Township of West Hanover, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Hanover 3-3-1986 as part of Ord. No. 1986-2; amended in its entirety 8-1-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-19. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 78.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 88.
Sewers — See Ch. 158.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 173.
Zoning — See Ch. 195.

§ 108-0 Statutory authorization.

The Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has, by the passage of the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act of 1978,[1] delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt floodplain management regulations to promote the public health, safety, and the general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Board of Supervisors of West Hanover Township does hereby order as follows.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq.

§ 108-1 Scope.

A. 
The intent of this chapter is to:
(1) 
Promote the general health, welfare, and safety of the community.
(2) 
Encourage the utilization of appropriate construction practices in order to prevent or minimize flood damage in the future.
(3) 
Minimize danger to public health by protecting water supply and natural drainage.
(4) 
Reduce financial burdens imposed on the community, its governmental units, and its residents by preventing excessive development in areas subject to flooding.
(5) 
Comply with federal and state floodplain management requirements.
B. 
Applicability.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, business or corporation to undertake, or cause to be undertaken, any construction or development anywhere within West Hanover Township unless a permit has been obtained from the Floodplain Administrator.
(2) 
A permit shall not be required for minor repairs to existing buildings or structures.
C. 
Abrogation and greater restrictions. This chapter supersedes any other conflicting provisions which may be in effect in identified floodplain areas. However, any other ordinance provisions shall remain in full force and effect to the extent that those provisions are more restrictive. If there is any conflict between any of the provisions of this chapter, the more restrictive provision shall apply.
D. 
Identification.
(1) 
The identified floodplain area shall be any areas of West Hanover Township classified as special flood hazard areas (SFHAs) in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) dated August 2, 2012, and issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the most recent revision thereof, including all digital data developed as part of the Flood Insurance Study.
(2) 
The above-referenced FIS and FIRMs and any subsequent revisions and amendments are hereby adopted by West Hanover Township and declared to be part of the chapter.
(3) 
Also see § 195-71A through D for additional classifications.

§ 108-2 Definitions.

