1. Statutory Authority. This chapter is established under authority of Chapter 331 of the Code of Iowa, as amended. This chapter establishes a development permit system that requires a permit for all development within areas of significant flood hazard as identified by the Flood Insurance Study for Story County, Iowa, and Incorporated Communities dated January 15, 2021, within the Unincorporated Areas of Story County. The original Flood Insurance Study for Story County, Iowa was adopted and implemented by the Story County Board of Supervisors on June 1, 1983.
2. Purpose. This chapter establishes a Floodplain Management Program for the Unincorporated areas of Story County, Iowa, intended and designed to manage the development of land in those areas that would be inundated during a one percent annual chance or greater flood to minimize damage to property and threats to personal safety by protecting floodways from developmental encroachment, which would increase flood levels or impede the free flow of flood waters, and by requiring special site planning and construction standards in the floodway fringe. The chapter is required to meet the minimum requirements for acceptance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for counties that have a detailed Flood Insurance Study (FIS) issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is the purpose of this chapter to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and property of Story County and its residents, and to preserve and improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, and comfort and convenience of its residents by minimizing those flood losses described in this chapter, with provisions designed to:
A. Reserve sufficient floodplain area for the conveyance of flood flows so that flood heights and velocities will not be increased substantially.
B. Restrict or prohibit development that is dangerous to health, safety, or property in times of flood or which causes excessive increases in flood heights or velocities.
C. Require that development vulnerable to floods, including public facilities that serve such development, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction or substantial improvement.
D. Protect individuals from buying lands that may not be suited for intended purposes because of flood hazard.
E. Assure that eligibility is maintained for property owners in the community to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
3. Findings of Fact.
A. The flood hazard areas of Story County are subject to periodic inundation, which can result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community.
B. These flood losses, hazards, and related adverse effects are caused by the: (i) occupancy of flood hazard areas by development vulnerable to flood damages which create hazardous conditions as a result of being inadequately elevated or otherwise protected from flooding; and (ii) cumulative effect of obstructions on the floodplain, causing increases in flood heights and velocities.
C. This chapter relies upon engineering methodology for analyzing flood hazards consistent with the standards established by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).