Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter it's most reasonable application.
   ACCESSORY STRUCTURE (APPURTENANT STRUCTURE). A structure located on the same parcel of property as the principal structure and the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure. Garages, carports and storage sheds are common urban accessory structures. Pole barns, hay sheds and the like qualify as accessory structures on farms, and may or may not be located on the same parcel as the farm dwelling or shop building.
   ADDITION (TO AN EXISTING BUILDING). An extension or increase in the floor area or height of a building or structure.
   ALTERATION OF A WATERCOURSE. A dam, impoundment, channel relocation, change in channel alignment, channelization, or change in cross-sectional area of the channel or the channel capacity, or any other form of modification which may alter, impede, retard or change the direction and/or velocity of the riverine flow of water during conditions of the base flood.
   APPEAL. A request for a review of the floodplain administrator’s interpretation of any provision of this chapter.
   BASEMENT. Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
   BASE FLOOD. The flood having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
   BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE). A determination of the water surface elevations of the base flood as published in the Flood Insurance Study. When the BFE has not been provided in a special flood hazard area, it may be obtained from engineering studies available from a federal or state or other source using FEMA approved engineering methodologies. This elevation, when combined with the freeboard, establishes the regulatory flood protection elevation.
   CAMA. North Carolina’s Coastal Area Management Act. This act, along with the Dredge and Fill Law and the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, is managed through North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (NCDENR’s) Division of Coastal Management (DCM).
   CBRS. Coastal Barrier Resources System.
   CHEMICAL STORAGE FACILITY. A building, portion of a building, or exterior area adjacent to a building used for the storage of any chemical or chemically reactive products.
   COASTAL AREA MANAGEMENT ACT (CAMA). North Carolina’s Coastal Area Management Act, this act, along with the Dredge and Fill Law and the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, is managed through North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Division of Coastal Management (DCM).
   COASTAL A ZONE (CAZ). An area within a special flood hazard area, landward of a V zone or land-ward of an open coast without mapped V zones; in a Coastal A Zone, the principal source of flooding must be astronomical tides, storm surges, seiches, or tsunamis, not riverine flooding. During the base flood conditions, the potential for wave heights shall be greater than or equal to 1.5 feet. Coastal A Zones are not normally designated on FIRMs. (See Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA)).
   COASTAL BARRIER RESOURCES SYSTEM (CBRS). Consists of undeveloped portions of coastal and adjoining areas established by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (Cobra) of 1982, the Coastal Barrier Improvement Act (CBIA) of 1990, and subsequent revisions, and includes areas owned by federal or state governments or private conservation organizations identified as otherwise protected areas (OPA).
   COASTAL HIGH HAZARD AREA. A special flood hazard area extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources. The area is designated on a FIRM, or other adopted flood map as determined in § 154.05, as Zone VE.
   DESIGN FLOOD ELEVATION (DFE). The base flood elevation, plus two feet.
   DEVELOPMENT. Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, or storage of equipment or materials.
   DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY. Any activity defined as development which will necessitate a floodplain development permit. This includes buildings, structures, and non-structural items, including (but not limited to) fill, bulkheads, piers, pools, docks, landings, ramps, and erosion control/stabilization measures.
   DIGITAL FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (DFIRM). The digital official map of a community, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on which both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community are delineated.
   DISPOSAL. As defined in G.S. § 130A-290(a)(6), the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste into or on any land or water so that the solid waste or any constituent part of the solid waste may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including groundwaters.
   ELEVATED BUILDING. A non-basement building which has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, posts, piers, pilings, or columns.
   ENCROACHMENT. The advance or infringement of uses, fill, excavation, buildings, permanent structures or development into a floodplain, which may impede or alter the flow capacity of a floodplain.
   EXISTING BUILDING and EXISTING STRUCTURE. Any building and/or structure for which the “start of construction” commenced before May 26, 1972.
   EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION. A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) was completed before the original effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the community.
   FLOOD or FLOODING. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
      (1)   The overflow of inland or tidal waters; and/or
      (2)   The unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.
