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For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ADVERSE EFFECT. Any modifications, alteration or effects on a feature or characteristic of waterbodies, watercourses, or wetlands that are or may be potentially harmful to human health, welfare, safety or property.
AREAS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN (AEC). Critical areas such as estuarine waters, coastal wetlands and public trust waters, designated by the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission as needing protection.
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (EMT). Activities or structural improvements that help reduce the quantity and improve the quality of storm water runoff. BMPs include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and other practices to control site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.
BUFFER. An area of vegetation between a water body and developed land that serves as a filter for upland runoff, reducing the amount of pollution that enters the water.
BUILDING INSPECTOR. See “Code Enforcement Officer”.
BUILT-UPON AREA. Portion of property covered by impervious or semi-pervious cover.
BUSH HOGGING. A form of clearing where undergrowth and brush is removed by mechanical means which does not otherwise disturb the soil.
CAMA. Coastal Area Management Act, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1974, lays the framework for the N.C. Coastal Management Program by establishing guidelines for development in designated areas of environmental concern. CAMA also created the Coastal Resources Commission and Coastal Resources Advisory Council. The Coastal Resources Commission carves out a permit program to guide development in AECs.
CAMA PERMIT. One of the principal ways CAMA protects North Carolina’s natural resources is through the coastal management permitting program. Major permits are required for any development proposed in a designated area of environmental concern. Minor permits may be issued locally if there is a documented local permitting official.
CLEAN WATER ACT. A federal act enacted by Congress to establish uniform national standards to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our nation’s waters. Cited as the “Federal Water Pollution Control Act” (as amended) 33 U.S.C. § 1251.
CLEARING. The cutting and removal of trees and brush from the land. For purposes of this subchapter, CLEARING shall not include mowing of man made lawns, cutting, trimming, or transplanting small vegetation, or the removal of dead vegetation, dead tree limbs or dead trees.
COASTAL RESOURCES COMMISSION (CRC). Fifteen-member board appointed by the governor that has responsibility for policy and regulation concerning coastal management.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. The Town Building Inspector who is charged under G.S. §160A-412 with certain responsibilities including the provisions of this subchapter in coordination with the Stormwater Administrator.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR). The state government department that oversees the operations of the Divisions of Water Quality, Coastal Management, Marine Fisheries, Land Resources, Parks and Recreation and Air Quality.
DETENTION. The collection and storage of surface water for subsequent gradual discharge.
DEVELOPER. Any person who engages in development either as the owner or as the agent of an owner of property.
DEVELOPMENT. Any type of construction, associated land-clearing and land alteration.
DISCHARGE. The volume of water (and suspended sediment) that passes a given location within a given period of time.
DIVISION OF COASTAL MANAGEMENT (DCM). The state agency responsible for implementing and enforcing the Coastal Area Management Act. The DCM serves as staff to the Coastal Resources Commission.
DIVISION OF WATER QUALITY (DWQ). The staff to the Environmental Management Commission or EMC. Staff enforces rules for wetlands, groundwater and surface water permits.
DRAINAGE SYSTEM. The path through which water flows from one location to another and includes all waterbodies, watercourses and wetlands.
EASEMENT. A voluntary, legally binding agreement in which the land owner sells or donates some or all of his or her rights to develop or use the land.
EMERGENCY. A situation or condition requiring immediate action. For purposes of this subchapter, this situation or condition must threaten life or create an immediate health hazard. Inundation of buildings or structures by flood waters is not in itself an emergency. Road flooding that makes emergency vehicle passage impossible is an emergency.
ENGINEERED PLAN. A plan prepared by a professional engineer licensed by the state of North Carolina to design and oversee the installation of stormwater management systems.
ENTITIES. Those parts of the town, exclusive of the neighborhoods, where stormwater management controls may be appropriate. For purposes of this subchapter, it includes the Oak Island Golf Course, the Progress Energy facility, the Coast Guard Station, State Route 1100, and other areas where development type activity could be performed via easements, such as public utilities.
