Borough of Stone Harbor, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Stone Harbor as Sec. 13-7 of the 1982 Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 178.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 230.
Zoning — See Ch. 560.

§ 300-1 Preamble.

The danger of flood subjects the residents of the Borough of Stone Harbor to loss of life, property and health and disrupts commerce and governmental services, all of which adversely affect the public health safety and general welfare; and it is the purpose of this chapter to promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions.

§ 300-2 Definitions.

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. The following specific definitions shall apply to this chapter:
APPEAL
A request for a review of the Construction Official's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
BASE FLOOD
The flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION
The higher of:
[Added 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. 1432]
A. 
Nine feet elevation as established by the North American Vertical Datum 1988; or
B. 
Base flood elevation based upon the best available flood hazard data issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
COASTAL HIGH HAZARD AREA
An area of special flood hazard extending from off shore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources.
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, drilling operations, or storage of equipment or materials.
ELEVATED BUILDING
A non-basement building (i) built in the case of a building in an area of special flood hazard to have the elevated floor two feet above base flood elevation, and in the case of a building in a coastal high hazard area to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated floor elevated above the ground level by means of piling, columns (posts and piers); (ii) adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood of up to the magnitude of the base flood elevation. In an area of special flood hazard "elevated building" also includes a building elevated by means of solid foundation perimeter walls with openings of a minimum of one square inch for every one square foot of enclosed space. Fill shall not be used for an elevated building. In areas of coastal high hazard "elevated building" also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building" even though the lower area is enclosed by means of open wood lattice work or insect screening.
[Amended 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. 1432]
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY
The official report in which the Federal Insurance Administration has provided flood profiles, as well as the water surface elevation of the base flood.
FLOOD or FLOODING
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
A. 
The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
B. 
The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
FLOODPROOFING
Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or alterations to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, heating equipment, air-conditioning equipment, structures and their contents. All nonresidential structures that have been floodproofed are required to be recertified at least every two years, to assure they are properly maintained.
HISTORICAL STRUCTURE
Any structure that is:
A. 
Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
B. 
Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historic significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
C. 
Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places approved by the Secretary of the Interior;
D. 
Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places approved by a state authorized by the Secretary of the Interior, or directly approved by the Secretary.
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement is not considered a building's lowest floor, provided that such enclosure is not built so to render the structure in violation of other applicable nonelevation design requirements.
MANUFACTURED HOME
A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The term manufactured home does not include a recreation 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.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after February 10, 1978.
PRIMARY FRONTAL DUNE
A continuous or nearly continuous mound or ridge of sand with relatively steep seaward and landward slopes immediately landward and adjacent to the beach and subject to erosion and overtopping from high tides and waves during major coastal storms. The inland limit of the primary frontal dune occurs at the point where there is a distinct change from a relatively steep slope to a relatively mild slope.
RECREATION VEHICLE
A vehicle which is:
A. 
Built on a single chassis;
B. 
Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;
C. 
Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and
D. 
Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use.
SAND DUNES
Naturally occurring accumulations of sand in ridges or mounds landward of the beach.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
Includes substantial improvement and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitations, addition placement, or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means either the first placement of permanent construction or a structure on a site such as the pouring of a 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 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 a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
STRUCTURE
A walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the current assessed value of the structure before the damage occurred.
A. 
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, alteration, addition or change of use (as defined under Subchapter 6 of the Uniform Construction Code) of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the current assessed value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed.
B. 
For the purposes 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:
(1) 
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
(2) 
Any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or State Inventory of Historic Places.
VARIANCE
A grant of relief to a person from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner otherwise prohibited by this chapter where specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship.

§ 300-3 Applicability.

This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the Borough of Stone Harbor.

§ 300-4 Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard.

The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Insurance Administration through a scientific and engineering report entitled "The Flood Insurance Study for the Borough of Stone Harbor," dated February 2, 1983, as supplemented, revised and amended, with accompanying flood insurance rate maps are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be part of this chapter.

§ 300-5 Violations and penalties.

