Municipality of Murrysville, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The specific purposes of these provisions are to:
A. 
Regulate the subdivision and/or development of land within any designated floodplain district in order to promote the general health, welfare and safety of the community.
B. 
Require that each subdivision lot in flood-prone areas be provided with a safe building site with adequate access and that public facilities which serve such uses be designed and installed to preclude flooding at the time of initial construction.
C. 
Protect individuals from buying lands which are unsuitable for use because of flooding by prohibiting the improper subdivision and/or development of unprotected lands within the designated floodplain districts.
This article supersedes any ordinances currently in effect in flood areas. However, any other applicable ordinances shall remain in full force and effect to the extent that those provisions are more restrictive.
The grant of a permit or approval of a plan for any proposed subdivision and/or land development to be located within any designated floodplain district shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by the Municipality or by any official or employee thereof of the practicability or safety of the proposed use and shall create no liability upon the Municipality, its officials or employees.
A. 
Preliminary plan requirements. The following information shall be required as part of the preliminary plan and shall be prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor:
(1) 
The name of engineer, surveyor or other qualified person responsible for providing the information required in this section.
(2) 
A location map showing the proposed subdivision and/or land development with respect to any designated floodplain district, including information on the one-hundred-year flood elevations.
(3) 
Map.
(a) 
Where the subdivision and/or land development lies partially or completely within any designated floodplain district or where such activities border on any designated floodplain district, the preliminary plan map shall include the following information:
[1] 
The location and elevation of proposed roads, utilities and building sites, fills and flood- or erosion-protection facilities.
[2] 
The one-hundred-year flood elevations.
[3] 
Areas subject to special deed or covenant restrictions.
(b) 
All such maps shall show contours at vertical intervals of two feet if the general slope of the site is less than 10%, and at intervals of five feet if the general slope is greater than 10%. (Note: Final plans must have two-foot contour intervals within floodplains.) One-foot contours or spot elevations may be required by the Municipal Engineer in special circumstances where the stated contours do not provide sufficient data.
B. 
Final plan requirements.
(1) 
Prior to the approval of an application, the applicant shall obtain all necessary governmental permits required by state and federal laws, such as those required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537 of 1966, as amended);[1] the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 327 of 1978, as amended);[2] the United States Clean Water Act, Section 404, 33 U.S.C. 1334; and the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act (Act 394 of 1937, 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.
(2) 
No encroachment, alteration or improvement 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 Resources, Bureau of Dams and Waterway Management. In addition, the Federal Insurance Administrator and Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs, Bureau of Community Planning, shall be notified by the Municipality prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.
(3) 
The following information shall be required as part of the final plan and shall be prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor:
(a) 
All information required for the submission of the preliminary plan, incorporating any changes requested by the Planning Commission and/or Council.
(b) 
A map showing the exact location and elevation of all proposed buildings, structures, roads and public utilities to be constructed within any designated floodplain district. All such maps shall show contours at intervals of two feet within the floodplain and identify accurately the boundaries of the flood-prone areas.
(c) 
The proposed lowest floor elevations of any proposed buildings, based on the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929.
(d) 
Complete information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a one-hundred-year flood.
(e) 
Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures.
(f) 
A document, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction has been designed to withstand the one-hundred-year flood elevations, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other hydrostatic, hydrodynamic and buoyancy factors associated with the one-hundred-year flood. 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.
(g) 
Detailed information on storage of materials in the floodplain districts, including:
[1] 
The type, amount, location and purpose of any materials or substances which are intended to be used, produced, stored or otherwise maintained on site.
[2] 
A description of safeguards incorporated into the design of the proposed storage facilities to prevent leakage or spilling of dangerous materials or substances during a one-hundred-year flood.
A. 
Deed restrictions. When a developer does not intend to develop the plat himself and the Council determines that additional controls are required to ensure safe development, it may require the developer to impose appropriate deed restrictions on the land. Such deed restrictions shall be inserted in every deed and noted on every recorded plat.
B. 
