[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of North Haven 9-3-1987 Special Town Meeting; amended in its entirety 6-26-2013 Special Town Meeting. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The legislature of the State of Connecticut has, in Section 7-148(c)(7) of the General Statutes, delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Town Meeting of the Town of North Haven, Connecticut, does ordain as follows.
The flood hazard areas of the Town of North Haven are subject to periodic inundation which results 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.
These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in floodplains causing increases in flood heights and velocities and by the occupancy in flood hazard areas by uses vulnerable to floods or hazardous to other lands which are inadequately elevated or floodproofed or otherwise unprotected from flood damages.
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed to:
Restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion hazards or which result in damaging increases in erosion or in flood heights or velocities.
Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction.
Control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels and natural protective barriers which are involved in the accommodation of floodwaters.
Control filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase erosion of flood damage.
Prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands.
The objectives of this chapter are to:
Protect human life and health.
Minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects.
Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public.
Minimize prolonged business interruptions.
Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities, such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges, located in floodplains.
Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of flood-prone areas in such a manner as to minimize flood blight areas.
Ensure that potential home buyers are notified that property is in a flood area.
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meanings they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ADDITION (TO AN EXISTING BUILDING)
- Any walled and roofed expansion to the perimeter of a building in which the addition is connected by a common load-bearing wall other than a fire wall. Any walled and roofed addition which is connected by a fire wall or is separated by independent perimeter load-bearing walls is new construction.
- A request for a review of the Town Engineer'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 (BFE)
- The elevation of the crest of the base flood. The height in relation to mean sea level expected to be reached by the waters of the base flood at pertinent points in the floodplains of coastal and riverine areas.
- That portion of a 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 to collapse under specific lateral loading forces without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or the supporting foundation system.
- Any structure built for support, shelter or enclosure for any occupancy or storage.
- As related to substantial improvements, the cost of any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, alteration, repair or other improvement of a structure shall be established by a detailed written contractor's estimate. The estimate shall include, but not be limited to, the cost of materials (interior finishing elements, structural elements, utility and service equipment); sales tax on materials, building equipment and fixtures, including heating and air conditioning and utility meters; labor; built-in appliances; demolition and site preparation; repairs made to damaged parts of the building worked on at the same time; contractor's overhead; contractor's profit; and grand total. Items to be excluded include cost of plans and specifications, survey costs, permit fees, outside improvements such as septic systems, water supply wells, landscaping sidewalks, fences, yard lights, irrigation systems, and detached structures such as garages, sheds, and gazebos.
- Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to the construction of buildings or structures; the construction of additions, alterations or substantial improvements to buildings or structures; the placement of buildings or structures; mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment; the storage, deposition, or extraction of materials; and the installation, repair or removal of public or private sewage disposal systems or water supply facilities.
- ELEVATED BUILDING
- A nonbasement building built to have the lowest floor elevated above the ground level by means of fill, solid foundation perimeter walls, pilings, columns (posts and piers), shear walls or breakaway walls.
- EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
- A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured home are to be affixed (including, as a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before October 1, 1980, the effective date of the floodplain management ordinance adopted by the community.
- EXPANSION TO AN EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
- The preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufacturing homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads).
- FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
- The federal agency that administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- FINISHED LIVING SPACE
- As related to fully enclosed areas below the base flood elevation (BFE), a space that is, but is not limited to, heated and/or cooled, contains finished floors (tile, linoleum, hardwood, etc.), has sheetrock walls that may or may not be painted or wallpapered, and other amenities such as furniture, appliances, bathrooms, fireplaces and other items that are easily damaged by floodwaters and expensive to clean, repair or replace.
- FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
- An official map of a community on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency has delineated both the areas of special flood hazard and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
- FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY
- The official report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The report contains flood profiles, as well as the Flood Insurance Rate Map and 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 the overflow or inland or tidal water or the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.
- 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 one foot.
- The top surface of an enclosed area in a building (including the basement), i.e., top of slab in concrete-slab construction or top of wood flooring in wood-frame construction. The term does not include the floor of the garage used solely for parking vehicles.
- FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT USE OR FACILITY
- A use or facility that 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 shipbuilding and ship repair facilities. The term does not include seafood processing facilities, long-term storage, manufacturing, sales or service facilities.
- HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
- The highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, next to the proposed walls of a structure.
- HISTORIC STRUCTURE
- Any structure that is:
- (1) Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
- (2) 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;
- (3) Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or
- (4) Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
- LOWEST FLOOR
- The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area, including the basement. An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage, in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor.
- MANUFACTURED HOME
- A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. The term also includes recreational vehicles, park trailers, travel trailers and similar transportable structures placed on site for 180 consecutive days or longer and intended to be improved property.
- MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
- A parcel or contiguous parcels of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
- MARKET VALUE
- Market value of the structure shall be determined by the appraised value of the structure, using the cost approach to value of the structure prior to the start of the initial repair or improvement, or in the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring.
- MEAN SEA LEVEL (MSL)
- For purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988 or other datum to which base flood elevations shown on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map are referenced.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after October 1, 1980, the effective date of the floodplain management regulations, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
- NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR 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) is completed on or after October 1, 1980, the effective date of the floodplain management regulation adopted by the community.
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
- A vehicle which 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; and
- (4) Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. 97-348), includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction or improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The "actual start" means the first placement of permanent construction of a structure (including a manufactured home) on a site, such as the pouring of slabs or footings, installation of piles or construction of columns or any work beyond the stage of excavation or 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.
- A walled and roofed building that is principally aboveground, a manufactured home, a gas or liquid storage tank or other man-made facilities or infrastructures.
- 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 market value of the structure before the damage occurred. "Substantial damage" also means flood-related damages 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.
- SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any combination of repairs, reconstructions, alterations or improvements to a structure, taking place over a ten-year period, in which the cumulative cost 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. The market value of the structure should be the appraised value using the cost approach of value to the structure prior to the start of the initial repair or improvement or, in the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring. 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 any project for improvement of a structure required 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.
- A grant of relief 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.
- Failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community's floodplain management ordinance. A structure or other development without required permits, lowest floor elevation documentation, floodproofing certificates or required floodway encroachment calculations is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
- WATER SURFACE ELEVATION
- The height, in relation to the North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988 or other datum, where specified, of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the floodplains of coastal or riverine areas.
This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the Town of North Haven.
The areas of special flood hazard within the Town of North Haven are identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for New Haven County, Connecticut, dated July 8, 2013, accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), dated July 8, 2013 (Panels 09009C0294J, 09009C0313J, 09009C0432J, 09009C0434J, 09009C0451J, 09009C0453J), and December 17, 2010, (Panels 09009C0292H, 09009C0311H, 09009C0312H, 09009C0314H, 09009C0431H, 09009C0452H, 09009C0454H), and other supporting data applicable to the Town of North Haven, and subsequent revisions thereto, are adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. Since mapping is legally adopted by reference into this chapter, it must take precedence when more restrictive until such time as a map amendment or map revision is obtained from FEMA. The area of special flood hazard includes any area shown on the FIRM as Zones A and AE, including areas designated as a floodway on a FIRM. Areas of special flood hazard are determined utilizing the base flood elevations (BFE) provided on the flood profiles in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for a community. BFEs provided on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) are only approximate (rounded up or down) and should be verified with the BFEs published in the FIS for a specific location.
A development permit shall be required in conformance with the provisions of this chapter prior to the commencement of any development activities within the areas of special flood hazard.
No structure or land shall hereafter be located, extended, converted or structurally altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations.
This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions; however, where this chapter and another conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.
In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:
The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering consideration. 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 that 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 Town of North Haven or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
The Town Engineer is hereby appointed to administer and implement the provisions of this chapter.
Application for a development permit shall be made to the Town Engineer on forms furnished by him or her prior to any development activities and may include but not be limited to the following plans, in duplicate, drawn to scale, showing the nature, location, dimensions and elevation of the area in question, existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials and drainage facilities and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:
Application stage. An application for a development permit shall include the following:
Elevation, in relation to mean sea level, of the proposed lowest floor, including the basement, of all structures.