EROSION. The wearing or washing away of soil by the action of wind and water.
ESTUARY/ESTUARINE. That part of a river, stream or body of water having unimpeded connection with the open sea, where sea water is measurably diluted with freshwater derived from land drainage.
EXCAVATION. The process where soil (earth, stone or other materials) at a development site is disturbed and moved.
FECAL COLIFORM. Non-pathogenic bacteria found in the waste of warm-blooded animals and used as an indicator of the possibility of pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and protozoans in the water.
FILLING. The addition of soil or sand to a development site for purposes of changing the site’s soil composition or contour.
FLOOD. The temporary rise in the level of any waterbody, watercourse or wetland which results in the inundation of areas not normally covered by water.
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS). Computer hardware and software that is used for compilation, storage, analysis and display of geographic and associated tabular data. This system can be used to produce maps that overlay various environmental and physical features.
GRADING. The cutting and or filing of the land surface through the movement of earth, stone, soil or sand for purposes of changing a development site contour to a desired slope or elevation.
GROUND ABSORPTION. See “Impervious Surfaces”.
GROUNDWATER. The water that occurs beneath the earth’s surface between saturated soil and rock and that supplies wells and springs.
GRUBBING. The removal and disposal of stumps and roots of vegetation.
IMPERVIOUS. The condition of being impenetrable by water.
IMPERVIOUS SURFACE. A surface, such as pavement or a structure, that prevents water from infiltrating the underlying soil.
INFILTRATION. The penetration of water through the ground surface into the subsurface soil or the penetration of water from the soil into a pipe.
INTERCEPTION. The process whereby the amount of rainfall that reaches the ground is reduced due to rainfall absorption by vegetation, principally trees.
LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION. Development that does not disturb the land so that watercourses are affected but does influence the amount and direction of stormwater runoff. For purpose of this subchapter, it is distinguished from stormwater management. All landscaping shall be consistent with and in all respects comply fully with the Town of Caswell Beach landscape construction requirements contained in § 150.072.
MANNING COEFFICIENT. Channel roughness factor “n” used in the Manning Formula. This formula is used to determine the rate of flow (mean velocity) in natural watercourses (open channel) with the “n” factor being a key determinant. Nominal coefficients values range from one, which is a very smooth channel (n = .012) to 24, which is very rough channel (n = .15).
MINOR PERMIT. A minor CAMA development permit is required for small projects, such as a single-family home. Minor permits are issued on a local level, usually by an employee of a county or town who is under contract to the Division of Coastal Management as a Local Permit Officer.
NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES). An EPA administered program established in 1972 by the Clean Water Act to control point source discharges. Phase II, signed into law in December 1999, requires designated small municipal separate stormwater sewer systems (MS4) to be permitted.
NEIGHBORHOOD. An artificial subdivision of the town. For purposes of this subchapter, it includes the Arboretum, Caswell Dunes, Ocean Greens, and the Oak Island Beach Villas.
NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION. Pollution that enters the natural environment through runoff with no discrete point discharge.
OCEAN HAZARD AREAS. Ocean beaches, areas near inlets, and areas behind the dunes (the size of the area behind the dunes depends on the erosion rates and flood potential at the site).
OUTFALL. The point where wastewater or drainage discharges from a sewer pipe, ditch or other conveyance to a receiving body of water.
PERSON. Any and all persons, natural or artificial, to include any individual, firm, corporation, agency, business, estate, trust, partnership, association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest or any other legal entity.
PROFESSIONAL LICENSED ENGINEER. A person who, by reason of special knowledge and use of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, acquired by engineering education and engineering experience, is qualified to practice engineering, and who has been certified as such by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners for Engineers.
PROPERTY OWNER. The person who is vested with the fee ownership, dominion or title of a property. This term may also be applicable to a tenant, if chargeable under his or her lease for the maintenance of the property, and any agent of the owner or tenant including a developer.
REDEVELOPMENT. Any new development activity on an already developed site that has no net increase in the existing built upon area or that provides equal or greater stormwater controls than the previous development.
