Town of Pittsford, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 95-1 Findings; purpose.

It is determined that damages from flooding and erosion may be a problem to the residents of the Town of Pittsford and that such damages may include destruction or loss of private and public housing, damage to public facilities, both publicly and privately owned, and injury to and loss of human life. In order to minimize the threat of such damages and to achieve the purposes and objectives hereinafter set forth, this chapter is adopted.
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:
Regulate 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 or flood damages.
Regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands.
Qualify for and maintain participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

§ 95-2 Objectives.

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 areas of special flood hazard.
Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood-blight areas.
Provide that developers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard.
Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.

§ 95-3 Word usage and definitions.

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:
A designated AO, AH or VO Zone on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) with a one-percent or greater annual chance of flooding to an average annual depth of one to three feet, where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.
The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. This area may be designated as Zone A, AE, AH, AO, A1-A30, A99, V, VO, VE or V1-V30. It is also commonly referred to as the "base floodplain" or "one-hundred-year floodplain." For purposes of this chapter, the term “special flood hazard area (SFHA)” is synonymous in meaning with the phrase “area of special flood hazard.”
The flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
That portion of a building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
See "structure."
Has the same meaning as "basement."
An enclosed area beneath the lowest elevated floor, 18 inches or more in height, which is used to service the underside of the lowest floor.
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.
A nonbasement building:
Built, in the case of a building in Zones A1-A30, AE, A, A99, AO, AH, B, C, X or D, to have the top of the elevated floor or, in the case of a building in Zones V1-V30, VE or V, to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structure member of the elevated floor elevated above the ground level by means of pilings, columns (posts and piers) or shear walls parallel to the flow of the water; and
Adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood of up to the magnitude of the base flood.
In the case of Zones A1-A30, AE, A, A99, AO, AH, B, C, X or D, "elevated building" also includes a building elevated by means of fill or solid foundation perimeter walls with openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded movement of floodwaters.
In the case of Zones V1-V30, VE or V, "elevated building" also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building," even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway walls that meet the federal standards.
The federal agency that administers the National Flood Insurance Program.
An official map of the community published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of a riverine community's Flood Insurance Study. The FBFM delineates a regulatory floodway along watercourses studied in detail in the Flood Insurance Study.
An examination, evaluation and determination of the flood hazards and, if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations or an examination, evaluation and determination of flood-related erosion hazards.
An official map of a community issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency where the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard have been designated as Zone A but no flood elevations are provided.
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.
See "flood elevation study."
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
"Flood" or "flooding" also means the collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusually high water level in a natural body of water accompanied by a severe storm or by an unanticipated force of nature, such as a flash flood or an abnormal tidal surge, or by some similarly unusual and unforeseeable event which results in flooding as defined in Subsection (1)(a) above.
Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source. (See "flooding.")
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.
See "regulatory floodway."
A use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water, such as a docking or port facility necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, shipbuilding and ship repair facilities. The term does not include long-term storage, manufacturing, sales or service facilities.
The highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, next to the proposed walls of a structure.
Any structure that is:
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;
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;
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
Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either by an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior or directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.
The person appointed by § 95-13 of this chapter to administer and implement the provisions and requirements of this chapter.
Lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement or cellar). 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," provided that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable nonelevation design requirements of this chapter.
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 does not include a recreational vehicle.
A parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
For purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929, the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88), or other datum to which base flood elevations shown on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map are referenced.
See "manufactured home."
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by the community, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structure.
See "base flood."
At least 51% of the actual cash value of the structure, excluding land value, is above ground.
A vehicle which is:
Built on a single chassis;
Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projections;
Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck; and
Not designed primarily for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use.
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in a Flood Insurance Study or by other agencies as provided in § 95-16 of this chapter.
The date of permit issuance for new construction and substantial improvements to existing structures, provided that actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition placement, or other improvement is within 180 days after the date of issuance. The actual start of construction means the first placement of permanent construction of a building (including a manufactured home) on a site, such as the pouring of a slab or footings, installation of pilings or construction of columns. Permanent construction does not include land preparation (such as clearing, excavation, grading, or filling), or the installation of streets or walkways, or excavation for a basement, footings, piers or foundations, or the erection of temporary forms, or the installation of accessory buildings such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main building. 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, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
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.
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. The term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:
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; or
Any alteration of an historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure.
The Town of Pittsford.
A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction or use in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.

§ 95-4 Applicability.

This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the Town.

§ 95-5 Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard.

[Amended 3-1-2011 by L.L. No. 2-2011]
The areas of special flood hazard for the Town of Pittsford, Community Number 360429, are identified and defined on the following documents prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
Flood Insurance Rate Map Panel Numbers 36055C0354G, 36055C0356G, 36055C0357G, 36055C0358G, 36055C0359G, 36055C0362G, 36055C0366G, 36055C0367G, 36055C0376G, 36055C0378G, and 36055C0386G, the effective date of which is August 28, 2008, and any subsequent revisions to these map panels that do not affect areas under our community's jurisdiction.
A scientific and engineering report entitled "Flood Insurance Study, Monroe County, New York, All Jurisdictions," dated August 28, 2008.
Letter of Map Revision, Case Number 11-02-0382P, effective May 24, 2011, amending Panel 36055C0358G of the Flood Insurance Rate Map, and Flood Insurance Study Table 9 and Profile 263P.
The above documents are hereby adopted and declared to be a part of this chapter. The Flood Insurance Study and/or maps are on file at the Town's Department of Public Works.

§ 95-6 Interpretation and conflict with other laws.

This chapter includes all revisions to the National Flood Insurance Program through October 27, 1997, and shall supersede all previous laws adopted for the purpose of flood damage prevention.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimum requirements, adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety and welfare. Whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations or ordinances, the most restrictive or that imposing the highest standards shall govern.

§ 95-7 Severability.

The invalidity of any section or provision of this chapter shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof.

§ 95-8 Penalties for offenses.

No structure in an area of special flood hazard shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted or altered and no land shall be excavated or filled without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and any other applicable regulations. Any infraction of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements, including infractions of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions of the permit, shall constitute a violation. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined no more than $250 or imprisoned for not more than 15 days, or both. Each day of noncompliance shall be considered a separate offense. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town of Pittsford from taking such other lawful action as necessary to prevent or remedy an infraction. Any structure found not compliant with the requirements of this chapter for which the developer and/or owner has not applied for and received an approved variance under Article V of this chapter will be declared noncompliant and notification sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

§ 95-9 Warning and disclaimer of liability.

The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes. This chapter does not imply 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 Pittsford, any officer or employee thereof or the Federal Emergency Management Agency for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.