Elevation, in relation to mean sea level, to which any nonresidential structure will be floodproofed.
A description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of the proposed development.
A statement as to whether or not the proposed alterations to an existing structure meet the criteria of the substantial improvement definition in § 121-5.
A statement as to whether there will be dry access to the structure during the one-hundred-year storm event.
Where applicable, the following certifications by a registered engineer or architect are required and must be provided to the Town Engineer. The design and methods of construction must be certified to be in accordance with accepted standards of practice and with the provisions of § 121-16C.
A statement of the method of floodproofing of nonresidential construction is required under § 121-16C(1)(b)(2).
Construction stage. Upon completion of the applicable portion of construction, the applicant shall provide verification to the Town Engineer of the following, as applicable:
Deficiencies detected by the review of the above-listed shall be corrected by the permit holder immediately and prior to further progressive work being permitted to proceed. Failure to submit the survey or failure to make said corrections required hereby shall be cause to issue a stop-work order for the project.
Duties of the Town Engineer shall include but not be limited to the following:
He shall review all permit applications to determine whether proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding.
He shall review all development permits to assure that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
He shall advise the permittee that additional federal or state permits may be required and, if specific federal or state permit requirements are known, require that copies of such permits be provided and maintained on file with the development permit. Possible permits include but are not limited to coastal area management permit, water diversion permit, dam safety permit and Army Corps of Engineers 404 Permit.
He shall notify the Regional Planning Agency and the affected municipality at least 35 days prior to the public hearing if any change of regulation or use of a flood zone will affect an area within 500 feet of another municipality.
He shall notify adjacent communities and the Department of Environmental Protection, Water Resources Unit, prior to an alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
He shall assure that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
He shall record the elevation, in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor, including the basement, of all new or substantially improved structures, in accordance with § 121-16C(1)(a).
He shall record the elevation, in relation to mean sea level, to which the new or substantially improved structures have been floodproofed, in accordance with § 121-16C(1)(b).
When floodproofing is utilized for a particular structure, the Town Engineer shall obtain certification from a registered professional engineer or architect, in accordance with § 212-16C(1)(b).
Where interpretation is needed as to the exact location of boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions), the Town Engineer shall make the necessary interpretation. The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in this chapter.
When base flood elevation date or floodway data have not been provided in accordance with § 121-7, then the Town Engineer 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 the provisions of § 121-16.
All records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter shall be maintained in the office of the Town Engineer.
The Town Engineer shall cause notice of the issuance of a development permit, within 15 days of its issuance, to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town of North Haven.
Each development permit shall authorize, as a condition of approval, the Town Engineer or designated agents to make regular inspections of the subject property. The Town Engineer or designated agents are also authorized to inspect any property in a special flood hazard area where it appears that violations of these regulations may be taking place.
General standards. In all areas of special flood hazard, the following provisions are required:
New construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy.
New construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials resistant to flood damage.
New construction or substantial improvements shall be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage.
Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.
New and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems.
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.
On-site waste disposal systems shall be located and constructed to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.
All manufactured homes (mobile homes) to be newly placed, undergoing a substantial improvement, or repaired as a result of substantial damage, shall be elevated so that the lowest floor is above the base flood elevation. This includes manufactured homes placed outside a manufactured home park or subdivision, in a new manufactured home park or subdivision, in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision, in an expansion to an existing manufactured home park or subdivision, or on a site in an existing park which a manufactured home has incurred substantial damage as a result of a flood.
All such homes shall be placed on a permanent foundation which is securely anchored and to which the structure is securely anchored so that it will resist flotation, lateral movement and hydrostatic and hydrodynamic pressures. Anchoring may include but not be limited to the use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors.
All such homes shall be installed using methods and practices which minimize flood damage.
