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(a) Purpose and Scope.
(1) It is hereby determined that the system of rivers, streams, and other natural watercourses within the Village of Moreland Hills contributes to the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the Village of Moreland Hills. The specific purpose and intent of this regulation is to regulate uses and developments within riparian setbacks that would impair the ability of riparian areas to:
A. Reduce flood impacts by absorbing peak flows, slowing the velocity of flood waters, and regulating base flow.
B. Assist stabilizing the banks of watercourses to reduce woody debris from fallen or damaged trees, streambank erosion, and the downstream transport of sediments eroded from watercourse banks.
C. Reduce pollutants in watercourses during periods of high flows by filtering, settling, and transforming pollutants already present in watercourses.
D. Reduce pollutants in watercourses by filtering, settling, and transforming pollutants in runoff before they enter watercourses.
E. Provide watercourse habitats with shade and food.
F. Reduce the presence of aquatic nuisance species to maintain a diverse aquatic system.
G. Provide habitat to a wide array of wildlife by maintaining diverse and connected riparian vegetation.
H. Benefit the Village of Moreland Hills by minimizing encroachment on watercourse channels and the need for costly engineering solutions such as gabion baskets and rip rap to protect structures and reduce property damage and threats to the safety of watershed residents; and by contributing to the scenic beauty and environment of the Village of Moreland Hills, and thereby preserving the character of the Village of Moreland Hills, the quality of life of the residents of the Village of Moreland Hills, and corresponding property values.
(2) This Section has been enacted to protect and enhance these functions of riparian areas by providing reasonable controls governing structures and uses within a riparian setback along designated watercourses in the Village of Moreland Hills.
(b) Applicability, Compliance and Violations.
(1) This regulation shall apply to all zoning districts.
(2) This regulation shall apply to all structures and uses on lands containing a designated watercourse as defined in this Section, except as provided herein.
(3) No approvals, certificates, or permits shall be issued by the Village of Moreland Hills without full compliance with the terms of this Section.
(c) Establishment of Designated Watercourses and Riparian Setbacks.
(1) Designated watercourses shall include those watercourses meeting any one of the following criteria:
A. All watercourses draining an area greater than ½ square mile, or
B. All watercourses draining an area less than ½ square mile and having a defined bed and bank. In determining if watercourses have a defined bed and bank, the Village of Moreland Hills may consult with a representative of the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc. or other such technical experts as necessary. Any costs associated with such consultations may be assessed to the applicant.
(2) Riparian setbacks on designated watercourses are established as follows:
A. A minimum of 300 feet on either side of all watercourses draining an area greater than 300 square miles.
B. A minimum of 120 feet on either side of all watercourses draining an area greater than 20 square miles and up to 300 square miles.
C. A minimum of 75 feet on either side of all watercourses draining an area greater than ½ square mile and up to 20 square miles.
D. A minimum of 25 feet on either side of all watercourses draining an area less than ½ square mile and having a defined bed and bank as determined by the Village of Moreland Hills in Section 1173.07 (c)(1)B. of this Section.
(3) Riparian Setback Map. The Village of Moreland Hills has created a map identifying designated watercourses and their riparian setbacks. Said map is made part of this Section and is identified as Exhibit A. The following shall apply to the Riparian Setback Map:
A. It shall be used as a reference document and the information contained therein shall be believed to be accurate.
B. It shall be a guide only.
C. Nothing herein shall prevent the Village of Moreland Hills from amending the Riparian Setback Map from time to time as may be necessary.
D. If any discrepancy is found between the Riparian Setback Map and this regulation, the criteria set forth in Section 1173.07 (d) (1) and (2) shall prevail.
(4) The following conditions shall apply in riparian setbacks:
A. Riparian setbacks shall be measured in a horizontal direction outward from the ordinary high water mark of each designated watercourse.
B. Except as otherwise provided in this Section, riparian setbacks shall be preserved in their natural state.
C. Where the floodway is wider than a minimum riparian setback on either or both sides of a designated watercourse, the minimum riparian setback shall be extended to the outer edge of the 100-year floodway. The 100-year floodway shall be defined by FEMA. If a FEMA defined floodway does not exist for a designated watercourse, the Village of Moreland Hills may require a site-specific floodway delineation in conformance with standard engineering practices and approved by the Village of Moreland Hills. Any costs associated with reviewing this site-specific floodway delineation may be assessed to the applicant.
(d) Applications and Development Plans.
(1) The applicant shall be responsible for delineating riparian setbacks as required by this Section and shall identify such setbacks on a development plan included with all subdivision plans, development plans, and/or Zoning Certificate applications submitted to the Village of Moreland Hills. The development plans shall include the following information in addition to the requirements in Chapter 1127, Development Plan Review Procedures:
A. The locations of all designated watercourses.
B. The limits, with dimensions, of the riparian setbacks.
C. The location and dimensions of any proposed structures or uses, including proposed soil disturbance, in relationship to all designated watercourses.