   FLOOD INSURANCE. The insurance coverage provided under the National Flood Insurance Program.
   FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM). An official map of a community, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on which both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community are delineated.
   FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS). An examination, evaluation, and determination of flood hazards, corresponding water surface elevations (if appropriate), flood hazard risk zones, and other flood data in a community issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Flood Insurance Study report includes Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).
   FLOODPLAIN. Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source.
   FLOODPLAIN ADMINISTRATOR. The individual appointed to administer and enforce the floodplain management regulations.
   FLOODPLAIN DEVELOPMENT PERMIT. Any type of permit that is required in conformance with the provisions of this chapter, prior to the commencement of any development activity.
   FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT. The operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage and preserving and enhancing, where possible, natural resources in the floodplain, including, but not limited to, emergency preparedness plans, flood control works, floodplain management regulations, and open space plans.
   FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS. This chapter and other zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances, and other applications of police power which control development in flood-prone areas. This term describes federal, state or local regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for preventing and reducing flood loss and damage.
   FLOODPROOFING. Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures, which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitation facilities, structures, and their contents.
   FLOOD RESISTANT MATERIALS. Any building product (material, component or system) capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact (minimum 72 hours) with floodwaters without sustaining damage that requires more than low-cost cosmetic repair. Any material that is water-soluble or is not resistant to alkali or acid in water, including normal adhesives for above-grade use, is not flood-resistant. Pressure- treated lumber or naturally decay- resistant lumbers are acceptable flooring materials. Sheet-type flooring coverings that restrict evaporation from below and materials that are impervious, but dimensionally unstable are not acceptable. Materials that absorb or retain water excessively after submergence are not flood- resistant. Please refer to Technical Bulletin 2, Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements, and available from the FEMA. Class 4 and 5 materials, referenced therein, are acceptable flood- resistant materials.
   FLOODWAY. The channel of a river or other watercourse, including the area above a bridge or culvert when applicable, and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot.
   FLOODWAY ENCROACHMENT ANALYSIS. An engineering analysis of the impact that a proposed encroachment into a floodway or non-encroachment area is expected to have on the floodway boundaries and flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge. The evaluation shall be prepared by a qualified North Carolina licensed engineer using standard engineering methods and models.
   FLOOD ZONE. A geographical area shown on a Flood Hazard Boundary Map or Flood Insurance Rate Map that reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.
   FREEBOARD. The height added to the base flood elevation (BFE) to account for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization on the watershed. The base flood elevation plus the freeboard establishes the regulatory flood protection elevation.
   FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT FACILITY. A facility which cannot be used for its intended purpose unless it is located in close proximity to water, such as a docking or port facility necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, shipbuilding, or ship repair. The term does not include long-term storage, manufacture, sales, or service facilities.
   HAZARDOUS WASTE FACILITY. As defined in G.S. Ch. 130, Article 9, a facility for the collection, storage, processing, treatment, recycling, recovery, or disposal of hazardous waste.
   HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE (HAG). The highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, immediately next to the proposed walls of the structure.
   HISTORIC STRUCTURE. Any structure that is:
      (1)   Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the U.S. Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
      (2)   Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
      (3)   Individually listed on a local inventory of historic landmarks in communities with a “Certified Local Government (CLG) Program”; or
      (4)   Certified as contributing to the historical significance of a historic district designated by a community with a “Certified Local Government (CLG) Program”. Certified Local Government (CLG) Programs are approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources through the State Historic Preservation Officer as having met the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended in 1980.
   LETTER OF MAP CHANGE (LOMC). An official determination issued by FEMA that amends or revises an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map or Flood Insurance Study. Letters of Map Change include:
      (1)   Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA): An official amendment, by letter, to an effective National Flood Insurance Program map. A LOMA is based on technical data showing that a property had been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation. A LOMA amends the current effective Flood Insurance Rate Map and establishes that a specific property, a portion of a property, or structure is not located in a special flood hazard area.
