The Federal Emergency Management Agency has identified special flood hazard areas within the boundaries of the Town of Leonardtown. Special flood hazard areas are subject to periodic inundation which may result 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. Structures that are inadequately elevated, improperly floodproofed, or otherwise unprotected from flood damage also contribute to flood losses.
The Town of Leonardtown, by resolution, agreed to meet the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program and was accepted for participation in the program on September 28, 1984. As of that date, or as of September 28, 1984, the initial effective date of the Town of Leonardtown Flood Insurance Rate Map, all development and new construction, as defined herein, are to be compliant with these regulations.
The Maryland General Assembly, in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Land Use Article, Title 4, has established as policy of the state that the orderly development and use of land and structures requires comprehensive regulation through the implementation of planning and zoning control, and that planning and zoning controls shall be implemented by local government in order to, among other purposes, secure the public safety, promote health and general welfare, and promote the conservation of natural resources. Therefore, the Mayor and Commissioners of the Town of Leonardtown do hereby adopt the following floodplain management regulations.
It is the purpose of these regulations to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, and to:
Protect human life, health and welfare;
Encourage the utilization of appropriate construction practices in order to prevent or minimize flood damage in the future;
Minimize flooding of water supply and sanitary sewage disposal systems;
Maintain natural drainage;
Reduce financial burdens imposed on the community, its governmental units and its residents, by discouraging unwise design and construction of development in areas subject to flooding;
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 other utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges;
Reinforce that those who build in and occupy special flood hazard areas should assume responsibility for their actions;
Minimize the impact of development on adjacent properties within and near floodprone areas;
Provide that the flood storage and conveyance functions of floodplains are maintained;
Minimize the impact of development on the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains;
Prevent floodplain uses that are either hazardous or environmentally incompatible; and
Meet community participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 44 CFR 59.22.
These regulations shall apply to all special flood hazard areas within the jurisdiction of the Town of Leonardtown, and identified in § 78-5.
For the purposes of these regulations, the minimum basis for establishing special flood hazard areas and base flood elevations is the Flood Insurance Study for St. Mary's County, Maryland and Incorporated Areas dated October 19, 2004, or the most recent revision thereof, dated November 19, 2014, and the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Map(s) and all subsequent amendments and revisions to the FIRMs. The FIS and FIRMs are retained on file and available to the public at the Town Offices, Town of Leonardtown.
Where field surveyed topography or digital topography indicates that ground elevations are below the closest applicable base flood elevation, even in areas not delineated as a special flood hazard on the FIRM, the area shall be considered as special flood hazard area.
To establish base flood elevations in special flood hazard areas that do not have such elevations shown on the FIRM, the Floodplain Administrator may provide the best available data for base flood elevations, may require the applicant to obtain available information from federal, state or other sources, or may require the applicant to establish special flood hazard areas and base flood elevations as set forth in §§ 78-13, 78-14, and 78-15 of these regulations.
These regulations are not intended to repeal or abrogate any existing regulations and ordinances, including subdivision regulations, zoning ordinances, building codes, or any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. In the event of a conflict between these regulations and any other ordinance, the more restrictive shall govern.
Notes referencing publications of the Federal Emergency Management Agency refer to the most recent edition of those publications, are intended only as guidance, and do not bind or alter the authority of the Floodplain Administrator to interpret and apply these regulations.
The degree of flood protection required by these regulations is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur, and flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes. These regulations do not imply that land outside of the special flood hazard areas or uses that are permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damage.
These regulations shall not create liability on the part of the Town of Leonardtown, any officer or employee thereof, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for any flood damage that results from reliance on these regulations or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder.
Should any section or provision of these regulations be declared by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the regulations as a whole, or any part thereof other than the part so declared to be unconstitutional or invalid.