A. 
General. Unless specifically defined below, words and phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
B. 
Specific definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BASE FLOOD
A flood which has a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (formerly called the "one-hundred-year flood").
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE)
The elevation shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for Zones AE, AH, A1-30 that indicates the water surface elevation resulting from a flood that has a one-percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor below ground level on all sides.
BUILDING
Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls and intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals or property, including covered porches or bay windows and chimneys.
COMPLETELY DRY SPACE
A space which will remain totally dry during flooding; the structure is designed and constructed to prevent the passage of water and water vapors.
CONSTRUCTION
The construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, extension, expansion, alteration or relocation of a building or structure, including the placement of manufactured homes.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to the construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, expansion, or alteration of buildings or other structures; the placement of manufactured homes; streets and other paving; utilities; filling, grading, excavation; mining; dredging; drilling operations; storage of equipment or materials; and the subdivision of land.
ESSENTIALLY DRY SPACE
A space which will remain dry during flooding, except for the passage of some water vapor or minor seepage; the structure is substantially impermeable.
EXISTING USE
The use of a lot or structure at the time of the enactment of this chapter.
FLOOD
A temporary inundation of normally dry land areas.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
The official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or Federal Insurance Administration (FIA) has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
The official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration that includes flood profiles, the Flood Insurance Rate Map, the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
FLOODPLAIN
A relatively flat or low land area which is subject to partial or complete inundation from an adjoining or nearby stream, river or watercourse, and/or any area subject to the unusual and rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source.
FLOODPLAIN ADMINISTRATOR
The person or persons appointed by the Board of Supervisors to administer and enforce both Article XV of Chapter 195 and Chapter 108, Floodplain Management. For this chapter, this would be the Codes Administrator or his designee.
FLOODPROOFING
Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.
FLOODWAY
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.
HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
The highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.
HISTORIC STRUCTURES
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; or
(2) 
Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district; or
(3) 
Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states 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 that have been certified by either an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior or directly by the Secretary in states without approved programs.
IDENTIFIED FLOODPLAIN DISTRICT
The floodplain area specifically identified in this chapter as being inundated by the base or one-percent-annual-chance flood event (BFE). Included would be districts identified as Floodway (FW), Flood-Fringe (FF) and General Floodplain (FA).
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest enclosed area (including basement) of a structure. An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access or incidental 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 requirements of this chapter.
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 connected to the required utilities. For floodplain management purposes, the term "manufactured home" also includes park trailers, travel trailers, recreational vehicles, and other similar vehicles on a site for greater than 180 consecutive days. For insurance purposes, the term "manufactured home" does not include park trailers, travel trailers, recreational vehicles, and other similar vehicles.
MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
MINOR REPAIR
The replacement of existing work with equivalent materials for the purpose of its routine maintenance and upkeep, but not including the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal of any structural beam or bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exitway requirements; nor shall minor repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement of or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent of similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after March 17, 1980, and includes subsequent improvements thereto.
OBSTRUCTION
Any wall, dam, wharf, embankment, levee, dike, pile abutment, projection, excavation, channel, rectification, culvert, building, fence, stockpile, refuse, fill, structure or matter in, along, across or projecting into any channel, watercourse or flood-prone area which may impede, retard or change the direction of the flow of water either in itself or by catching or collecting debris carried by such water or in places where the flow of the water might carry the same downstream to the damage of life and property.
ONE-PERCENT-ANNUAL-CHANCE FLOOD EVENT (BFE)
A flood that on average is likely to occur 1% of the time within a given year. Otherwise known as a "base flood." This used to be referred to as a "one-hundred-year flood."
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE (for floodplain management ordinance only)
A vehicle which is built on a single chassis, is not greater than 400 square feet at full expansion, is either self-propelled or towable by a light-duty truck, is not designed for use as a permanent dwelling, but is designed for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
REGULATORY FLOOD ELEVATION
The one-percent-annual-chance flood elevation plus a freeboard safety factor of 1 1/2 feet.
SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (SFHA)
An area in the floodplain subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding within any given year. It is shown on the FIRM as Zone A, AO, A1-30, AE, A99, or AH.
SPECIAL PERMIT
A special approval which is required when such development is totally or partially located in a designated portion of a floodplain.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
The date a building permit is issued for any new or modification to a structure, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. "Actual start" means either the first placement of permanent construction of 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. For the purposes of this chapter, construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; the installation of streets and/or walkways; excavation for a basement, footings, piers or foundation or the erection of temporary forms; 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, "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.
SUBDIVISION
The division, combination, or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, partition by a court for distribution to heirs or devisees, transfer of ownership or building or lot development. The leasing of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than 10 acres, not involving any new streets or easement of access, shall be exempted.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage from any cause sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% or more of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market 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. The term does not include 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. This term also does not include any alteration of an historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure.
UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE (UCC)
The statewide building code adopted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1999, as amended, applicable to new construction in all municipalities, whether administered by the municipality, a third party, or the Department of Labor and Industry. Applicable to residential and commercial buildings, the Code adopted the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC), by reference and as amended, as the construction standard applicable with the state floodplain construction.
VIOLATION
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 44 CFR 60.3(b)(5), (c)(4), (c)(10), (d)(3), (e)(2), (e)(4), or (e)(5) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.

§ 108-3 Permit application review; issuance.

