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(a) Intent. The intent of this article is to:
(1) Promote the general health, welfare, and safety of the community.
(2) Encourage the utilization of appropriate construction practices in order to prevent or minimize flood damage in the future.
(3) Minimize danger to public health and safety by protecting water supply and sanitary sewage disposal in cooperation with the County Sanitarian, and to protect natural drainage.
(4) Ensure the Jefferson County Assessor obtains information concerning improvement of real property as required by West Virginia State Code §11-3-3A.
(5) Reduce financial burdens imposed on the community, its governmental units, and its residents, by preventing the unwise design and construction of development in areas subject to flooding.
(b) Authority. This article is adopted pursuant to West Virginia Code §8A-7-2(b)(12), which gives municipalities the authority to identify flood-prone areas subject to periodic flooding and regulate with specific control the permitted use, type of construction and height of floor levels above base flood elevation permitted in the area so as to lessen or avoid the hazards to persons and damage to property resulting from the accumulation of storm or flood waters.
(c) Abrogation and Greater Restrictions. This article supersedes any ordinances currently in effect in flood prone areas. However, any ordinance shall remain in full force and effect to the extent that its provisions are more restrictive.
(d) Applicability. This article shall apply to all lands within the City of Charles Town that are subject to the One Hundred (100) Year Flood as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and described in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) prepared for the City of Charles Town by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dated December 18, 2009, or the most recent revision thereof. In all areas covered by this district, no person, partnership, business, or corporation shall undertake or cause to be undertaken, any development or new construction, substantial improvement, the placement or relocation of any structure (including manufactured homes) within the floodplain area, unless a permit has been obtained from the City. In addition, where land is to be subdivided, utilized for manufactured home park or subdivision or otherwise developed, a site plan must be submitted to, and approved by, the City prior to any development.
(e) Warning and Disclaimer of Liability. The degree of flood protection required by this article is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on engineering and scientific methods of study. Larger floods may occur on rare occasions or the flood height may be increased by man-made or natural causes, such as ice jams and bridge openings restricted by debris. This article does not imply that areas outside the One Hundred (100) Year Flood area as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or land uses permitted within area will be free from flooding or flood damage. This article shall not create liability on the part of the City of Charles Town or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that may result from reliance on this article or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
(f) Administration. The provisions of this article shall be administered by the Charles Town Planning Commission. With enactment of this article, the City Council shall designate a Floodplain Administrator to act on the Planning Commission's behalf. The duly appointed Floodplain Administrator, hereinafter referred to as the Floodplain Administrator, shall be the authorized representative of the Planning Commission and shall have the power to administer the provisions of this article notwithstanding the ultimate authority vested in the Planning Commission to supervise the City's overall floodplain program, to set policies, to establish filing fees, to establish and adopt forms, and to act upon permit applications made directly to it as delineated in this article or as otherwise may be practicable in certain cases or circumstances. Accordingly, when used in this article, the "Charles Town Planning Commission" and abbreviations thereof shall be deemed to include reference to its Floodplain Administrator except where powers are reserved to the Commission. Any denial of a permit by the Floodplain Administrator or duly authorized representative pursuant hereto, shall constitute denial by the Planning Commission and be subject to appeal as herein provided.
(g) Jurisdictional Boundary Changes.
(1) The Jefferson County Floodplain Ordinance in effect on the date of annexation shall remain in effect and shall be enforced by the Municipality for all annexed areas until the municipality adopts and enforces an ordinance which meets the requirements for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
(2) Charles Town City Council shall pass a resolution acknowledging and accepting responsibility for enforcing floodplain ordinance standards prior to annexation of any area containing identified flood hazards.
(3) The City of Charles Town must notify the Federal Insurance Administration and the West Virginia State NFIP Administrator in writing whenever the boundaries of the community have been modified by annexation or the community has otherwise assumed or no longer has authority to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations for a particular area. In order that all FIRMs accurately represent the community's boundaries, a copy of a map of the community suitable for reproduction, clearly delineating the new corporate limits or new area for which the community has assumed or relinquished flood plain management regulatory authority must be included with the notification.