(a)   Statutory Authorization. Article XVIII, Section 3, of the Ohio Constitution grants municipalities the legal authority to adopt land use and control measures for promoting the health, safety, and general welfare of its citizens. Therefore, the City Council of Highland Heights, State of Ohio, does ordain as follows:
   (b)   Findings of Fact. The City of Highland Heights has special flood hazard areas that 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. Additionally, structures that are inadequately elevated, floodproofed, or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss. In order to minimize the threat of such damages and to achieve the purposes hereinafter set forth, these regulations are adopted.
   (c)   Statement of Purpose. It is the purpose of these regulations to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, and to:
      (1)   Protect human life and health;
      (2)   Minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;
      (3)   Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
      (4)   Minimize prolonged business interruptions;
      (5)   Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges located in areas of special flood hazard;
      (6)   Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the proper use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to protect property and minimize future flood blight areas;
      (7)   Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions;
      (8)   Minimize the impact of development on adjacent properties within and near flood prone areas;
      (9)   Ensure that the flood storage and conveyance functions of the floodplain are maintained;
      (10)   Minimize the impact of development on the natural, beneficial values of the floodplain;
      (11)   Prevent floodplain uses that are either hazardous or environmentally incompatible; and
      (12)   Meet community participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program.
   (d)   Methods of Reducing Flood Loss. In order to accomplish its purposes, these regulations include methods and provisions for:
      (1)   Restricting or prohibiting uses which are dangerous to health, safety, and property due to water hazards, or which result in damaging increases in flood heights or velocities;
      (2)   Requiring that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities, which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;
      (3)   Controlling the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel flood waters;
      (4)   Controlling filling, grading, dredging, excavating, and other development which may increase flood damage; and,
      (5)   Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers, which will unnaturally divert flood, waters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.
   (e)   Lands to Which These Regulations Apply. These regulations shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the City of Highland Heights as identified in subsection (f) hereof, including any additional areas of special flood hazard annexed by City of Highland Heights.
   (f)   Basis for Establishing the Areas of Special Flood Hazard. For the purposes of these regulations, the following studies and/or maps are adopted:
      (1)   Flood Insurance Study Cuyahoga County, Ohio and Incorporated Areas and Flood Insurance Rate Map Cuyahoga County, Ohio and Incorporated Areas both effective December 3, 2010.
      (2)   Other studies and/or maps, which may be relied upon for establishment of the flood protection elevation, delineation of the 100-year floodplain, floodways or delineation of other areas of special flood hazard.
      (3)   Any hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analysis authored by a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio which has been approved by the City of Highland Heights as required by Section 1333.04(c), Subdivisions and Large Developments.
   Any revisions to the aforementioned maps and/or studies are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of these regulations. Such maps and/or studies are on file at the City Hall at 5827 Highland Road, Highland Heights, Ohio.
   (g)   Abrogation and Greater Restrictions. These regulations are not intended to repeal any existing ordinances including Subdivision Regulations, Zoning or Building Codes. In the event of a conflict between these regulations and any other ordinance, the more restrictive shall be followed. These regulations shall not impair any deed restriction covenant or easement but the land subject to such interests shall also be governed by the regulations.
   (h)   Interpretation. In the interpretation and application of these regulations, all provisions shall be:
      (1)   Considered as minimum requirements;
      (2)   Liberally construed in favor of the governing body; and,
      (3)   Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes. Where a provision of these regulations may be in conflict with a state or Federal law, such state or Federal law shall take precedence over these regulations.
   (i)   Warning and Disclaimer of Liability. 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 on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by man made or natural causes. These regulations do not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazard or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damage. These regulations shall not create liability on the part of the City of Highland Heights, any officer or employee thereof, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for any flood damage that results from reliance on these regulations or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
   (j)   Severability. 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. (Ord. 20-2010. Passed 11-9-10.)