A. 
The Codes Administrator is hereby appointed to administer and enforce this chapter and is referred to herein as the "Floodplain Administrator." The Floodplain Administrator may 1) fulfill the duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations, 2) delegate duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations to qualified technical personnel, plan examiners, inspectors, and other employees, or 3) enter into a written agreement or written contract with another agency or private-sector entity to administer specific provisions of these regulations. Administration of any part of these regulations by another entity shall not relieve the community of its responsibilities pursuant to the participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 44 CFR 59.22.
B. 
Prior to the issuance of any building permit, the Floodplain Administrator shall review the application for permit to determine if all other necessary governmental permits required by state and federal laws have been obtained, such as those required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 1966-537, as amended);[1] the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 1978-325, as amended);[2] the United States Clean Water Act, Section 404, 33 U.S.C. § 1334; and the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act (Act 1937-394, as amended).[3] No permit shall be issued until this determination has been made.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 693.1 et seq.
[3]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
C. 
During the construction period, the Floodplain Administrator or other authorized official shall inspect the premises to determine that the work is progressing in compliance with the information provided on the permit application and with all applicable laws and ordinances. That person shall make as many inspections during and upon completion of the work as are necessary.
D. 
In addition to the permit during the construction period, a placard or building permit card shall be displayed on the premises. This card shall show the number of the permit and the date of issuance and be signed by the Floodplain Administrator.
E. 
In the discharge of his/her duties, the Floodplain Administrator shall have the authority to enter any building, structure, premises or development in the identified floodplain area, upon presentation of proper credentials, at any reasonable hour to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
F. 
In the event the Floodplain Administrator discovers that the work does not comply with the permit application or any applicable laws and ordinances, or that there has been a false statement or misrepresentation by any applicant, the Floodplain Administrator shall revoke the permit and report such fact to the Board of Supervisors for whatever action it considers necessary.
G. 
The Floodplain Administrator shall maintain all records associated with the requirements of this chapter, including, but not limited to, permitting, inspection and enforcement.
H. 
The Floodplain Administrator shall consider the requirements of the 34 Pa. Code and the 2009 International Building Code and 2009 International Residential Code or latest revisions thereof. A permit shall be required before any construction or development is undertaken within any area of West Hanover Township.
I. 
Applications for permits shall be accompanied by a fee, payable to West Hanover Township, based upon an estimated cost of the proposed construction as determined by the Floodplain Administrator and as incorporated into the Township's Fee Resolution Schedule.
J. 
After the issuance of a permit by the Floodplain Administrator, no changes of any kind shall be made to the application, permit or any of the plans, specifications or other documents submitted with the application without the written consent or approval of the Floodplain Administrator. Requests for any such change shall be in writing and shall be submitted by the applicant to the Floodplain Administrator for consideration.

§ 108-4 Encroachments, alterations or improvements.

A. 
No encroachments, alteration or improvements of any kind shall be made to any watercourse until all adjacent municipalities which may be affected by such action have been notified by the municipality and until all required permits or approvals have been first obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Dams and Waterway Management.
B. 
No encroachment, alterations or improvements of any kind shall be made to any watercourse unless it can be shown that the activity will not reduce or impede the flood-carrying capacity of the watercourse in any way.
C. 
In addition, the Federal Insurance Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Bureau of Community Planning, shall be notified by the municipality prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.

§ 108-5 Application procedure and requirements.

