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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 its most reasonable application.
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE (APPURTENANT STRUCTURE). A structure located on the same parcel of property as the principal structure, 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 that 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.
AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING. A designated Zone AO or AH on a community's flood insurance rate map (FIRM), with base flood depths determined to be from one to three feet. These areas are located where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate, and where velocity flow may be evident.
AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD. See SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (SFHA).
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, state or other source using Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved engineering methodologies. When combined with the FREEBOARD, this elevation establishes the REGULATORY FLOOD PROTECTION ELEVATION.
BASEMENT. Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
BREAKAWAY WALL. A wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction under specific lateral loading forces without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or the supporting foundation system.
BUILDING. See STRUCTURE.
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, which, along with the Dredge and Fill Law and the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, is managed through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), Division of Coastal Management (DCM).
COASTAL A ZONE (CAZ). An area within the special flood hazard area, landward of a V zone or landward 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 one and one-half feet. Coastal A Zones are not normally designated on FIRMs. (see LIMITED OF MODERATE WAVE ACTION (LIMWA)).
DESIGN FLOOD. See REGULATORY FLOOD PROTECTION ELEVATION.
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 that 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 official digital 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 that 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, structures or development into a special flood hazard area, which may impede or alter the flow capacity of a floodplain.
EXISTING BUILDING and/or EXISTING STRUCTURE. Any building and/or structure for which the "start of construction" commenced before the town entered the NFIP dated May 15, 1978.
EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or EXISTING 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 town entered the NFIP dated May 15, 1978.
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 BOUNDARY AND FLOODWAY MAP (FBFM). An official map of a community, issued by FEMA, on which the special flood hazard areas and the floodways are delineated. This official map is a supplement to and shall be used in conjunction with the flood insurance rate map (FIRM).
FLOOD HAZARD BOUNDARY MAP (FHBM). An official map of a community, issued by the FEMA, where the boundaries of the special flood hazard areas have been defined as Zone A.
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 FEMA, on which both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community are delineated. (See also DFIRM.)
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS). An examination, evaluation and determination of flood hazard areas, corresponding water surface elevations (if appropriate), flood insurance risk zones and other flood data in a community issued by FEMA. If published, the FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY report includes flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) and flood boundary and floodway maps (FBFMs).
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.
FLOOD-PRONE AREA. See FLOODPLAIN.
FLOOD-RESISTANT MATERIAL. Any building product (material, component or system) capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact (a minimum of 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.
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. 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 risk of flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitation facilities, structures and their contents.
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.
FREEBOARD. The height added to the 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, blockage of bridge or culvert openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed. The BFE plus the FREEBOARD establishes the REGULATORY FLOOD PROTECTION ELEVATION.
FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT FACILITY. A facility that cannot be used for its intended purpose unless it is located in close proximity to water, limited to 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 MANAGEMENT FACILITY. As defined in G.S. Ch. 130A, Art. 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 United States 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 United States 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) 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;
(2) 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, portion of a property, or structure is not located in a special flood hazard area;
(3) 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 planimetric features; and
(4) 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.
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 with a basic vehicle frontal area of 45 square feet of less as defined in 40 CFR 86.082-2 and is:
(1) Designed primarily for the purposes of transportation of property or is a derivation of such a vehicle;
(2) Designed primarily for the 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, 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 MANUFACTURED HOME 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 FloodNC 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 can be established by independent certified appraisal, replacement cost depreciated by age of building (actual cash value), or adjusted assessed values.
NEW CONSTRUCTION. Structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of the original version of this chapter, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
NON-ENCROACHMENT AREA (NEA). 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.
POST-FIRM. Construction or other development for which the "start of construction" occurred on or after May 15, 1978.
PRE-FIRM. Construction or other development for which the "start of construction" occurred before May 15, 1978.
PRINCIPALLY ABOVE GROUND. At least 51% of the actual cash value of the structure is above ground.
PUBLIC SAFETY and/or PUBLIC NUISANCE. Anything injurious to the safety or health of an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, or that 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 that is:
(1) Built on a single chassis;
(2) Four hundred 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;
(4) Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling, but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use; and
(5) Fully licensed and ready for highway use.
REFERENCE LEVEL. The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor for structures within all special flood hazard areas.
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 one foot freeboard. In "special flood hazard areas" where no BFE has been established, this elevation shall be at least one foot above the highest adjacent grade.
REMEDY A VIOLATION. To bring the structure or other development into compliance with state or 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 chapter 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 and the like.
SALVAGE YARD. Any nonresidential property used for the storage, collection and/or recycling of any type of equipment, including, but not limited to, vehicles, appliances and related machinery.
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. Any facility involved in the disposal of solid waste, as defined in G.S. § 130A-290(a)(35).
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 § 150.031.
START OF CONSTRUCTION. 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 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 slabs or footings, installation of piles, 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, a gas or liquid 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 ten-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.
(1) Any combination of repairs, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure, taking place during any one-year period whereby the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the "start of construction" of the improvement. This term includes structures that have incurred "substantial damage", regardless of the actual repair work performed.
(2) The term does not, however, include either:
(a) Any correction of existing violations of state or community health, sanitary or safety code specifications that have been identified by the community code enforcement official, and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
(b) Any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure, and the alteration is approved by a variance issued pursuant to § 154.054.
TECHNICAL BULLETIN AND TECHNICAL FACT SHEET. 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 Section 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.
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 §§ 150.050 through 150.054 and 150.065, 150.066, 150.068 through 150.072, 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.
(Ord. passed 7-15-2003; Ord. 2019-09, passed 9-12-2019; Ord. 2020-02, passed 6-11-2020)