[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Stratford 9-13-1993; amended in its entirety 6-14-2010 by Ord. No. 10-14. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 62.
Housing standards — See Ch. 123.
Water — See Ch. 209.
Wetlands and watercourses — See Ch. 217.
Zoning — See Ch. A220.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 102, Flood Damage Prevention, adopted 4-27-1978, as amended 4-9-1984.
The Legislature of the State of Connecticut has in Title 7 and Title 8 of the Connecticut General Statutes, more specifically § 7-148(c)(7), as amended, delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Town Council of Stratford, Connecticut, does ordain as follows.
The flood hazard areas of Stratford 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 damage to uses in the other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to flood loss.
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed to:
Protect human life and health.
Minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects.
Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public.
Minimize prolonged business interruptions.
Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities, such as water and gas mains; electric, telephone and sewer lines; and streets and bridges located in areas of special flood hazard.
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.
Ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard.
Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.
In order to accomplish its purposes, this chapter includes methods and provisions for:
Restricting or prohibiting uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion hazards or which result in damaging increases in erosion or in flood heights or velocities.
Requiring that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction.
Controlling the alteration of natural 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.
Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meanings they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A request for a review of the Building Inspector's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
- AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
- The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
- BASE FLOOD
- The flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year; also referred to as the "one-hundred-year flood," as published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and depicted on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
- BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE)
- The particular elevation of the base flood, referenced to mean sea level, as specified on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
- Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
- BREAKAWAY WALLS
- A wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and that 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.
- See definition for "structure."
- COASTAL HIGH-HAZARD AREA
- The area subject to high-velocity water, including but not limited to hurricane wave wash or tsunamis. The area is designated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) as Zone VE.
- As related to substantial improvements, the cost of any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, alteration, repair or other improvement of a structure shall be established by a detailed written contractor's estimate. The estimate shall include, but not be limited to: the cost of materials (interior finishing elements, structural elements, utility and service equipment); sales tax on materials, building equipment and fixtures, including heating and air conditioning and utility meters; labor; built-in appliances; demolition and site preparation; repairs made to damaged parts of the building worked on at the same time; contractor's overhead; contractor's profit; and grand total. Items to be excluded include: cost of plans and specifications, survey costs, permit fees; outside improvements such as septic systems, water supply wells, landscaping, sidewalks, fences, yard lights, irrigation systems; and detached structures such as garages, sheds and gazebos.
- Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to the construction of buildings or structures; the construction of additions, alterations or substantial improvements to buildings or structures; the placement of buildings or structures; mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment; the storage, deposition, or extraction of materials; and the installation, repair or removal of public or private sewage disposal systems or water supply facilities.
- ELEVATED BUILDING, AE ZONE
- A nonbasement building built to have the top of the elevated floor elevated above the ground level by means of pilings, columns (posts and piers) or shear walls or by means of fill or solid foundation perimeter walls with openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded movement of floodwaters.
- ELEVATED BUILDING, VE ZONE
- A nonbasement building built to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated floor elevated above the ground level by means of pilings, columns (posts and piers) or shear walls parallel to the flow of water and adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood up to the magnitude of the base flood. "Elevated building" also includes structures which have the lower area enclosed by means of breakaway walls if the breakaway walls meet the standards of § 102-19B(4).
- 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, as 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, April 27, 1978, of the floodplain management ordinance adopted by the 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 manufacturing 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.)
- FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
- The federal agency that administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- FINISHED LIVING SPACE
- As related to fully enclosed areas below the base flood elevation (BFE), a space that is, but is not limited to, heated and/or cooled, contains finished floors (tile, linoleum, hardwood, etc.), has sheetrock walls that may or may not be painted or wallpapered, and other amenities such as furniture, appliances, bathrooms, fireplaces and other items that are easily damaged by floodwaters and expensive to clean, repair or replace.
- FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
- The official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has delineated both the areas of special flood hazard and the risk-premium zones applicable to the community, including the coastal high-hazard areas designated as Zone VE and special flood hazard areas designated as Zones A and AE.
- FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FLOOD ELEVATION STUDY)
- An examination, evaluation and determination of flood hazards and, if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations, or an examination, evaluation and determination of mudslide (i.e, mudflow) and/or flood-related erosion hazards.
- FLOOD or FLOODING
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from overflow of inland or tidal waters and/or unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.
- FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT USE OR FACILITY
- A use or facility that cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. The term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship building and ship repair facilities. The term does not include seafood processing facilities, long-term storage, manufacturing, sales or service facilities.
- HISTORIC STRUCTURE
- Any structure that is:
- (1) Listed individually in 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;
- (2) Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historic significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
- (3) 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
- (4) 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 parking of vehicles, building access or storage, in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor, provided that such an area meets the design requirements specified in § 102-18C 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 also includes park trailers, travel trailers, recreational vehicles and other similar vehicles or transportable structures placed on a site for 180 consecutive days or longer and intended to be improved property.
- MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
- A parcel of contiguous parcels of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
- MARKET VALUE
- The value of the structure shall be determined by the appraised value of the structure using the cost approach to value method prior to the start of the initial repair or improvements, or in the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring.
- MEAN SEA LEVEL (MSL)
- The North American Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1988 or other datum to which base flood elevations shown on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) are referenced.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after April 27, 1978, the effective date of the floodplain management regulations, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
- 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, April 27, 1978, of the floodplain management regulation adopted by the community.
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
- A vehicle which is:
- (1) Built on a single chassis;
- (2) Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;
- (3) Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towed by a light-duty truck; and
- (4) Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as a temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
- REGULATORY 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 a designated height.
- SAND DUNES
- Naturally occurring accumulations of sand in ridges or mounds landward of the beach.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- The first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slabs or footings or any work beyond the stage of excavation. "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, 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 as part of the main structure. For a structure without a basement or poured footings, the "start of construction" includes the first permanent framing or assembly of the structure or any part thereof on its piling or foundation. 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.
- A walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
- SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
- Damage of any origin sustained by a structure, whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its predamaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
- SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any combination of repairs, reconstruction, alteration or improvements to a structure taking place over a one-year period in which the cumulative cost equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure. The market value of the structure should be the appraised value of the structure using the cost approach to value method prior to the start of the initial repair or improvement or, in the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring. For the purposes of this definition, "substantial improvement" is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor or other structural part of a building commences, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure. The term does not, however, include any improvement project required to comply with existing health, sanitary or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions or any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a State Inventory of Historic Places.
- A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.
- 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 is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
- WATER SURFACE ELEVATION
- The height, in relation to the North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988, (or other datum, where specified) of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the flood plans of coastal or riverine areas.
This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of Stratford, Connecticut.
[Amended 5-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-09; 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. 13-20]
The areas of special flood hazard as identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for Fairfield County, Connecticut, dated July 8, 2013, and accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), dated July 8, 2013 (Panels 09001C0434G, 09001C0441G, 09001C0442G, 09001C0443G, 09001C0444G, 09001C0451G, 09001C0452G, 09001C0453G, 09001C0461G, 09001C0463G), and June 18, 2010 (Panels 09001C0294F, 09001C0313F, 09001C0314F, 09001C0431F, 09001C0432F, 09001C0433F), and other supporting data applicable to the Town of Stratford, and any subsequent revisions thereto, are adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. Since mapping is legally adopted by reference into the chapter, it must take precedence when more restrictive until such time as a map amendment is obtained from FEMA. The areas of special flood hazard include any area shown on the FIRM as Zones A, AE, and VE, including areas designated as a floodway on a FIRM. Zone VE is also identified as a Coastal High Hazard Area. Areas of special flood hazard are determined utilizing the base flood elevations (BFE) provided on the flood profiles in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for a community. BFEs provided on a FIRM are only approximate (rounded up or down) and should be verified with the BFEs published in the FIS for a specific location. The Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Maps are on file in the Town Hall, Stratford, Connecticut.
No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations.
This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.
In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:
The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes. This chapter does not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazard 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 Town of Stratford, its agents, servants and/or employees, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 102-7. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Building Inspector 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 material and drainage facilities; and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:
Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor, including basement, of all structures.
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed, including the proposed elevation of the bottom of the lowest structural member of the lowest floor for elevated buildings in the V Zones.
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in § 102-18B.
A description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
Plans for any walls to be used to enclose space below the base flood level.
The Building Inspector for the Town of Stratford is hereby appointed to implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
Duties of the Building Inspector shall include but not be limited to:
Permit review. The Building Inspector shall:
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied and whether proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding.
Review all development permits to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state or local government agencies from which prior approval is required.
Review all development permits in the coastal high-hazard area of the area of special flood hazard to determine if the proposed development alters mangrove stands or sand dunes so as to increase potential flood damage.