In addition to the information and documentation ordinarily required for building permits and before the start of construction, applicants shall also include the following specific information along with any application for construction or development within any floodplain district:
A. 
If any proposed construction or development is located entirely or partially within any identified floodplain areas, applicants for building permits shall provide all the necessary information in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the Floodplain Administrator to determine that:
(1) 
All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and conform with the requirements of this chapter and all other applicable codes and ordinances;
(2) 
All utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical, water systems, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities, shall be designed, constructed and/or located so as to minimize or eliminate flood damage; and
(3) 
Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
(4) 
Structures shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
(5) 
Building materials shall be flood-resistant.
(6) 
Appropriate measures that minimize flood damage shall be used.
(7) 
Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air-conditioning equipment, and other service facilities shall be designed and/or located to prevent water entry or accumulation.
B. 
Applicants shall file the following minimum information plus any other pertinent information as may be required by the Floodplain Administrator to make the above determination:
(1) 
A completed building permit application form, containing, but not limited to, the following:
(a) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(b) 
The name and address of the owner of the land on which proposed construction is to occur.
(c) 
The name and address of the contractor.
(d) 
Site location, including address.
(e) 
A listing of other permits required.
(f) 
A brief description of the proposed work and estimated cost, including a breakout of flood-related cost and market value of the building before the flood damage occurred where appropriate.
(g) 
A site plan showing the exact size and location of the proposed construction as well as any existing buildings or structures.
(2) 
A plan of the entire site, clearly and legibly drawn at a scale of one inch being equal to 100 feet or less, showing the following:
(a) 
North arrow, scale and date.
(b) 
Topographic contour lines, if available.
(c) 
All property and lot lines, including dimensions and the size expressed in acres or square feet.
(d) 
The location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, including the location of any existing or proposed subdivision and land development.
(e) 
The location of all existing streets, drives and other accessways.
(f) 
The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, identified floodplain areas and, if available, information pertaining to the floodway, and the flow of water, including directions and velocities.
C. 
Plans of all proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, drawn at suitable scale, showing the following:
(1) 
The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building based upon North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
(2) 
The elevation of the base flood.
(3) 
If available, information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a base flood.
(4) 
Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures.
D. 
The following data and documentation:
(1) 
When any part of a proposed structure or a substantial improvement to an existing structure is to be built below the elevation of the base flood, the applicant must submit a document, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction has been adequately designed to withstand the base flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces associated with the base flood elevation.
(a) 
Such statement shall include a description of the type and extent of floodproofing measures which have been incorporated into the design of the structure and/or the development.
(b) 
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect to show that the cumulative effect of any proposed development within a Special Floodplain Area, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the base flood elevation. [See also § 195-72B(1)(a).]
(2) 
Detailed information needed to determine compliance with § 108-10F, Storage, and § 108-12, Development which may endanger human life, including:
(a) 
The amount, location and purpose of any materials or substances referred to in §§ 108-10F and 108-12 which are intended to be used, produced, stored or otherwise be maintained on site.
(b) 
A description of the safeguards incorporated into the design of the proposed structure to prevent leaks or spills of the dangerous materials or substances listed in § 108-12 during a base flood.
(3) 
The appropriate component of the Department of Environmental Protection's Planning Module for Land Development.
(4) 
Where any excavation or grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection, to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control.
E. 
An applicant for special permits shall provide five copies of the following items:
(1) 
A written request including a completed building permit application form.
(2) 
A small scale map showing the vicinity in which the proposed site is located.
(3) 
A plan of the entire site, clearly and legibly drawn at a scale of one inch being equal to 100 feet or less, showing the following:
(a) 
North arrow, scale and date.
(b) 
Topography based upon the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929, showing existing and proposed contours at intervals of two feet.
(c) 
All property and lot lines, including dimensions, and the size of the site expressed in acres or square feet.
(d) 
The location of all existing streets, drives, other accessways and parking areas, with information concerning widths, pavement types and construction, and elevations.
(e) 
The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, buildings, structures and other public or private facilities, including railroad tracks and facilities, and any other natural and man-made features affecting, or affected by, the proposed activity or development;
(f) 
The location of the floodplain boundary line, information and spot elevations concerning the one-hundred-year-flood elevations, and information concerning the flow of water, including direction and velocities.
(g) 
The location of all proposed buildings, structures, utilities and any other improvements.
(h) 
Any other information which the municipality considers necessary for adequate review of the application.
F. 
Plan of all proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, clearly and legibly drawn at suitable scale, showing the following:
(1) 
Sufficiently detailed architectural or engineering drawings, including floor plans, sections and exterior building elevations, as appropriate.
(2) 
For any proposed building, the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) and, as required, the elevation of any other floor.
(3) 
Complete information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces, and other factors associated with the one-hundred-year flood.
(4) 
Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures.
(5) 
Cross-section drawings for all proposed streets, drives, other accessways and parking areas, showing all rights-of-way and pavement widths.
(6) 
Profile drawings for all proposed streets, drives and vehicular accessways, existing and proposed grades.
(7) 
Plans and profiles of all proposed sanitary and storm sewer systems, water supply systems and any other utilities and facilities.
G. 
The following data and documentation:
(1) 
Certification from the applicant that the site upon which the activity or development is proposed is an existing separate and single parcel, owned by the applicant or the client he represents.
(2) 
Certification from a registered professional engineer, architect or landscape architect that the proposed construction has been adequately designed to protect against damage from the one-hundred-year flood.
(3) 
A statement, certified by a registered professional engineer, architect, landscape architect or other qualified person, which contains a complete and accurate description of the nature and extent of pollution that might possibly occur from the development during the course of a one-hundred-year flood, including a statement concerning the effects such pollution may have on human life.
(4) 
A statement certified by a registered professional engineer, architect or landscape architect which contains a complete and accurate description of the effects proposed development will have on one-hundred-year-flood elevations and flows.
(5) 
A statement certified by a registered professional engineer, architect or landscape architect which contains a complete and accurate description of the kinds and amounts of any loose buoyant materials or debris that may possibly exist or be located on the site below the one-hundred-year-flood elevation and the effect such materials and debris may have on one-hundred-year-flood elevations and flows.
(6) 
The appropriate component of the Department of Environmental Protection's Planning Module for Land Development.
(7) 
Where any excavation or grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control.
(8) 
Any other applicable permits, such as but not limited to a permit for any activity regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection under Section 302 of Act 1978-166.
(9) 
An evacuation plan which fully explains the manner in which the site will be safely evacuated before or during the course of a one-hundred-year flood.
H. 
Time extensions. Time extensions shall be granted only if a written request is submitted by the applicant which sets forth sufficient and reasonable cause for the Floodplain Administrator to approve such a request.

