Coastal high hazard areas are special flood hazard areas established in § 154.05, and designated as Zones VE. These areas have special flood hazards associated with high velocity waters from storm surges or seismic activity and, therefore, in addition to meeting all requirements of this chapter with the exception of floodway and non-encroachment area provisions, the following provisions shall apply:
   (A)   All development shall:
      (1)   Be located landward of the reach of mean high tide;
      (2)   Be located landward of the first line of stable natural vegetation; and
      (3)   Comply with all applicable CAMA setback requirements.
   (B)   All new construction and substantial improvements shall be elevated so that the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding pilings or columns) is no lower than the regulatory flood protection elevation. Floodproofing shall not be utilized on any structures in coastal high hazard areas to satisfy the regulatory flood protection elevation requirements.
   (C)   All new construction and substantial improvements shall have the space below the lowest floor free of obstruction so as not to impede the flow of flood waters, with the following exceptions:
      (1)   Open wood latticework or insect screening may be permitted below the regulatory flood protection elevation for aesthetic purposes only and must be designed to wash away in the event of abnormal wave action and in accordance with § 154.21(D). Design plans shall be submitted in accordance with § 154.36(A)(4); or
      (2)   Breakaway walls may be permitted provided they meet the criteria set forth in § 154.21(D). Design plans shall be submitted in accordance with § 154.36(A)(4).
   (D)   All new construction and substantial improvements shall be securely anchored to pile or column foundations. All pilings and columns and the structures attached thereto shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement due to the effect of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components.
      (1)   Water loading values used shall be those associated with the base flood.
      (2)   Wind loading values used shall be those required by the current edition of the North Carolina State Building Code.
   (E)   For concrete pads, including patios, decks, parking pads, walkways, driveways, pool decks, etc. the following is required:
      (1)   Shall be structurally independent of the primary structural foundation system of the structure and not adversely affect structures through redirection of floodwaters or debris; and
      (2)   Shall be constructed to breakaway cleanly during design flood conditions, shall be frangible, and shall not produce debris capable of causing damage to any structure (the installation of concrete in small segments, (approximately four feet by four feet), that will easily break up during the base flood event, or score concrete in four by four feet maximum segments acceptable to meet the standard): and
         (a)   Reinforcing, including welded wire fabric, shall not be used in order to minimize the potential for concrete pads being a source of debris; and
         (b)   Pad thickness shall not exceed four inches; or
         (c)   Provide a design professional’s certification stating the design and method of construction to be used to meet the applicable criteria of this section.
   (F)   For swimming pools and spas, the following is required:
      (1)   Be designed to withstand all flood-related loads and load combinations.
      (2)   Be elevated so that the lowest horizontal structural member is elevated above the RFPE;
      (3)   Be designed and constructed to break away during design flood conditions without producing debris capable of causing damage to any structure; or
      (4)   Be sited to remain in the ground during design flood conditions without obstructing flow that results in damage to any structure.
      (5)   Registered design professionals must certify to local officials that a pool or spa beneath or near a VE Zone building will not be subject to flotation or displacement that will damage building foundations or elevated portions of the building or any nearby buildings during a coastal flood.
      (6)   Pool equipment shall be located above the RFPE whenever practicable. Pool equipment shall not be located beneath an elevated structure.
   (G)   All elevators, vertical platform lifts, chair lifts, etc., the following is required:
      (1)   Elevator enclosures must be designed to resist hydrodynamic and hydrostatic forces as well as erosion, scour, and waves.
      (2)   Utility equipment in coastal high hazard areas (VE Zones) must not be mounted on, pass through, or be located along breakaway walls.
      (3)   The cab, machine/equipment room, hydraulic pump, hydraulic reservoir, counter weight and roller guides, hoist cable, limit switches, electric hoist motor, electrical junction box, circuit panel, and electrical control panel are all required to be above RFPE. When this equipment cannot be located above the RFPE, it must be constructed using flood damage-resistant components.
      (4)   Elevator shafts/enclosures that extend below the RFPE shall be constructed with breakaway walls and flood vents installed.
      (5)   Flood damage- resistant materials can also be used inside and outside the elevator cab to reduce flood damage. Use only stainless steel doors and door frames below the BFE. Grouting of door frames and sills is recommended.
      (6)   If an elevator is designed to provide access to areas below the BFE, it shall be equipped with a float switch system that will activate during a flood and send the elevator cab to a floor above the RFPE.
   (H)   A registered professional engineer or architect shall certify that the design, specifications and plans for construction are in compliance with the provisions contained in divisions (C), (D) and (F) of this section and § 154.36 on the current version of the North Carolina “National Flood Insurance Program V-Zone Certification” form.
   (I)   Fill shall not be used for structural support. Limited non-compacted and non-stabilized fill may be used around the perimeter of a building for landscaping/aesthetic purposes provided it is demonstrated through coastal engineering analysis that the proposed fill would not result in any increase in the base flood elevation and not cause any adverse impacts by wave ramping and deflection to the subject structure or adjacent properties.
   (J)   There shall be no alteration of sand dunes which would increase potential flood damage.
   (K)   No manufactured homes shall be permitted except in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision. A replacement manufactured home may be placed on a lot in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision provided the anchoring and elevation standards of this section have been satisfied.
   (L)   Recreational vehicles may be permitted in coastal high hazard areas provided that they meet the recreational vehicle criteria of § 154.21(F) and the temporary structure provisions of § 154.21(G).
(Ord. 06-06, passed 5-22-06; Am. Ord. 18-13, passed 8-6-18; Am. Ord. 20-11, passed 9-3-20; Am. Ord. 21-10, passed 6-15-21)