RETENTION. The collection and storage of stormwater runoff without subsequent discharge to surface waters.
RUNOFF. Water from any source that is not absorbed in the immediate location of its contact with the ground and moves away from its point of origin, draining off the land into bodies of water.
SEDIMENT. Fine particles of mud, clay, silt and organic material that are carried or suspended in water or have settled in a water body and have been washed from land to water usually after rain.
SITE. Any tract, lot or parcel of land or combination of these that are in one ownership, or are contiguous and in diverse ownership where development is to be performed as part of a unit, subdivision or project.
STORMWATER. Water that is generated by rainfall, causes runoff and often is muted into drainage systems.
STORMWATER ADMINISTRATOR. The official appointed by the Board of Commissioners as responsible for stormwater management in the town.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT. Functions associated with planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, financing and regulating the facilities that collect, store, control and/or convey stormwater.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT/LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION PLAN (SM/LC FLAN). A plan or sketch submitted to the town’s building inspector as part of a permit application per the provisions of this subchapter. This plan must show the location of intended development and existing vegetation as well as vegetation that will be added in the way of the landscaping. The planned stabilization of any unplanted areas to prevent wind/water erosion will also be shown.
STORMWATER PLAN. A plan prepared by an engineer licensed by the State of North Carolina to design stormwater management and mitigation plans that meet or exceed the most current industry standard best management practices. For the purposes of this policy, anytime the term STORMWATER PLAN is used it shall have the meaning set forth above.
STORMWATER SYSTEM. All man-made structures or natural features within the town that serve to provide for conveyance of runoff water resulting from natural storm events. Components of the stormwater system include but are not limited to swales, ditches, pipes, channels, creeks, ponds, weirs, culverts, and inlet structures. In quantitative control terms, a system of vegetative and structural measures which control the increased volume and rate of surface runoff caused by man-made changes to the land and which have the effect of maintaining the predevelopment patterns of flood magnitude and frequency. In qualitative control terms, a system of vegetative, structural and other measures which control or treat pollutants carried by surface runoff.
STRUCTURE. That which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner but shall not include fences or signs.
TREE. Any woody perennial plant such as a large shade or pine tree which usually has one or more main stems or trunk.
TWENTY-FIVE YEAR FREQUENCY STORM. The storm of the largest intensity expected to occur on the average every 25 years and of a duration that will produce the peak rate of runoff for the watershed of interest.
UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. Federal regulatory agency that adopts regulations that implement EPA guidelines. Federal laws provide the basic minimum guidelines for regulation.
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA). Federal regulatory agency that adopts regulations that are general guidelines for the disposal of dredge-and-fill material.
VARIANCE. A special exception from the strict letter of the law determined on a case-by-case basis determined by findings of fact and conclusions of law demonstrating that the request is not due to the result of the applicant’s own actions, but rather, is the result of circumstances beyond their control.
VEGETATION. All plant growth to include trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, mosses and grasses.
VEGETATIVE FILTER. An area of natural or planted vegetation through which stormwater flows in a diffuse manner so that runoff does not become channelized and that provides for control of stormwater runoff through infiltration or filtering of pollutants.
WATERBODY. Any natural or artificial pond, marsh, lake, reservoir or other area which ordinarily or intermittently contains water and has a discernible shoreline.
WATERCOURSE. A lake, river, creek, stream, wash, channel or other topographic feature on or over which waters flow at least periodically. WATERCOURSE includes specifically designated areas in which substantial flood damage may occur.
WATERSHED. Geographic region where water drains to a particular river, stream or body of water. Usually a confluence of streams, creeks or drainage canals.
WETLAND. Saltwater or freshwater areas that are either permanently, seasonally or irregularly flooded. These areas contain the proper balance of physical, chemical and biological conditions needed to break down or neutralize many pollutants. Tidal flats, swamps, bogs and marshes are all common wetland areas.
(Ord. passed 11-11-05; Am. Res. passed 10-13-11)