§ 108-6 Review by County Conservation District.

A copy of all applications and plans for any proposed construction or development in any floodplain district to be considered for approval shall be submitted by the Floodplain Administrator to the County Conservation District, or any other agencies and/or individuals, for review and comment prior to the issuance of a permit. The recommendations of the Conservation District shall be considered by the Floodplain Administrator for possible incorporation into the proposed plan.

§ 108-7 General technical provisions.

In order to prevent excessive damage to buildings and structures due to flooding, the following provisions in §§ 108-8 through 108-10 shall apply to all proposed construction or development occurring in any of the floodplain districts identified in Chapter 195, Zoning, as amended.

§ 108-8 Residential structures.

A. 
Within the A, AO, AE, A1-30, and AH Zones, the lowest floor (including basement) of any new construction of, or substantial improvement to, residential structures shall be at least 1 1/2 feet above the base flood elevation.
B. 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), or the most recent revisions thereof, and ASCE 24 and 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401 through 405, as amended) shall be utilized.

§ 108-9 Nonresidential structures.

A. 
Within the A, AO, AE, A1-30, and AH Zones, the lowest floor (including basement) of any new construction of, or substantial improvement to, nonresidential structures shall be at least 1 1/2 feet above the base flood elevation or be designed and constructed so that the space enclosed by such structure shall remain either completely or essentially dry during any flood up to that height, and has structural components with the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.
B. 
Any non-residential structure, or part thereof, made watertight below the regulatory flood elevation shall be floodproofed in accordance with the W1 or W2 space classification standards contained in the publication entitled "Flood-Proofing Regulations" published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (June 1972, as amended March 1992) or with some other equivalent standard. All plans and specifications for such floodproofing shall be accompanied by a statement certified by a registered professional engineer or architect which states that the proposed design and methods of construction are in conformance with the above-referenced standards.
C. 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), or the most recent revisions thereof, and ASCE 24 and 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401 through 405, as amended) shall be utilized.

§ 108-10 General design and construction standards.