Use of other base flood data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with § 102-7 (Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard), the Building Inspector shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation data available from a federal, state or other source in order to administer § 102-18A (Residential construction), and § 102-18B (Nonresidential construction).
Information to be obtained and maintained. The Building Inspector shall:
Obtain and record the actual as-built elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor, including the basement, of all new or substantially improved structures.
In coastal high-hazard areas, obtain certification from a registered professional engineer or architect that the structure is securely anchored to adequately anchored pilings or columns in order to withstand velocity waters and hurricane wave wash. Obtain and record the elevation of the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member for all new construction or substantial improvements.
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
Alterations of watercourses. The Building Inspector shall:
Notify adjacent communities and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Water Resource Unit prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
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 § 102-15.
The Zoning Board of Appeals as established by Stratford shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variance from the requirements of this chapter.
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged that there is an error in any requirement, decision or determination made by the Building Inspector in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
Those aggrieved by the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the Superior Court as provided in § 8-8 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
In passing upon such applications, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter and:
The danger that materials may be swept into 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 site.
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.
Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of 1/2 acre or less in size contiguous to, and surrounded by, lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, provided that the provisions of Subsection A(4)(a) through (k), above, have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond 1/2 acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
Upon consideration of the factors of Subsection A(4) above and the purpose of this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purpose of this chapter.
The Building Inspector shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its biennial report.
Conditions for variances.
Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places, without regard to the procedures set forth in the remainder of this section.
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.
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety or extraordinary public expense; create nuisances; cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in Subsection A(4) above; 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 the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.
Violation of the provisions of this chapter or failure to comply with any of its requirements, including violation of conditions and safeguards established in connection with grants of variance or special exceptions, 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 $250 per day per violation and in addition shall pay all costs and reasonable legal fees involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town of Stratford from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
In all areas of special flood hazard, the following standards are required:
Anchoring. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure.
All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system.
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwater 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.
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities that are designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.
All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage.
All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage.
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed development which contain at least 50 lots or five acres, whichever is less.
In all areas of special flood hazard where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in § 102-7 (Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard) or in § 102-14B (Use of other base flood data), the following standards are required:
Residential construction. New construction and substantial improvements of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to at least the base flood elevation.
[Amended 5-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-09]
Nonresidential construction. New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall have either the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to at least the base flood elevation or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:
[Amended 5-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-09]
Be floodproofed to the base flood level so the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water.
Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and the effects of buoyancy.
For all new construction and substantial improvements, 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 floodwater. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
A minimum of two openings having a total 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, valves or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwater.
Manufactured homes. Manufactured homes are prohibited in all areas of special flood hazard (Zones A, AE and VE). This includes areas of special flood hazard located outside a manufactured home park or subdivision, in a new manufactured home park or subdivision, in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision, in an expansion to an existing manufactured home park or subdivision, or on a site in an existing manufactured home park in which a manufactured home has incurred substantial damage as a result of a flood.
Recreational vehicles. Recreational vehicles placed on sites within the area of special flood hazard (Zones A, AE and VE) must be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days and be fully licensed and ready for highway use. A recreational vehicle is ready for highway use if it is on its wheels or jacking system, is attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices, and has not permanently attached additions.
Coastal high-hazard areas (VE Zones) are located within the areas of special flood hazard established in § 102-7. These areas have special flood hazards associated with high-velocity waters from tidal surges and hurricane wave wash; therefore, the following provisions shall apply:
Location of structures. All buildings or structures shall be located landward of the reach of the mean high tide.
Elevation. All buildings or structures shall be elevated so the bottom of the lowest horizontal supporting member is located at least one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE), with all space below the lowest horizontal supporting member open so as not to impede the flow of water, except for breakaway walls as provided for in Subsection B(4) below. Electrical, plumbing, machinery or other utility equipment that services the structure must be elevated to or above the BFE and cannot be located below the structure. Any service equipment that must be located below the BFE must be floodproofed to prevent water from entering during conditions of flooding.
All buildings or structures shall be securely anchored on pilings or columns.
Pilings or columns used as structural support and the attached structure shall be designed and anchored to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement so as to withstand all applied loads of the base flood flow and the effects of wind acting simultaneously on all building components. The anchoring and support system shall be designed with wind and water loading values required by applicable state or local building codes.
There shall be no fill used for structural support.
Space below the lowest floor.
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 are used as provided for in this section.
