Skip to code content (skip section selection)
A. Lands To Which This Chapter Applies: This chapter shall apply to the regulatory floodplain, which is comprised of the special flood hazard area and all protected areas within the city.
B. Basis For Establishing The Special Flood Hazard Area: The areas of special flood hazard identified by the federal insurance administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled "The Flood Insurance Study For Pierce County And Incorporated Areas" dated March 7, 2017, and any revisions thereto, with an accompanying flood insurance rate map (FIRM) and any revisions thereto are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be part of this chapter. The flood insurance study and the FIRM special flood hazard area (SFHA) is the area subject to flooding by the base flood and subject to the provisions of this chapter. The flood insurance study and the FIRM are on file at city offices at 110 Train Street SE.
Upon receipt of a floodplain development permit application, the floodplain administrator shall compare the elevation of the site to the base flood elevation. A development project is not subject to the requirements of this chapter if it is located on land that can be shown to be:
1. Outside the protected area, and
2. Higher than the base flood elevation.
The administrator shall inform the applicant that the project may still be subject to the flood insurance purchase requirements unless the owner receives a letter of map amendment from FEMA.
C. Flood Hazard Data:
1. Base Flood Elevation For SFHAs In The City Of Orting: The base flood elevation for the SFHAs of the city of Orting shall be as delineated on the 100-year flood profiles in the adopted Pierce County flood insurance study and FIRM.
2. Base Flood Elevations For SFHAs In The AH Or AO Zone: The base flood elevation for each SFHA delineated as a "zone AH" or "zone AO" shall be that elevation (or depth) delineated on the flood insurance rate map. Where base flood depths are not available in zone AO, the base flood elevation shall be considered to be two feet (2') above the highest grade adjacent to the structure.
3. Base Flood Elevation For Other SFHAs: The "base flood elevation" for all other SFHAs shall be as defined in section 14-1-5 of this chapter.
4. Flood Protection Elevation: The flood protection elevation (FPE) shall be the base flood elevation plus one foot (1').
5. Uses Of Other Base Flood Data: When base flood elevation data has not been provided (in A or V zones) in accordance with subsection B of this section, the city shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state, or other source, in order to administer subsections 14-1-9B and C of this chapter.
D. Protected Area:
1. The protected area is comprised of those lands that lie within the boundaries of the floodway, the riparian habitat zone, and the channel migration area.
2. In riverine areas, where a floodway has not been designated in accordance with this chapter the protected area is comprised of those lands that lie within the boundaries of the riparian habitat zone, the channel migration area, and the SFHA.
E. Riparian Habitat Zone: The riparian habitat zone includes those watercourses within the SFHA and adjacent land areas that are likely to support aquatic and riparian habitat.
1. The size and location of the riparian habitat zone is dependent on the type of water body. The riparian habitat zone includes the water body and adjacent lands, measured perpendicularly from ordinary high water on both sides of the water body:
a. Type S streams that are designated "shorelines of the state": Two hundred fifty feet (250').
b. Type F streams (fish bearing) greater than five feet (5') wide and marine shorelines: Two hundred feet (200').
c. Type F streams less than five feet (5') wide and lakes: One hundred fifty feet (150').
d. Type N (nonsalmonid bearing) perennial and seasonal streams with unstable slopes: Two hundred twenty five feet (225').
e. All other type N (nonsalmonid bearing) perennial and seasonal streams: One hundred fifty feet (150').
2. The riparian habitat zone shall be delineated on the site plan by the applicant at the time of application for subdivision approval or floodplain development permit for all development proposals within three hundred feet (300') of any stream or shoreline.
F. Channel Migration Area: In areas with base flood elevations (but a regulatory floodway has not been designated), no new construction, substantial improvements, or other development (including fill) shall be permitted within zones A1-30 and AE on the FIRM, unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other existing or anticipated development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot (1') at any point.
1. The channel migration area shall be the channel migration zone as delineated by Pierce County.
G. New Regulatory Data:
1. All requests to revise or change the flood hazard data, including requests for a letter of map revision and a conditional letter of map revision shall be reviewed by the administrator.
a. The administrator shall not sign the community acknowledgment form for any requests for development, unless the applicant for the letter documents that such development is in compliance with this chapter.
2. Where base flood elevation data are not available, applicants for approval of new subdivisions and other proposed developments (including proposals for manufactured home parks and subdivisions) greater than fifty (50) lots or five (5) acres, whichever is the lesser, shall include such data with their permit applications.
3. Where channel migration zone data are not available in accordance with this chapter, the permit applicant shall either:
a. Designate the entire SFHA as the channel migration zone; or
b. Identify the channel migration zone for the area one river mile upstream to one river mile downstream of the site in accordance with "Regional Guidance For NFIP-ESA Floodplain Mapping", published by FEMA region X.
4. All new hydrologic and hydraulic flood studies conducted pursuant to this chapter shall consider future conditions and the cumulative effects from anticipated future land use changes in accordance with "Regional Guidance For Hydrologic And Hydraulic Studies In Support Of The Model Ordinance For Floodplain Management Under The National Flood Insurance Program And The Endangered Species Act", FEMA region X, 2010.
1. Encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development is prohibited unless certification by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
2. Construction or reconstruction of residential structures is prohibited within designated floodways, except for: a) repairs, reconstruction, or improvements to a structure which do not increase the ground floor area; and b) repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure, the cost of which does not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the market value of the structure either:
a. Before the repair, or reconstruction is started, or
b. If the structure has been damaged, and is being restored, before the damage occurred.
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 to assure safe living conditions, or to structures identified as historic places, may be excluded in the fifty percent (50%).
3. If subsections H1 and H2 of this section are satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of section 14-1-10 of this chapter.
I. Penalties For Noncompliance:
1. Compliance; Violation A Misdemeanor: No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall constitute a misdemeanor.
2. Penalty Imposed: Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this code, for each violation, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case.
3. Remedial Action: Nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
J. Abrogation Of Greater Restrictions: This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.
K. Interpretation: In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:
1. Considered as minimum requirements;
2. Liberally construed in favor of the governing body; and
3. Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes.
L. Warning And Disclaimer Of Liability: The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by manmade or natural causes. This chapter does not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazards or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages. This chapter shall not create liability on the part of the city, any officer or employee thereof, or FEMA, for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder.
M. Severability: The provisions of this section shall be deemed separable and the invalidity of any portion of this chapter shall not affect the validity of the remainder. (Ord. 2017-1010, 3-6-2017)