All recreational vehicles to be placed on a site within areas of special flood hazard must be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days and be fully licensed and ready for highway use, or meet the permit requirements of § 121-8 and the elevation and anchoring requirements for "manufactured homes" as specified in § 121-16A(8)(a), (b), and (c). A recreational vehicle is ready for highway use if it is on its wheels or jacking system, is attached to the site only by quick-disconnect-type utilities and security devices, and has no permanently attached additions.
In any portion of a watercourse which is altered or relocated, the flood-carrying capacity shall be maintained.
A structure already in compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall not be made noncompliant by any alteration, repair, reconstruction or improvement to the structure.
Aboveground storage tanks. Aboveground storage tanks (oil, propane, etc.) which are located outside or inside of the structure must either be elevated above the base flood elevation (BFE) on a concrete pad, or be securely anchored with tie-down straps to prevent flotation or lateral movement, have the top of the fill pipe extended above the BFE, and have a screw fill cap that does not allow for the infiltration of floodwater.
Portion of structure in flood zone. If any portion of a structure lies within the special flood hazard area (SFHA), the entire structure is considered to be in the SFHA. The entire structure must meet the construction requirements of the flood zone. The structure includes any attached additions, garages, decks, sunrooms, or any other structure attached to the main structure. Decks or porches that extend into a more restrictive flood zone will require the entire structure to meet the standards of the more restrictive zone.
Structures in two flood zones. If a structure lies within two or more flood zones, the construction standards of the most restrictive zone apply to the entire structure (i.e., V Zone is more restrictive than A Zone; structure must be built to the highest BFE). The structure includes any attached additions, garages, decks, sunrooms, or any other structure attached to the main structure. (Decks or porches that extend into a more restrictive zone will require the entire structure to meet the requirements of the more restrictive zone.)
No structures entirely or partially over water. New construction, substantial improvements and repair to structures that have sustained substantial damage cannot be constructed or located entirely or partially over water unless it is a functionally dependent use or facility.
Standards for streams without established base flood elevations and/or flooding.
Obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source, including data developed pursuant to § 121-7 and 121-17D, as criteria for requiring that new construction, substantial improvements or other development in Zone A on the community's FIRM meets the standards in Subsection C(1), (2) and (3) and § 121-17.
In A Zones where base flood elevations have been determined, but before a floodway is designated, require that no new construction, substantial improvement or other development, including fill, be permitted which will increase base flood elevations more than one foot at any point along the watercourse when all anticipated development is considered cumulatively with the proposed development.
Should data be requested and/or provided, adopt a regulatory floodway based on the principle that the floodway must be able to convey the waters of the base flood without increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot at any point along the watercourse.
In all areas of special flood hazard designated A or AE on the FIRM, where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in §§ 121-7, 121-15K or 121-17D, the following provisions are required:
Residential construction. New construction or substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including the basement, elevated at least to 1.0 foot above the base flood elevation.
New construction or substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or nonresidential structure located in Zone A or AE shall have the lowest floor, including the basement, elevated at least to 1.0 foot above the level of the base flood elevation; or
Nonresidential structures located in all A and AE Zones may be floodproofed in lieu of being elevated, provided that, together with all attendant utilities and sanitary facilities, the areas of the structure below the required elevation are watertight, with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water, and use structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and the effects of buoyancy. A registered professional engineer or architect shall review and/or develop structural designs, specifications and plans for the construction and shall certify that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with acceptable standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this subsection. Such certification shall be provided to the official as set forth in § 121-14A.
Elevated buildings. New construction or substantial improvements of elevated buildings that include fully enclosed areas formed by foundation and other exterior walls below the base flood elevation shall be designed to preclude finished living space and designed to allow for the entry and exit of floodwaters to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls.
Designs for complying with this requirement must either be certified by a professional engineer or architect or meet the following minimum criteria:
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.
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, valves or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic flow of floodwaters in both directions.
Electrical, plumbing and other utility connections are prohibited below the base flood elevation.
Access to the enclosed area shall be the minimum necessary to allow for parking of vehicles (garage door) or limited storage of maintenance equipment used in connection with the premises (standard exterior door) or entry to the living area (stairway or elevator).