D. Other such information as may be necessary for the Village of Moreland Hills to ensure compliance with this Section.
(2) The Village of Moreland Hills may, in reviewing the development plan, consult with the Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc. or other such technical experts, as necessary. Any costs associated with this review may be assessed to the applicant.
(3) If soil disturbing activities will occur within fifty (50) feet of the outer boundary of the applicable riparian setback as specified in this Section, the riparian setback shall be clearly identified by the applicant on site with construction fencing as shown on the development plan. Such identification shall be completed prior to the initiation of any soil disturbing activities and shall be maintained throughout soil disturbing activities.
(4) No approvals, certificates, or permits shall be issued by the Village of Moreland Hills prior to identification of riparian setbacks on the affected land in conformance with this regulation.
(e) Uses Permitted in Riparian Setbacks.
(1) Uses permitted by right. Open space uses that are passive in character shall be permitted in riparian setbacks, including, but not limited to, those listed in this sub-section. No use permitted under this regulation shall be construed as allowing trespass on privately held lands.
A. Recreational Activity. Hiking, fishing, hunting, picnicking, and similar passive recreational uses, as permitted by federal and state laws as well as the provisions of this Code.
B. Removal of Damaged or Diseased Trees. Damaged or diseased trees may be removed.
C. Revegetation and/or Reforestation. Riparian setbacks may be revegetated and/or reforested with native, noninvasive plant species.
(2) Conditional uses. A use listed below shall be permitted as a conditional use within a riparian setback, provided the Planning Commission first makes the determination that the requirements of Chapter 1177, if applicable, have been met, according to the procedures set forth in Chapter 1129, Certificates.
A. Crossings. Crossings of designated watercourses through riparian setbacks with streets, driveways, easements, bridges, culverts, utility service lines, or other means may be permitted provided such crossings minimize disturbance in riparian setbacks and mitigate any necessary disturbances. Such crossings shall only be undertaken upon approval of a Crossing Plan. Any costs associated with review of Crossing Plans may be assessed to the applicant.
B. If work will occur below the ordinary high water mark of the designated watercourse, proof of compliance with the applicable conditions of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit (either a Nationwide Permit, including the Ohio State Certification Special Conditions and Limitations, or an Individual Permit, including Ohio 401 water quality certification), shall also be provided to the Village of Moreland Hills. Proof of compliance shall be the following:
1. A development plan showing that any proposed crossing conforms to the general and special conditions of the applicable Nationwide Permit,
2. A copy of the authorization letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approving activities under the applicable Nationwide Permit, or
3. A copy of the authorization letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approving activities under an Individual Permit.
C. Streambank Stabilization Projects. Streambank stabilization projects along designated watercourses may be allowed, provided that such measures are ecologically compatible and substantially utilize natural materials and native plant species to the maximum extent practicable. Such streambank stabilization measures shall only be undertaken upon approval. Any costs associated with review of Streambank Stabilization Plans may be assessed to the applicant.
D. If streambank stabilization work is proposed below the ordinary high water mark of the designated watercourse, proof of compliance with the applicable conditions of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit (either a Nationwide Permit, including the Ohio State Certification Special Conditions and Limitations, or an Individual Permit, including Ohio 401 water quality certification) shall be provided to the Village of Moreland Hills. Proof of compliance shall be the following:
1. A development plan showing that any proposed crossing conforms to the general and special conditions of the applicable Nationwide Permit, or
2. A copy of the authorization letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approving activities under the applicable Nationwide Permit, or,
3. A copy of the authorization letter from the U.S., Army Corps of Engineers approving activities under an Individual Permit.
E. Storm Water Management Facilities. Storm water management facilities may be constructed in the riparian setback, provided:
1. Where the minimum riparian setback is less than or equal to fifty (50) feet, the storm water management facilities are located outside the minimum riparian setback.
2. Where the minimum riparian setback is greater than fifty (50) feet, storm water management facilities are located at least 50-feet from the ordinary high water mark of the designated watercourse.
F. Landscaping. The removal of natural vegetation within a riparian setback and the subsequent cultivation of lawns, landscaping, shrubbery, or trees may be allowed provided that such cultivation is done in conformance with an approved Landscaping Plan. Any costs associated with review of Landscaping Plans may be assessed to the applicant. Landscaping Plans shall meet the following criteria:
1. Maintain trees in the riparian setback larger than nine (9) inches in caliper (diameter) as measured fifty-four inches above the ground to the maximum extent practicable.
2. Maintain trees, shrubbery, and other non-lawn, woody vegetation in the riparian setback to the maximum extent practicable.
(f) Uses Prohibited in Riparian Setbacks. Any use not authorized under this Section shall be prohibited in riparian setbacks. By way of example, the following uses are specifically prohibited, however, prohibited uses are not limited to those examples listed here: (Ord. 2012-21. Passed 7-11-12.)