The following minimum standards shall apply for all construction and development proposed to be undertaken within any identified floodplain area:
A. 
Fill. If fill is used, it shall:
(1) 
Extend laterally at least 15 feet beyond the building line for all points.
(2) 
Consist of soil or small rock materials only. Sanitary landfills shall not be permitted.
(3) 
Be compacted to provide the necessary permeability and resistance to erosion, scouring, or settling.
(4) 
Be no steeper than one vertical to two horizontal feet unless substantiated data justifying steeper slopes are submitted to and approved by the Floodplain Administrator.
(5) 
Be used to the extent to which it does not adversely affect adjacent properties.
B. 
Drainage. Storm drainage facilities shall be designed to convey the flow of stormwater runoff in a safe and efficient manner. The system shall ensure proper drainage along streets and provide positive drainage away from buildings. The system shall also be designed to prevent the discharge of excess runoff onto adjacent properties.
C. 
Water and sanitary sewer facilities and systems.
(1) 
All new or replacement water and sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be located, designed and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damages and the infiltration of floodwaters.
(2) 
Sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be designed to prevent the discharge of untreated sewage into floodwaters.
(3) 
No part of any on-site sewage system shall be located within any identified floodplain area except in strict compliance with all state and local regulations for such systems. If any such system is permitted, it shall be located so as to avoid impairment to it or contamination from it during a flood.
(4) 
The design and construction provisions of the UCC and FEMA No. 348, Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damages, and the International Private Sewage Disposal Code shall be used.
D. 
Other utilities. All other utilities, such as gas lines, electrical and telephone systems, shall be located, elevated (where possible) and constructed to minimize the chance of impairment during a flood.
E. 
Streets. The finished elevation of all new streets shall be no more than one foot below the regulatory flood elevation.
F. 
Storage. All materials that are buoyant, flammable, explosive or, in times of flooding, could be injurious to human, animal or plant life, and not listed in § 108-12, Development which may endanger human life, shall be stored at or above the regulatory flood elevation and/or floodproofed to the maximum extent possible.
G. 
Placement of buildings and structures. All buildings and structures shall be designed, located and constructed so as to offer the minimum obstruction to the flow of water and shall be designed to have the minimum effect upon the flow and height of floodwater.
H. 
Anchoring.
(1) 
All buildings and structures shall be firmly anchored in accordance with accepted engineering practices to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement.
(2) 
All air ducts, large pipes, storage tanks and other similar objects or components located below the regulatory flood elevation shall be securely anchored or affixed to prevent flotation.
I. 
Floors, walls and ceilings.
(1) 
Wood flooring used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be installed to accommodate a lateral expansion of the flooring, perpendicular to the flooring grain, without causing structural damage to the building.
(2) 
Plywood used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant variety.
(3) 
Walls and ceilings at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be designed and constructed of materials that are water-resistant and will withstand inundation.
(4) 
Windows, doors and other components at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be made of metal or other water-resistant material.
(5) 
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.
(6) 
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. 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; and openings may be equipped with screens, louvers or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters. The term "fully enclosed space" also includes crawl spaces.
J. 
Paints and adhesives.
(1) 
Paints and other finishes used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant quality.
(2) 
Adhesives used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant quality.
(3) 
All wooden components (doors, trim, cabinets, etc.) shall be finished with a marine or water-resistant paint or other finishing material.
K. 
Electrical components.
(1) 
Electrical distribution panels shall be at least three feet above the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(2) 
Separate electrical circuits shall serve lower levels and shall be dropped from above.
L. 
Equipment. Water heaters, furnaces, air-conditioning and ventilating units and other electrical, mechanical or utility equipment or apparatus shall not be located below the regulatory flood elevation.
M. 
Fuel supply systems. All gas and oil systems shall be designed to prevent the infiltration of floodwaters into the system and discharges from the system into the floodwaters. Additional provisions shall be made for the drainage of these systems in the event that floodwater infiltration occurs.
N. 
The standards and specifications contained in 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401 through 405), as amended, and not limited to the following provisions, shall apply to the above and other sections and subsections of this chapter, to the extent that they are more restrictive and/or supplement the requirements of this chapter:
(1) 
International Building Code (IBC) 2009 or the latest edition thereof: Sections 801, 1202, 1403, 1603, 1605, 1612, 3402, and Appendix G.
(2) 
International Residential Building Code (IRC) 2009, or the latest edition thereof: Sections R104, R105, R109, R323, Appendix AE101, Appendix E, and Appendix J.
O. 
Work on the proposed construction and/or development shall begin within 180 days after the date of issuance of the permit and shall be completed within 12 months after the date of issuance of the permit, or the permit shall expire unless a time extension is requested in writing by the developer showing cause and is granted by the Floodplain Administrator. Construction and/or development shall be considered to have started with the preparation of land, land clearing, grading, filling, excavation of basement, footings, piers, or foundations, erection of temporary forms, the installation of piling under proposed subsurface footings, or the installation of sewer, gas and water pipes, or electrical or other service lines from the street.

§ 108-11 Special provisions for certain development within floodplain districts.

In addition to the provisions of §§ 108-7 through 108-10, technical provisions, and all other applicable provisions of this chapter, the following special provisions in §§ 108-12 through 108-15 shall apply to certain kinds of proposed construction and development occurring in any of the floodplain districts identified in Chapter 195, Zoning, as amended.