Floodways. Located within the areas of special flood hazard established in § 121-7 are areas designated as floodways on the community's Flood Insurance Rate Map. Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris and potential projectiles and have erosion potential, the following provisions shall apply: All encroachments are prohibited, including fill, new construction, substantial improvement, repairs to substantially damaged structures and other development, unless certification (with supporting technical data) by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating, through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice, that such encroachments shall not result in any (0.00) increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge. Fences in the floodway must be aligned with the flow and be of an open design.
Compensatory storage. The water-holding capacity of the floodplain, except those areas which are tidally influenced, shall not be reduced. Any reduction caused by filling, new construction or substantial improvements involving an increase in footprint to the structure shall be compensated for by deepening and/or widening of the floodplain. Storage shall be provided on site, unless easements have been gained from adjacent property owners; it shall be provided within the same hydraulic reach and a volume not previously used for flood storage; it shall be hydraulically comparable and incrementally equal to the theoretical volume of floodwater at each elevation, up to and including the one-hundred-year flood elevation, which would be displaced by the proposed project. Such compensatory volume shall have an unrestricted hydraulic connection to the same waterway or water body. Compensatory storage can be provided off site if approved by the municipality.
Equal conveyance. Within the floodplain, except those areas which are tidally influenced, as designated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the community, encroachments resulting from filling, new construction or substantial improvements involving an increase in footprint of the structure are prohibited unless the applicant provides certification by a registered professional engineer demonstrating, with supporting hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice, that such encroachments shall not result in any (0.00 feet) increase in flood levels (base flood elevation). Work within the floodplain and the land adjacent to the floodplain, including work to provide compensatory storage, shall not be constructed in such a way so as to cause an increase in flood stage or flood velocity.
In all special flood hazard areas, the following requirements shall apply:
All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems, located and constructed to minimize flood damage.
All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
In Zone A, base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed development, including manufactured home parks and subdivisions, which are five acres or 50 lots, whichever occurs first.
An Appeals Board, consisting of the Board of Selectmen of the Town of North Haven, shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
The Board of Selectmen shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged that there is an error in any requirement, decision or determination made by the Town Engineer in enforcement or administration of this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Selectmen or a person owning land which abuts or is within a radius of 100 feet of the land in question may appeal, within 15 days after such decision, to the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut of the Judicial District of New Haven at New Haven in the same manner as provided in Section 8-8 of the General Statutes.
Buildings on an historic register. 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 section, except for § 121-21A through D, provided that the proposed reconstruction rehabilitation or restoration will not result in the structure losing its historical character.
Preexisting, small lot location. Variances may be issued by a community for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot 1/2 acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, in conformance with § 121-21A through D.
Functionally dependent uses. Variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvement and other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use, provided that the structure or other development is protected by methods that minimize flood damage, create no additional threat to public safety and meet the requirements of § 121-21A through D.
Floodway prohibition. Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
In passing upon such applications, the Board of Selectmen shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, all standards specified in other sections of this chapter and:
The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
The danger of life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
The necessity of the facility to waterfront location, in the case of a functionally dependent facility;
The availability of alternative locations not subject to flooding or erosion damage for the proposed use;
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for that area;
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
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
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.
Upon consideration of the factors listed above and the purposes of this chapter, the Board of Selectmen may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
A variance shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief and, in the instance of an historical building, a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary as not to destroy the historic character and design of the building.
Variances shall only be issued upon:
A showing of good and sufficient cause;
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship; and
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety or extraordinary public expense or create a nuisance, cause fraud on or victimization of the public or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice specifying the difference between the elevation to which the structure is to be built and stating that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation, up to amounts as high as $25 for $100 of insurance coverage.
The Town Engineer shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency upon request.
Violation of the provisions of this chapter or failure to comply with any of its requirements, including violation of conditions and safeguards established in connection with grants of variance or special exceptions, shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined no more than $100 per day. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town of North Haven from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
If any section, subsection, provision, portion, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this Town ordinance should be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect; and to this end the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.