[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lebanon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted by Ord. No. 20-1983 (Secs. 15-1 through 15-5 of the 1985 Revised General Ordinances)]
[Amended 4-18-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-7]
The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has in N.J.S.A. 40:48-1 et seq., 40:55D-1 et seq. and 58:16A-50 et seq. delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry.
The flood hazard areas of the Township 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 hazard which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss.
It is the purpose of this article 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 expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;
To minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
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 sound use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas;
To insure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and
To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.
In order to accomplish its purposes, this article 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 floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel floodwaters;
Controlling filling, grading, dredging, and other development which may increase flood damage; and
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. 11-1987]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A request for a review of the Construction Official's interpretation of any provisions of this article or a request for a variance.
- AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING
- A designated AO, AH, or VO Zone on a community's Digital
Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) with a one-percent-annual or greater
chance of flooding to an average depth of one to three 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.[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
- The land in the floodplain within a community subject to 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
- BASE FLOOD
- A flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded
in any given year.[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- 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
located within the area of special flood hazard.[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- DIGITAL FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (DFIRM)
- 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.[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- ELEVATED BUILDING
- A nonbasement building built, in the case of a building in a area of special flood hazard, to have the top of the elevated floor or, in the case of a building in a coastal high hazard area, to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated floor, elevated above the ground level by means of piling, columns (posts and piers), or shear walls parallel to the flow of the water; and adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood of up to the magnitude of the base flood. In an area of special flood hazard, "elevated building" shall also include 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" shall also include a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building" even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway walls.
- FLOOD or FLOODING
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
- FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
- 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.[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
- Zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes,
health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as a floodplain
ordinance, grading ordinances and erosion control ordinances) 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.[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- 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 0.2 foot.
- HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
- The highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior
to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- HISTORIC STRUCTURE
- Any structure that is:[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- 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:
- 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 as to render the structure in violation of other applicable nonelevation design requirements.
- 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 "manufactured home" does not include a recreational vehicle.[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION
- A parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- 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.[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- 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 the floodplain management regulations adopted by the municipality.[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
- A vehicle which is:[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- A. Built on a single chassis;
- B. Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the longest horizontal projections;
- C. Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck; and
- D. Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- For other than new construction or substantial improvements
under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. No. 97-348), start of
construction 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 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 affects the external dimensions of the building.[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- A walled and roofed building, a mobile home 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.[Added 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- 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:[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
- 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 an historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure.
- A grant of relief from the requirements of this article which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this article.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04. See now the definition of "Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM)."
This article shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the Township.
[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
The areas of special flood hazard for the Township of Lebanon, Community No. 340510, are identified and defined on the following documents prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
A scientific and engineering report "Flood Insurance Study, Hunterdon County, New Jersey (All Jurisdictions)," dated September 25, 2009; and
Flood Insurance Rate Map for Hunterdon County, New Jersey (All Jurisdictions) as shown on Index and panel numbers 34019C0017F, 374019C0029F, 34019C0019F, 34019C0040F, 34019C0102F, 34019C0104F, 34019C0106F, 34019C0107F, 34019C0108F, 34019C0109F, 34019C0116F, 34019C0117F, 34019C0126F, 34019C0127F, 34019C0128F and 34019C0129F and 34019C0140F, whose effective date is September 25, 2009.
[Amended 7-15-2009 by Res. No. 60A-2009]
The above documents are hereby adopted and declared to be a part of this article. The Flood Insurance Study and maps are on file at 530 West Hill Road, Glen Gardner, New Jersey 08826.
No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this article and other applicable regulations. Any person who violates the provisions of this article by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as established in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, for each violation, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Township from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
This article is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this article and other ordinance, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.
In the interpretation and application of this article, all provisions shall be:
The degree of flood protection required by this article 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 article does not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazard or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages. This article shall not create liability on the part of the Township, any officer or employee thereof or the Federal Insurance Administration, for any flood damages that result from reliance on this article or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2003-14]
A development permit shall be obtained before construction of development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 220-7. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Flood Plan Administrator 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.
[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
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 § 220-17B.
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2003-14; 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
The Flood Plan Administrator is hereby appointed to administer and implement this article by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
[Amended by Ord. No. 11-1987; Ord. No. 2003-14; 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
Duties of the Flood Plan Administrator shall include, but not be limited to:
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this article 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.
Use of other base flood data. When base flood elevation and floodway data has not been provided in accordance with § 220-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, the Flood Plan Administrator 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 § 220-17A, Specific standards, residential construction, and § 220-17B, Specific standards, nonresidential construction.
Information to be obtained and maintained.
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 article.
Alteration of watercourses.
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 the watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
Interpretation of FIRM boundaries. Make interpretations where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard (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 § 220-15.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2003-14]
The Planning Board of the Township as established by the Township shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this article.
The Planning Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the Flood Plan Administrator in the enforcement or administration of this article.
Those aggrieved by the decision of the Planning Board, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the New Jersey Superior Court.
In passing upon such applications, the Planning Board shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this article, and:
The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program of that area;
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the side; and
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.
Upon consideration of the factors of Subsection A(4) and the purposes of this article, the Planning Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this article.
The Flood Plan Administrator shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
Conditions for variances.
[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on lots of 1/2 acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing the items in § 220-15A(4)(a) through (k) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the 1/2 acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
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 an historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
Variances shall only be issued upon:
A showing of good and sufficient cause;
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in § 220-15A(4) or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
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 increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.
[Amended by Ord. No. 11-1987]
In all areas of special flood hazard, the following standards are required:
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure.
All manufactured homes shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not 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.
Construction materials and methods.
All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems;
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into 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; and
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; and
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).
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:
[Amended 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
A minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided.
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other covering or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
[Amended by Ord. No. 11-1987; 7-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04]
In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data have been provided as set forth in § 220-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, or in § 220-14B, Use of other base flood data, the following standards are required:
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 to or above base flood elevation.
Within any AO Zone on the municipality's DFIRM, all new construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated above the highest adjacent grade at least as high as the depth number specified in feet (at least two feet if no depth number is specified). Adequate drainage paths shall also be required around structures on slopes to guide floodwaters around and away from proposed structures.
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, and, within any AO zone on the municipality's DFIRM, all new construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated above the highest adjacent grade at least as high as the depth number specified in feet (at least two feet if no depth number is specified); 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 § 220-14C(2).
Adequate drainage paths shall also be required around structures on slopes to guide floodwaters around and away from proposed structures.
All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within an area of special flood hazard shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the top of the lowest floor is at or above the base flood elevation.
Located within areas of special flood hazard established in § 220-7 are areas designated as floodways. Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential, the following provisions apply:
Prohibit encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development unless a technical evaluation demonstrates that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
In all areas of special flood hazard in which base flood elevation data has been provided and no floodway has been designated, the cumulative effect of any proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, shall not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than 2/10 of a foot at any point.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 9-1975 (Sec. 15-6 of the 1985 Revised General Ordinances)]
There have been increasing requests to the Township for confirmation that a given property is or is not situate in a floodplain, and it is desirable that some official be designated to do the necessary certification and that the Township be compensated for the cost of providing this service.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2003-14]
The Floodplain Administrator is designated as the official who will investigate and issue floodplain certifications.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2003-14]
Upon written application identifying the property to be certified by block and lot reference to the Tax Map of this Township and a payment of a fee to the Township, the Floodplain Administrator will issue a certification to the applicant that the property identified in the application is or is not within floodplain, with the fee to be retained by the Floodplain Administrator. The floodplain certification fee is included in Chapter 205, Article II, Fee Schedule.