§ 10-4. Definitions  

Latest version.
  • 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 its most reasonable application.

    Appeal means a request for a review of the floodplain administrator's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.

    Area of shallow flooding means a designated AO, AH, or VO zone on a community's flood insurance rate map (FIRM) with a one (1) percent chance or greater annual chance of flooding to an average depth of one (1) to three (3) feet 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 is the land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one (1) percent or 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 ratemaking has been completed in preparation for publication of the FIRM, zone A usually is refined into zones A, AE, AH, AO, AI—99.

    Base flood means the flood having a one (1) percent chance of being equalled or exceeded in any given year.

    Critical feature means 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 means any man-made 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.

    Elevated building means a nonbasement building built, in the case of a building in zones A1—30, AE, A, A99, AO, AH, B, C, X, and D, to have the top of the elevated floor, elevated above the ground level by means of pilings, columns (posts and piers), or shear walls parallel to the floor of the water and adequately anchored so as 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 A1—30, AE, A, A99, AO, AH, B, C, X, 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 floodwaters.

    Existing construction means 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."

    Flood insurance rate map (FIRM) means an official map of a community, on which the federal emergency management agency has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

    Flood insurance study is 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 protection system means 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 specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship. A variance, therefore, permits typically includes hurricane tidal barriers, dams, reservoirs, levees or dikes. These specialized flood modifying works are those constructed in conformance with sound engineering standards.

    Flood or flooding means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

    (1) The overflow of inland or tidal waters.

    (2) The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

    Floodplain or flood-prone area means any land areas susceptible to being inundated by water from any source (see definition of flooding).

    Floodway (regulatory floodway) means 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 means 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 means the highest elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.

    Levee means a man-made 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 means 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 means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking or vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor; provided that such 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 means a structure transportable in one (1) 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. For floodplain management purposes the term "manufactured home" also includes park trailers, travel trailers, and other similar vehicles placed on a site for greater than one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days. For insurance purposes the term "manufactured home" does not include park trailers, travel trailers, and other similar vehicles.

    Mean sea level means, for the 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 means, for floodplain management purposes, structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community.

    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, 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.

    Structure means a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.

    Substantial improvement means any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty (50) percent of the market value of the structure either before the improvement or repair is started, or if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred. For the purpose of this definition "substantial improvement" is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commences, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure. The term does not, however, include either any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions, or any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a state inventory of historic places.

    Variance is a grant of relief to a person from the requirements 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 means 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) [of the National Flood Insurance program regulations] is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.

    Water surface elevation means 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. No. 8804, Art. 2, 4-11-88)


Definitions and rules of construction generally, § 1-3.