A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 197-7. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Construction Official and may include, but not be limited to: plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions, and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities; and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:
Elevation in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures;
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed;
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in § 197-17B; and
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
The Construction Official is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
Duties of the Construction Official shall include, but not be limited to:
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
Review all development permits to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required.
Use of other base flood and floodway data. When base flood elevation and floodway data has not been provided in accordance with § 197-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, the Construction Official 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 § 197-17, Subsection A, Specific standards, residential construction, and Subsection B, Specific standards, nonresidential construction.
Information to be obtained and maintained.
Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement.
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
Alteration of watercourses.
Notify adjacent communities and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Dam Safety and Flood Control Section and the Land Use Regulation Program prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so the flood carrying capacity is not diminished.
Interpretation of DFIRM boundaries. Make interpretations where needed, as to the exact location of the 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 person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in § 197-15.
The Planning Board as established by the Borough of Highland Park shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
The Planning Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the Construction Official in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
Those aggrieved by the decision of the Planning Board, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the Superior Court, as provided in Court Rule 4:69.
In passing upon such applications, the Planning Board shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors and 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 to 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 to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use that are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
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 of 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 in Subsection A(4) and the purposes of this chapter, the Planning Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
The Construction Official shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
Conditions for variances.
Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of 1/2 acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, provided Subsection A(4)(a) through (k) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the 1/2 acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
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 to the applicant; and
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in Subsection A(4), or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.