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(A) Buffer required.
(1) A 50-foot stream buffer shall be established on both sides of all perennial streams (indicated by a solid blue line on the USGS Quadrangle maps) and all intermittent streams (indicated by a dotted blue line on the USGS Quadrangle maps). Stream buffers shall be shown an all appropriate plans and plats for review by the Planning Board and Town Council.
(2) The applicant may substitute a detailed survey to field verify the location of perennial and intermittent streams on the subject property and within 100 feet of the boundary of the subject property for the delineation on the USGS Quadrangle maps. All designated floodways and flood fringe areas as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are also subject to these restrictions.
(3) No development, including land-disturbing activities, shall occur within this buffer strip except as listed in (B) of this section.
(B) Limited activity permitted. Except for the following limited activities stream buffer areas shall remain undisturbed.
(1) When agricultural soil disturbing activities such as plowing, grading, ditching, excavating, placement of fill material, or similar activities must occur, they shall conform to all state and federal regulations. Existing agricultural operations, forested or vegetated areas within stream buffer areas shall follow the state's forest practice guidelines which include best management practices (BMPs) as defined by the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Commission.
(2) Permitted activities within the stream buffer area include sewer easements, providing the activities strictly adhere to all applicable erosion control requirements and all applicable water quality requirements as stipulated by North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Perennial vegetation must be established as a necessary step in completing construction of any sewer facilities. Sewer easements should be as close to perpendicular or parallel to the stream channel to minimize the impact on the stream buffer. Other overhead or underground utilities, roads, streets, bridges, or similar structures should be placed within existing public rights-of-way if possible, but in any case, must cross the buffer as close to perpendicular as possible.
(C) Revegetation. All disturbed areas within the stream buffer area, permitted or not, shall be revegetated with perennial vegetation as soon as practical (immediately) after the disturbance. Any noncompliance shall be treated as a violation of this chapter and be subject to enforcement as described in § 155.720.
(D) Minimum setback. A minimum setback from the stream buffers for all buildings shall be at least 20 feet.
(E) Minimum lot size. Land within a stream buffer shall not be used to meet minimum lot size requirements, except where lots are greater than one acre in area, in which case at least 50% of the lot shall remain outside the stream buffer.
(Ord. 2005-11-02, passed 11-21-05)