall be those required by applicable State or local building standards.
(c) 
If breakaway walls are utilized, such enclosed space shall be used solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or storage and not for human habitation.
(d) 
Prior to construction, plans for any breakaway wall must be submitted to the Construction Code Official or Building Subcode Official for review.
[Amended 11-26-2019 by Ord. No. 19-22]
c. 
Sand Dunes. Prohibit man-made alteration of sand dunes within Coastal A Zones, VE and V Zones on the community's DFIRM which would increase potential flood damage.