§ 108-12 Development which may endanger human life.

A. 
List of dangerous materials; prohibited structures.
(1) 
In accordance with the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act,[1] and the regulations adopted by the Department of Community and Economic Development as required by the Act, any new or substantially improved structure which will be used for the production or storage of any of the following dangerous materials or substances; or will be used for any activity requiring the maintenance of a supply of more than 550 gallons, or other comparable volume, of any of the following dangerous materials or substances on the premises; or will involve the production, storage, or use of any amount of radioactive substances shall be subject to the provisions of this section, in addition to all other applicable provisions. The following is a list of materials and substances that are considered dangerous to human life:
Acetone
Ammonia
Benzene
Calcium carbide
Carbon disulfide
Celluloid
Chlorine
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrocyanic acid
Magnesium
Nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen
Petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oil, etc.)
Phosphorus
Potassium
Sodium
Sulphur and sulphur products
Pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides)
Radioactive substances, insofar as such substances are not otherwise regulated.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq.
(2) 
Within any Floodway Area, any structure of the kind described in Subsection A, above, shall be prohibited.
B. 
Where permitted within any identified floodplain area, any new or substantially improved residential structure of the kind described in § 108-12A above shall be elevated to remain completely dry up to at least 1 1/2 feet above base flood elevation.
C. 
Where permitted within any identified floodplain area, any new or substantially improved nonresidential structure of the kind described in § 108-12A above shall be:
(1) 
Elevated or designed and constructed to remain completely dry up to at least 1 1/2 feet above base flood elevation; and
(2) 
Designed to prevent pollution from the structure or activity during the course of a base flood.
Any such structure, or part thereof, that will be built below the regulatory flood elevation shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the standards for completely dry floodproofing contained in the publication "Flood-Proofing Regulations" (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, June 1972, as amended March 1992), or with some other equivalent watertight standard.

§ 108-13 (Reserved)

§ 108-14 Special requirements for manufactured homes.

A. 
Within any Floodway Area (FW), manufactured homes shall be prohibited.
B. 
Within any Approximate Floodplain or Special Floodplain Area, manufactured homes shall be prohibited within the area measured 50 feet from the edge of the Approximate or Special Floodplain Area.
C. 
Where permitted within any identified floodplain area, all manufactured homes, and any improvements thereto, shall be:
(1) 
Placed on a permanent foundation.
(2) 
Elevated so that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at least 1 1/2 feet above base flood elevation.
(3) 
Anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
D. 
Installation of manufactured homes shall be done in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions as provided by the manufacturer. Where the applicant cannot provide the above information, the requirements of Appendix E of the 2009 International Residential Building Code or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's "Permanent Foundations for Manufactured Housing," 1984 Edition, draft or latest revision thereto, and 34 Pa. Code Chapters 401 through 405 shall apply.
E. 
Consideration shall be given to the installation requirements of the 2009 International Building Code and the 2009 International Residential Code or the most recent revisions thereto and 34 Pa. Code, as amended where appropriate and/or applicable to units where the manufacturer's standards for anchoring cannot be provided or were not established for the proposed unit's (units') installation.

§ 108-15 Existing structures in floodplain districts.

Structures existing in any floodplain district prior to the enactment of this chapter, but which are not in compliance with these provisions, any continue to remain, subject to the following:
A. 
Existing structures located in any Floodway District shall not be expanded or enlarged, unless the effect of the proposed expansion or enlargement on flood heights is fully offset by accompanying streams improvements.
B. 
Any modification, alteration, reconstruction or improvement of any kind to an existing structure, to an extent or amount of 50% or more of its market value, shall constitute a substantial improvement and shall be undertaken only in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Any modification, alteration, reconstruction or improvement of any kind to an existing structure, to an extent or amount less than 50% of its market value, shall be elevated and/or floodproofed to the greatest extent possible.

§ 108-16 Variances.