Elevation and floodproofing requirements
(1) 
Within any floodplain district, all new structures shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to at least one foot above the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(2) 
Within any floodplain district, all substantial improvements to residential structures shall be elevated to at least one foot above the one-hundred-year flood elevation, and substantial improvements to nonresidential structures shall be elevated or floodproofed to such height. Any substantial improvement to a nonresidential structure which is not adequately elevated shall be floodproofed in a completely or essentially dry manner in accordance with the W1 or W2 space classification standards contained in the publication entitled "Floodproofing Regulations," published by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (June 1972) 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.
(3) 
Enclosures below the lowest floor are prohibited.
(4) 
A record of all lowest floor and floodproofing elevations shall be maintained by the Planning Department.
C. 
Grading.
(1) 
Fills shall extend laterally at least 15 feet beyond the building line from all points, without extending into the floodway.
(2) 
Grading shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 124, Grading, Excavations and Filling, and any other special provisions which may be required by the Municipal Engineer to provide adequate protection during the one-hundred-year flood condition.
(3) 
Grading shall not adversely affect adjacent properties.
D. 
Streets. The finished elevation of proposed streets shall not be more than one foot below the one-hundred-year flood elevation. Drainage openings shall be sufficient to discharge flood flows without unduly increasing flood heights.
E. 
Sanitary sewer facilities.
(1) 
All sanitary sewer systems located in any designated floodplain district, whether public or private, shall be floodproofed up to the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(2) 
The Municipality shall prohibit installation of sewage disposal facilities requiring soil absorption systems where such systems will not function due to high groundwater, flooding or unsuitable soil characteristics or are proposed for location in designated floodplain districts. The developer is required to note on the face of the plat and in any deed of conveyance that soil absorption fields are prohibited in designated floodplain districts.
(3) 
The Municipality may prescribe adequate methods for waste disposal. If a sanitary sewer system is located on or near the proposed subdivision and/or land development, the developer is required to provide sewage facilities to connect to this system where practical and the Municipality shall prescribe the procedures to be followed by the developer in connecting to the system.
(4) 
Sanitary sewer systems and facilities shall be designed to prevent discharge of untreated sewage into floodwaters.
F. 
Water facilities. All water systems located in any designated floodplain districts, whether public or private, shall be floodproofed up to the one-hundred-year flood elevation. If there is an existing public water supply system on or near the subdivision, the Municipality shall require the developer to connect to this system.
G. 
Drainage facilities. All storm drainage facilities shall be designed to convey the flow of surface waters without damage to persons or property. The system shall ensure drainage away from buildings and on-site waste disposal sites. The Municipal Council may require a primarily underground system to accommodate frequent floods and a secondary surface system to accommodate larger, less frequent floods. Drainage plans shall be consistent with local and regional drainage plans. The facilities shall be designed to prevent the discharge of excess runoff onto adjacent properties.
H. 
Utilities and other facilities. All utilities, such as gas lines and electrical and telephone systems, being placed in flood-prone areas should be located, elevated (where possible) and constructed to minimize the chance of impairment during flooding occurrence.
I. 
Storage of materials. All materials which are buoyant, flammable or explosive or which could be injurious to humans, animals or plant life in times of flooding shall be stored at least one foot above the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
J. 
Structural anchoring. Any structure permitted shall be firmly anchored to prevent the structure from flotation, collapse or lateral movement and thus threaten life or property downstream or to further restrict bridge openings and other restricted sections of the creek.
K. 
Structural effect. Any structures permitted shall be constructed and placed on the lot so as to offer the minimum obstruction to the flow of water and shall be designed to have minimum effect upon the flow and height of floodwater.
L. 
Obstructions. The following shall not be placed or caused to be placed in the flood hazard area: fences, except two-wire fences, and other structures or other matter which may impede, retard or change the direction of the flow of water or that will catch or collect debris carried by such water or that is placed where the natural flow of the stream or floodwaters would carry the same downstream to the damage or detriment of either public or private property adjacent to the floodplain.