Skip to code content (skip section selection)
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter reasonable application.
ALLUVIAL FAN FLOODING: Flooding occurring on the surface of an alluvial fan or similar landform which originates at the apex and is characterized by high-velocity flows; active processes of erosion, sediment, transport, and deposition; and unpredictable flow paths.
APEX: A point on an alluvial fan or similar landform below which the flow path of the major stream that formed the fan becomes unpredictable and alluvial fan flooding can occur.
AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING: A designated AO, AH, or VO zone on a community's flood insurance rate map (FIRM) with a one percent (1%) chance or greater annual chance of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet (3') where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.
AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD: The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one percent (1%) greater chance of flooding in any given year. The area may be designated as zone A on the flood hazard boundary map (FHBM). After detailed rate making has been completed in preparation for publication of the FIRM, zone A usually is refined into zones A, AE, AH, AO, Al-99, VO, V1-30, VE or V.
BASE FLOOD: The flood having a one percent (1%) chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASEMENT: Any area of the building having its floor subgrade ground level) on all sides.
CRITICAL FEATURE: An integral and readily identifiable part of a flood protection system, without which the flood protection provided by the entire system would be compromised.
DEVELOPMENT: Any manmade change in improved and 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.
ELEVATED BUILDING: A nonbasement building:
A. Built, in the case of a building in zones Al-30, AE, A, A99, AO, AH, B, C, X, and D, to have the top of the elevated floor, or in the case of a building in zones V1-30, VE, or V, to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structure member of the elevated floor elevated above the ground level by means of pilings, columns (posts and piers), or shear walls parallel to the flow of the water; and
B. Adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood of up to the magnitude of the base flood. In the case of zones Al-30, AE, A, A99, AO, AH, B, C, X, and D, "elevated building" also includes a building elevated by means of fill or solid foundation perimeter walls with openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded movement of flood waters. In the case of Zones V1-30, VE, or V, "elevated building" also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building," even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway walls if the breakaway walls met the standards of section 60.3(e)(5) of the national flood insurance program regulations.
EXISTING CONSTRUCTION: For the purposes of determining rates, structures for which the "start of construction" commenced before the effective date of the FIRM or before January 1, 1975, for FIRMs effective before that date. "Existing construction" may also be referred to as "existing structures".
EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR 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) is completed before the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.
EXPANSION TO AN EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION: The preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads).
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM): An official map of a community, on which the federal emergency management agency has delineated both the areas of special flood hazard and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY: The official report provided by the federal emergency management agency. The report contains flood profiles, water surface elevation of the base flood, as well as the flood boundary floodway map.
FLOOD OR FLOODING: A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
A. The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
B. The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
FLOOD PROTECTION SYSTEM: Those physical structural works for which funds have been authorized, appropriated, and expended and which have been constructed specifically to modify flooding in order to reduce the extent of the areas within a community subject to a "special flood hazard" and the extent of the depths of associated flooding. Such a system typically includes hurricane tidal barriers, dams, reservoirs, levees or dikes. These specialized flood modifying works are those constructed in conformance with sound engineering standards.
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT: The operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including, but not limited to, emergency preparedness plans, flood control works and floodplain management regulations.
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS: Zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as a floodplain ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other applications of police power. The term describes such state or local regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.
FLOODPLAIN OR FLOOD PRONE AREA: Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source (see definition of Flood Or Flooding).
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 sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.
FLOODWAY (REGULATORY FLOODWAY): The channel of a river or other watercourse 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 a designated height.
FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT USE: A use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. The term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship building and ship repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.
HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE: The highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.
HISTORIC STRUCTURE: Any structure that is:
A. Listed individually in the national register of historic places (a listing maintained by the department of interior) or preliminarily determined by the secretary of the interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the national register;
B. Certified or preliminarily determined by the secretary of the 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;
C. Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the secretary of interior; or
D. Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
1. By an approved state program, as determined by the secretary of the interior or;
2. Directly by the secretary of the interior in states without approved programs.
LEVEE: A manmade structure, usually an earthen embankment, designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering practices to contain, control, or divert the flow of water so as to provide protection from temporary flooding.
LEVEE SYSTEM: A flood protection system which consists of a levee, or levees, and associated structures, such as closure and drainage devices, which are constructed and operated in accordance with sound engineering practices.
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 storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor; provided that enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable nonelevation design requirement of section 60.3 of the national flood insurance program regulations.
MANUFACTURED HOME: A structure transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use 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 (2) or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
MEAN SEA LEVEL: For purposes of the national flood insurance program, the national geodetic vertical datum (NGVD) of 1929, or other datum, to which base flood elevations shown on a community's flood insurance rate map are referenced.
NEW CONSTRUCTION: For the purpose of determining insurance rates, structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of an initial FIRM or after December 31, 1974, whichever is later, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures. For floodplain management purposes, "new construction" means structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR 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) is completed on or after the effective date of floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE: A vehicle which is:
A. Built on a single chassis;
B. Four hundred (400) square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projections;
C. Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and
D. Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
START OF CONSTRUCTION: For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the coastal barrier resources act (Pub. L. 97-348), includes "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 one hundred eighty (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 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 a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
STRUCTURE: A walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally aboveground, as well as a manufactured home.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE: Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed fifty percent (50%) of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT: A. Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the market value of the structure before "start of construction" of the improvement. This includes structures which have incurred "substantial damage", regardless of the actual repair work performed.
B. The term does not, however, include either:
1. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary 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".
VARIANCE: A grant of relief to a person from the requirement of this chapter when specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship. A variance, therefore, permits construction or development in a manner otherwise prohibited by this chapter. (For full requirements see section 60.6 of the national flood insurance program regulations).
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 section 60.3(b)(5), (c)(4), (c)(10), (d)(3), (e)(2), (e)(4), or (e)(5) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
WATER SURFACE ELEVATION: The height, in relation to the national geodetic vertical datum (NGVD) of 1929 (or other datum, where specified), of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the floodplains of coastal or riverine areas. (Ord. 5-7-02, 5-21-2002)