A. 
No structure shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations.
B. 
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 on permits) shall constitute an offense. Each calendar day of violation shall constitute a separate and individual violation.
C. 
Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalties set forth in Chapter 1, Article III, Penalty, of the Borough of Stone Harbor Code, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case and shall bear the full cost of correcting any and all violations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Borough of Stone Harbor from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.

§ 300-6 Abrogation and 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.

§ 300-7 Interpretation.

In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:
A. 
Considered as minimum requirements.
B. 
Liberally construed in favor of the Borough Council.
C. 
Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes.

§ 300-8 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 man-made or natural causes. This chapter does not imply land outside the areas of special flood hazard 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 Borough or by any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.

§ 300-9 Establishment of development permit.

A. 
A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 300-4. Application for a development permit shall be made to the Construction Official on forms furnished by him and may include, but not be limited to, the following: plans in duplicate, drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions, and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials; drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing.
B. 
Specifically, the following information is required:
(1) 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor of all structures.
(2) 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any nonresidential structure has been floodproofed.
(3) 
Plans showing how any nonresidential floodproofed structure will meet the floodproofing criteria of § 300-14B and after the structure is built, a certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the structure as built meets the criteria of § 300-14B.
(4) 
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.

§ 300-10 Designation of Construction Official.

The Construction Official is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.

§ 300-11 Duties and responsibilities of Construction Official.

The duties of the Construction Official shall include but not be limited to:
A. 
Permit review.
(1) 
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
(2) 
Review all development permits to require that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required.
(3) 
Review all development permits in the coastal high hazard area of the area of special flood hazard to determine if the proposed development alters sand dunes so as to increase potential flood damage.
(4) 
Review plans for walls to be used to enclose space below the base flood level in accordance with § 300-15B(4).
B. 
Information to be obtained and maintained.
(1) 
Verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor of all new or substantially improved structures.
(2) 
For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:
(a) 
Verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level); and
(b) 
Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in § 300-9B(3).
(3) 
In coastal high hazard areas, certification shall be obtained from a registered professional engineer or architect that the provisions of § 300-15B(1) and § 300-15B(2)(a) and (b) are met.
(4) 
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Interpretation of FIRM boundaries. Make interpretations, where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions). The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in this chapter.

§ 300-12 Variance procedure.

A. 
Appeal Board.
(1) 
The Board of Adjustment, as established by the Borough, shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
(2) 
The Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the Construction Official in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
(3) 
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Adjustment or any taxpayer may appeal such decision to a court of competent jurisdiction as provided by the laws of the State of New Jersey.
(4) 
In passing upon such applications, the Board of Adjustment shall consider all technical evaluations; all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:
(a) 
The danger that materials may be swept into other lands to the injury of others;
(b) 
The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
(c) 
The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
(d) 
The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
(e) 
The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
(f) 
The availability of alternative locations, not subject to flooding or erosion damage, for the proposed use;
(g) 
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
(h) 
The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for that area;
(i) 
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(j) 
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and
(k) 
The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, and streets and bridges;
(l) 
Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot (having the necessary frontage and square footage as required by its zoning district) contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing items (a) through (l) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the minimum limits required in the zoning district, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
(5) 
Upon consideration of the factors listed above and the purposes of this chapter, the Board of Adjustment may attach such conditions in the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
(6) 
The Construction Official shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
B. 
Conditions for variances.
(1) 
Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places, without regard to the procedures set forth in the remainder of this chapter.
(2) 
Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(3) 
Variances shall only be issued upon:
(a) 
A showing of good and sufficient cause.
(b) 
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and,
(c) 
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in § 300-12A(4) or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
(4) 
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice indicating the elevation below the base flood level (in feet) to which the lowest floor of the structure will be built, and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.

§ 300-13 General standards for flood hazard reduction.