      (2)   Letter of Map Revision (LOMR): A revision based on technical data that may show changes to flood zones, flood elevations, special flood hazard area boundaries and floodway delineations, and other plan metric features.
      (3)   Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F): A determination that a structure or parcel of land has been elevated by fill above the BFE and is, therefore, no longer located within the special flood hazard area. In order to qualify for this determination, the fill must have been permitted and placed in accordance with the community’s floodplain management regulations.
      (4)   Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR): A formal review and comment as to whether a proposed project complies with the minimum NFIP requirements for such projects with respect to delineation of special flood hazard areas. A CLOMR does not revise the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map or Flood Insurance Study; upon submission and approval of certified as-built documentation, a Letter of Map Revision may be issued by FEMA to revise the effective FIRM.
   LIGHT DUTY TRUCK. Any motor vehicle rated at 8,500 pounds gross vehicular weight rating or less which has a vehicular curb weight of 6,000 pounds or less and which has a basic vehicle frontal area of 45 square feet or less as defined in 40 CFR 86.082-2 and is:
      (1)   Designed primarily for purposes of transportation of property or is a derivation of such a vehicle;
      (2)   Designed primarily for transportation of persons and has a capacity of more than 12 persons; or
      (3)   Available with special features enabling off- street or off-highway operation and use.
   LIMIT OF MODERATE WAVE ACTION (LIMWA). The boundary line given by FEMA on coastal map studies marking the extents of Coastal A Zones (CAZ).
   LOWEST ADJACENT GRADE (LAG). The lowest elevation of the ground, sidewalk or patio slab immediately next to the building, or deck support, after completion of the building.
   LOWEST FLOOR. The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or limited storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building’s lowest floor, provided that such an enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable non-elevation design requirements of this chapter.
   MANUFACTURED HOME. A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. The term MANUFACTURED HOME does not include a recreational vehicle.
   MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION. A parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
   MAP REPOSITORY. The location of the official flood hazard data to be applied for floodplain management. It is a central location in which flood data is stored and managed; in North Carolina, FEMA has recognized that the application of digital flood hazard data products carry the same authority as hard copy products. Therefore, the NCEM’s Floodplain Mapping Program websites house current and historical flood hazard data. For effective flood hazard data the NC FRIS website (http://FRIS.NC.GOV/FRIS) is the map repository, and for historical flood hazard data the Flood NC website (http://FLOODNC.GOV/NCFLOOD) is the map repository.
   MARKET VALUE. The building value, not including the land value and that of any accessory structures or other improvements on the lot. Market value may be established by independent certified appraisal, replacement cost depreciated for age of building and quality of construction (actual cash value), or adjusted tax assessed values.
   NEW CONSTRUCTION. Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of the original version of the community’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
   NON-ENCROACHMENT AREA. The channel of a river or other watercourse, including the area above a bridge or culvert when applicable, and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot as designated in the Flood Insurance Study report.
   OPA. An otherwise protected area.
   POST-FIRM. Construction or other development for which the start of construction occurred on or after the effective date of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Map for the area.
   PRE-FIRM. Construction or other development for which the start of construction occurred before the effective date of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Map for the area.
   PRIMARY FRONTAL DUNE. A continuous or nearly continuous mound or ridge of sand with relatively steep seaward and landward slopes immediately landward and adjacent to the beach and subject to erosion and over-topping from high tides and waves during major coastal storms. The inland limit of the primary frontal dune occurs at the point where there is a distinct change from a relatively steep slope to a relatively mild slope.
   PRINCIPALLY ABOVE GROUND. At least 51% of the actual cash value of the structure is above ground.
   PUBLIC SAFETY and/or NUISANCE. Anything which is injurious to the safety or health of an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, or unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or basin.
   RECREATIONAL VEHICLE (RV). A vehicle, which is:
      (1)   Built on a single chassis;
      (2)   400 square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;
      (3)   Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and
      (4)   Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling, but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use; and
      (5)   Is fully licensed and ready for highway use.
   REFERENCE LEVEL. The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor for structures within special flood hazard, or coastal high hazard areas designated as Zone AE or VE.