A. 
General. If compliance with any of the requirements of this chapter would result in an exceptional hardship for the prospective builder, developer, or landowner, the Township may, upon request, grant relief from the strict application of the requirements.
B. 
Variance procedures and requirements. Requests for variances shall be considered by the Township in accordance with § 195-199 and the following:
(1) 
No variance shall be granted for any construction, development, use or activity within any Floodway Area that would cause any increase in the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(2) 
Except for a possible modification of the freeboard requirements involved, no variance shall be granted for any of the other requirements pertaining specifically to development regulated by special permit (§ 108-13) or to development which may endanger human life (§ 108-12).
(3) 
If granted, a variance shall involve only the least modification necessary to provide relief.
(4) 
In granting any variance, the Township shall attach reasonable conditions and safeguards it considers necessary in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare and to achieve the objectives of this chapter.
(5) 
Whenever a variance is granted, the Township shall notify the applicant, in writing, that:
(a) 
The granting of the variance may result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.
(b) 
Such variances may increase the risks to life and property.
(6) 
In reviewing any request for a variance, the Township shall consider but not be limited to the following:
(a) 
That there is good and sufficient cause.
(b) 
That failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant.
(c) 
That the granting of the variance would not result in an unacceptable or prohibited increase in flood heights, additional threats to public safety, or extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public or conflict with any other applicable local or state ordinance and regulations.
(7) 
A complete record of all variance requests and related actions shall be maintained by the Township. In addition, a report shall be included in the annual report to the Federal Insurance Administration.
C. 
Notwithstanding any of the above, however, all structures shall be designed and constructed so as to have the capability of resisting the one-hundred-year flood.

§ 108-17 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Notice. Whenever the Floodplain Administrator determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter or of any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the Floodplain Administrator shall give notice of such alleged violation as hereinafter provided. Such notices shall:
(1) 
Be in writing.
(2) 
Include the specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of the chapter.
(3) 
Allow a reasonable time not to exceed a period of 30 days for the performance of any act it requires.
(4) 
Be served upon the property owner or his agent as the case may require; provided, however, that such notice or order shall be deemed to have been properly served upon such owner or agent when a copy thereof has been served with such notice by any method authorized or required by the laws of this commonwealth.
(5) 
Contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(6) 
Include the name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the municipality intends to take action.
(7) 
Include the location of the violation.
(8) 
Include the date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
(9) 
Include that the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the municipal Board of Supervisors within a prescribed period of time in accordance with procedures set forth in the chapter and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(10) 
Include that the failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by an appeal to the Municipal Board of Supervisors, constitutes a violation with sanctions clearly defined.
B. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Any person who fails to comply with any or all of the requirements or provisions of this chapter or who fails or refuses to comply with any notice, order or direction of the Floodplain Administrator shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall pay a fine to West Hanover Township of not more than $500 plus costs of prosecution.
(2) 
In addition to the above penalties, all other actions are hereby reserved, including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of the chapter. The imposition of a fine or penalty for any violation of, or noncompliance with, this chapter shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance, or permit it to continue, and all such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violation and noncompliance within a reasonable time. Any development initiated or any structure or building constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered, or relocated in noncompliance with this chapter may be declared by the Board of Supervisors to be a public nuisance and abatable as such.
C. 
Appeals.
(1) 
Any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the Floodplain Administrator concerning the administration of the provisions of this chapter may appeal to the West Hanover Township Board of Supervisors. Such appeal must be filed in writing, within 30 days after the decision, determination or action of the Floodplain Administrator.
(2) 
Upon receipt of such appeal, the West Hanover Township Board of Supervisors shall set a time and place, within no less than 10 and not more than 30 days, for the purpose of considering the appeal. Notice of the time and place at which the appeal will be considered shall be given to all parties.
(3) 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of West Hanover Township may seek relief by appeal to court, as provided by the laws of the commonwealth, including the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq.

§ 108-18 Severability.

If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such a decision shall not affect the remaining portions of the chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect, and for this purpose the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.

§ 108-19 Warning and disclaimer of liability.

A. 
The degree of flood protection sought by the provisions of this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on acceptable engineering methods of study. Larger floods may occur or flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes, such as ice jams and bridge openings restricted by debris. This chapter does not imply that areas outside any identified floodplain areas or that land uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages.
B. 
This chapter shall not create liability on the part of West Hanover Township or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.