In all areas of special flood hazard, the following provisions are required:
A. 
Anchoring.
(1) 
All new construction, substantial improvements and additions shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, hydrostatic uplift of the structure, and shall be built upon pile butts, or a grade beam on piles with anchor bolts from the grade beam to the foundation plate. This requirement shall only be applicable if the new construction, substantial improvement or addition is located within 150 feet of any back bay bulkhead, or a lagoon or basin bulkhead, or within 250 feet of an ocean bulkhead. Exception: When an addition is built, its footings shall be built the same as the existing structure, i.e., if the existing structure has piles built into the footings, the addition shall also have piles built into its footings. If the existing structure does not have piles built into the footings, there shall be no requirement for piles built into the footings of the addition, unless an architect or engineer, hired by the owner, contractor or by the Borough, should determine that same is necessary as a result of loading, soil conditions, or otherwise.
(2) 
All manufactured homes shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not to be limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and BOCA anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces.
B. 
Construction materials and methods.
(1) 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage.
(2) 
All new construction or substantial improvements shall be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage.
C. 
Utilities.
(1) 
All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system.
(2) 
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharges from the systems into floodwaters; and
(3) 
There shall be no on-site waste disposal systems installed within the Borough of Stone Harbor.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection C(4), which immediately followed, regarding new and replacement electrical, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other service equipment, was repealed 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. 1432.
D. 
Subdivision proposals.
(1) 
All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
(2) 
All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage.
(3) 
All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage.
(4) 
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed development which is greater than the lesser of 50 lots or five acres.
E. 
Enclosure openings. For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
(1) 
A minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided.
(2) 
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
(3) 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

§ 300-14 Specific standards for flood hazard reduction.

In all areas of special flood hazard where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in § 300-4, Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard, the following provisions are required:
A. 
Residential construction. New construction or substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have (i) the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to two feet above base flood elevation; and (ii) all electrical, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other service equipment elevated to base flood elevation or higher.
[Amended 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. 1432]
B. 
Nonresidential construction. New construction or substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to one foot above the base flood elevation or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, floodproofed so that one foot above the base flood level the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effect of buoyancy. A registered professional engineer or architect shall certify that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the applicable provisions of this subsection. Such certification shall be provided to the official as set forth in § 300-11B.
C. 
Prohibited uses.
(1) 
Trailers and the following manufactured homes are prohibited uses: manufactured homes having a width of less than 22 feet and manufactured homes upon land, the title to which is held by one other than the owner of the particular manufactured home. The definitions of "trailer" and "manufactured home" are those set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-102 and as further amended.
(2) 
All manufactured homes, to be placed or substantially improved within an area of special flood hazard, shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor is at one foot above the base flood elevation.

§ 300-15 Coastal high hazard area.

Coastal high hazard areas (V Zones) are located with the areas of special flood hazard established in § 300-4. These areas have special flood hazards associated with high velocity waters from tidal surges and hurricane wave wash; therefore, the following provisions shall apply:
A. 
Location of structures. All buildings or structures shall be located landward of the reach of the mean high tide.
B. 
Construction methods.
(1) 
Elevation. All new construction and substantial improvements located in the Coastal High Hazard Area (V Zones) shall be elevated on piling or columns, so that the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the piling or columns) is elevated to two feet above the base flood level, with all space below the lowest floor's supporting member open or enclosed with lattice work or screening, so as not to impede the flow of water.
[Amended 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. 1432]
(2) 
Structural support.
(a) 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be securely anchored on piling or columns.
(b) 
The pile or column foundation and structure attached thereto shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loading values each of which shall have a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (one-hundred-year mean recurrence interval).
(c) 
There shall be no fill used for structural support.
(3) 
Certification. A registered professional engineer or architect shall develop or review the structural design specifications and plans for the construction and shall certify that the design and methods of construction to be used are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for compliance with the provisions of § 300-15B(1) and § 300-15B(2)(a) and (b).
(4) 
Space below the lowest floor.
(a) 
Any alteration, repair, reconstruction or improvement to a structure started after the enactment of this chapter shall not enclose the space below the lowest floor unless open wood latticework or insect screening are used as provided for in this chapter.
(b) 
Open wood latticework or insect screening shall be allowed below the base flood elevation provided that they are intended to collapse under wind and water loads without causing collapse, displacement or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. Additionally, the elevated portion of the building and supporting foundation system shall be so constructed so as not to be subject to collapse, displacement or other structural damage due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components (structural and nonstructural).
(c) 
Any such enclosed spaces below the lowest floor shall be used solely for parking of vehicles, for building access or for storage and not for human habitation.
C. 
Sand dunes. There shall be no alteration of sand dunes which would increase potential flood damage.