   REGULATORY FLOOD PROTECTION ELEVATION. The base flood elevation plus the freeboard. In special flood hazard areas where base flood elevations (BFEs) have been determined, this elevation shall be the BFE plus two feet of freeboard.
   REMEDY A VIOLATION. To bring the structure or other development into compliance with state and community floodplain management regulations, or, if this is not possible, to reduce the impacts of its noncompliance. Ways that impacts may be reduced include protecting the structure or other
affected development from flood damages, implementing the enforcement provisions of the ordinance or otherwise deterring future similar violations, or reducing federal financial exposure with regard to the structure or other development.
   RIVERINE. Relating to, formed by, or resembling a river (including tributaries), stream, brook, etc.
   SALVAGE YARD. Any non-residential property used for the storage, collection, and/or recycling of any type of equipment, and including but not limited to vehicles, appliances and related machinery.
   SAND DUNES. Means naturally occurring accumulation of sand in ridges or mounds landward of the beach.
   SHEAR WALL. Walls used for structural support but not structurally joined or enclosed at the end (except by breakaway walls) shear walls are parallel or nearly parallel to the flow of water.
   SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITY. As defined in G.S. § 130A-290(a)(35), any facility involved in the disposal of solid waste.
   SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL SITE. As defined in G.S. § 130A-290(a)(36), any place at which solid wastes are disposed of by incineration, sanitary landfill, or any other method.
   SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (SFHA). The land in the floodplain subject to a 1% or greater chance of being flooded in any given year, as determined in § 154.05.
   START OF CONSTRUCTION. Substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition placement, or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
   STRUCTURE. A walled and roofed building, a manufactured home, or a gas, liquid, or liquefied gas storage tank that is principally above ground.
   SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE. Damage of any origin sustained by a structure during any one-year period whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. See definition of SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT. SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE also means flood-related damage sustained by a structure on two separate occasions during a 10-year period for which the cost of repairs at the time of each such flood event, on the average, equals or exceeds 25% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
   SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT. Any combination of repairs, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, taking place during any one-year period for which the cost equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:
      (1)   Any correction of existing violations of state or community health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the community code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or,
      (2)   Any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure.
      (1)   A FEMA publication that provides guidance concerning the building performance standards of the NFIP, which are contained in Title 44 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at § 60.3. The bulletins and fact sheets are intended for use primarily by state and local officials responsible for interpreting and enforcing NFIP regulations and by members of the development community, such as design professionals and builders. New bulletins, as well as updates of existing bulletins, are issued periodically as needed. The bulletins do not create regulations; rather they provide specific guidance for complying with the minimum requirements of existing NFIP regulations.
      (2)   It should be noted that technical bulletins and technical fact sheets provide guidance on the minimum requirements of the NFIP regulations. State or community requirements that exceed those of the NFIP take precedence. Design professionals should contact the community officials to determine whether more restrictive state or local regulations apply to the building or site in question. All applicable standards of the state or local building code must also be met for any building in a flood hazard area.
   TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED. Having the temperature regulated by a heating and/or cooling system, built-in or appliance.
   VARIANCE. A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter.
   VIOLATION. The failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community’s floodplain management regulations. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in §§ 154.20 et seq. and §§ 154.35 et seq. is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
   WATER SURFACE ELEVATION (WSE). The height, in relation to NAVD 1988, of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the floodplains of coastal or riverine areas.
   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.
   WINDBORNE DEBRIS REGION. Areas within hurricane-prone regions within one mile of the coastal mean high water line where the basic wind speed is 110 miles per hour or greater, or where the basic wind speed is equal to or greater than 120 miles per hour or Hawaii.
(‘85 Code, § 8-4.2) (Ord. 31, passed - - ; Am. Ord. 5-87, passed 3-24-87; Am. Ord. 03-01, passed 2-24-03; Am. Ord. 06-06, passed 5-22-06; Am. Ord. 09-05, passed 3-10-09; Am. Ord. 15-01, passed 1-13-15; Am. Ord. 18-13, passed 8-6-18)