Breakaway walls shall be allowed below the base flood elevation, provided that they are not a part of the structural support of the building and are designed so as to break away under abnormally high tides or wave action without damage to the structural integrity of the buildings on which they are to be used. Nonsupporting breakaway walls, lattice work or mesh screening shall be allowed below the base flood elevation, provided that it is not part of the structural support of the structure and is designed so as to break away, under abnormally high tides or wave action, without damage to the structural integrity of the structure on which it is to be used and provided the following design specifications are met:
Design safe loading resistance of each wall shall not be less than 10 pounds per square foot or more than 20 pounds per square foot; or
If more than 20 pounds per square foot, a licensed professional engineer or architect shall certify that the design wall collapse would result from a water load less than that which would occur during the base flood event, and 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 loads acting simultaneously on all building components prior to or during the collapse of said wall.
If breakaway walls are utilized, such enclosed space shall not be used for human habitation.
Prior to construction, plans for any structure that will have breakaway walls must be submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval.
Sand dunes. There shall be no alteration of sand dunes which would increase potential flood damage.
Located within areas of special flood hazard established in § 102-7 are areas designed 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:
Encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development, shall be prohibited, unless certification, with supporting technical data, by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating, through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice, that encroachments shall not result in any (0.00 feet) increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
The Town may request floodway data of an applicant for watercourses without FEMA-published floodways. When such data is provided by an applicant or whenever such data is available from any other source (in response to the Town's request or not), the Town shall adopt a regulatory floodway based on the principle that the floodway must be able to convey the waters of the base flood without increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot at any point along the watercourse.
In Zone A, when base flood elevations become available, but before a floodway is designated, no new construction, substantial improvement or other development (including fill) shall be permitted which will increase base flood elevations more than one foot at any point along the watercourse when all anticipated development is considered cumulatively with the proposed development.
Equal conveyance. Within the floodplain, except those areas which are tidally influenced, as designated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the community, encroachments resulting from filling, new construction or substantial improvements involving an increase in footprint of the structure are prohibited unless the applicant provides certification by a registered professional engineer demonstrating, with supporting hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice, that such encroachments shall not result in any (0.00 feet) increase in flood levels (base flood elevation). Work within the floodplain and the land adjacent to the floodplain, including work to provide compensatory storage, shall not be constructed in such a way so as to cause an increase in flood stage or flood velocity.
Compensatory storage. The water-holding capacity of the floodplain, except those areas which are tidally influenced, shall not be reduced. Any reduction caused by filling, new construction or substantial improvements involving an increase in footprint to the structure, shall be compensated for by deepening and/or widening of the floodplain. Storage shall be provided on-site, unless easements have been gained from adjacent property owners; it shall be provided within the same hydraulic reach and a volume not previously used for flood storage; it shall be hydraulically comparable and incrementally equal to the theoretical volume of floodwater at each elevation, up to and including the one-hundred-year flood elevation, which would be displaced by the proposed project. Such compensatory volume shall have an unrestricted hydraulic connection to the same waterway or water body. Compensatory storage can be provided off-site if approved by the municipality.
Above-ground storage tanks (oil, propane, etc.) which are located outside or inside of the structure must either be elevated above the base flood elevation (BFE) on a concrete pad, or be securely anchored with tie-down straps to prevent flotation or lateral movement, have the top of the fill pipe extended above the BFE, and have a screw fill cap that does not allow for the infiltration of floodwater.
If any portion of a structure lies within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), the entire structure is considered to be in the SFHA. The entire structure must meet the construction requirements of the flood zone. The structure includes any attached additions, garages, decks, sunrooms, or any other structure attached to the main structure. Decks or porches that extend into a more restrictive flood zone will require the entire structure to meet the standards of the more restrictive zone.
If a structure lies within two or more flood zones, the construction standards of the most restrictive zone apply to the entire structure (i.e., the V Zone is more restrictive than the A Zone: structure must be built to the highest BFE). The structure includes any attached additions, garages, decks, sunrooms, or any other structure attached to the main structure. Decks or porches that extend into a more restrictive flood zone will require the entire structure to meet the standards of the more restrictive zone.
New construction, substantial improvements and repair to structures that have sustained substantial damage cannot be constructed or located entirely or partially over water unless it is a functionally dependent use or facility.
If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter should be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect; and to this end the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.
[Amended 5-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-09]
The effective date of this chapter is July 8, 2013.