The Town Board of the Town of Bethel finds that the potential and/or actual damages from flooding and erosion may be a problem to the residents of the Town of Bethel and that such damages may include destruction or loss of private and public housing, damage to public facilities, both publicly and privately owned, and injury to and loss of human life. In order to minimize the threat of such damages and to achieve the purposes and objectives hereinafter set forth, this chapter is adopted.
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:
Regulate 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;
Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;
Control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers which are involved in the accommodation of floodwaters;
Control filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase erosion or flood damages;
Regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands; and
Qualify for and maintain participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The objectives of this chapter are:
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, sewer lines; and 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 provide that developers 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.