(1) Construction. There shall be no buildings or structures of any kind, except that a building or structure may be built within a riparian setback subject to the following:
A. The structure does not exceed two hundred (200) square feet;
B. The structure is anchored securely to the ground so that it will not become dislocated in a rain event or flooding incident; and
C. Any application to build a structure in a riparian setback shall be reviewed and approved by the Village Engineer.
(Ord. 2017-14. Passed 5-10-17.)
(2) Dredging or Dumping. There shall be no drilling, filling, dredging, or dumping of soil, spoils, liquid, or solid materials, except for noncommercial composting of uncontaminated natural materials and except as permitted under this regulation.
(3) Fences and Walls: There shall be no fences or walls, except as permitted under this Section.
(4) Streets or Driveways. There shall be no streets or driveways, except as permitted under this Section.
(5) Motorized Vehicles. There shall be no use of motorized vehicles, except as permitted under this Section.
(6) Disturbance of Natural Vegetation: There shall be no disturbance of natural vegetation within riparian setbacks except for the following:
A. Maintenance of lawns, landscaping, shrubbery, or trees existing at the time of passage of this regulation.
B. Cultivation of lawns, landscaping, shrubbery, or trees in accordance with an approved Landscaping Plan submitted in conformance with this Section.
C. Conservation measures designed to remove damaged or diseased trees or to control noxious weeds or invasive species.
(7) Parking Spaces or Lots and Loading/Unloading Spaces for Vehicles: There shall be no parking spaces, parking lots, or loading/unloading spaces.
(8) New Surface and/or Subsurface Sewage Disposal or Treatment Areas. Riparian setbacks shall not be used for the disposal or treatment of sewage, except as necessary to repair or replace an existing home sewage disposal system and in accordance with recommendations of the Cuyahoga Board of Health.
(g) Definitions. For the purpose of this regulation, the following terms shall have the meaning herein indicated. Other terms shall have the meaning indicated in Chapter 1123, Definitions.
(1) Damaged or Diseased Trees. Trees that have split trunks; broken tops; heart rot; insect or fungus problems that will lead to imminent death; undercut root systems that put the tree in imminent danger of falling; lean as a result of root failure that puts the tree in imminent danger of falling; or any other condition that puts the tree in imminent danger of being uprooted or falling into or along a watercourse or onto a structure.
(2) Designated Watercourse. A watercourse within the Village of Moreland Hills that is in conformity with the criteria set forth in this Section.
(3) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The agency with overall responsibility for administering the National Flood Insurance Program.
(4) Impervious Cover. Any paved, hardened, or structural surface regardless of its composition including but not limited to buildings, streets, driveways, parking lots, loading/unloading areas, decks, patios, and swimming pools.
(5) Noxious Weed. Any plant species defined by the Ohio Department of Agriculture as a "noxious weed" and listed as such by the Department. For, the purposes of this Section, the most recent version of this list at the time of application of this Section shall prevail.
(6) 100-Year Floodplain. Any land susceptible to being inundated by water from a base flood. The base flood is the flood that has a one percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
(7) Environmental Protection Agency. Referred throughout this regulation as the "Ohio EPA."
(8) Ordinary High Water Mark. The point of the bank or shore to which the presence and action of surface water is so continuous as to leave a district marked by erosion, destruction or prevention of woody terrestrial vegetation, predominance of aquatic vegetation, or other easily recognized characteristic. The ordinary high water mark defines the bed of a watercourse.
(9) Riparian Area. Land adjacent to watercourses that, if appropriately sized, helps to stabilize streambanks, limit erosion, reduce flood size flows, and/or filter and settle out runoff pollutants, or performs other functions consistent with the purposes of this regulation.
(10) Riparian Setback. The real property adjacent to a designated watercourse located in the area defined by the criteria set forth in this Section.
(11) Soil Disturbing Activity. Clearing, grading, excavating, filling, or, other alteration of the earth's surface where natural or human made ground cover is destroyed and which may result in, or contribute to, erosion and sediment pollution.
(12) Substantial Damage. Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would be equal to, or would exceed, 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
(13) Watercourse. Any brook, channel, creek, river, or stream having banks, a defined bed, and a definite direction of flow, either continuously or intermittently flowing.
(14) Wetland. Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.
(h) Inspection of Riparian Setbacks. The identification of riparian setbacks shall be inspected by the Village of Moreland Hills:
(1) Prior to soil disturbing activities authorized under this regulation, the applicant shall provide the Village of Moreland Hills with at least two (2) days written notice prior to starting such soil disturbing activities.
(2) Any time evidence is brought to the attention of the Village of Moreland Hills that uses or structures are occurring that may reasonably be expected to violate the provisions of this regulation.
(Ord. 2012-21. Passed 7-11-12.)