Borough of Old Forge, PA
Lackawanna County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The purpose of the regulations set forth in this article is to monitor the subdivision and/or development of floodplain areas in order to promote and protect the general health, welfare and safety of the community; to require that each subdivision lot in floodplain areas shall be provided with a safe building site with adequate access; to ensure that public facilities which serve such lots or development shall be designed and installed to preclude flood damage; and to protect individuals from purchasing lands which are unsuitable for development because of floodplain lands.
B. 
The subsequent sections shall be considered requirements supplemental to those procedures and standards specified elsewhere in this chapter, Chapter 350, Zoning, Chapter 175, Floodplain Management, and any other applicable ordinances and codes.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
A structure which has a roof supported by columns, piers or walls, which is intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals or chattel or which is to house a use of a commercial or manufacturing activity.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings, mobile homes or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations.
A. 
A relatively flat or low area adjoining a river, stream or watercourse which is subject to partial or complete inundation by water.
B. 
An area subject to the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface water from any source.
FLOODWAY
That portion of the one-hundred-year floodplain, including the channel of a river or other watercourse and adjacent land areas which are required to carry and discharge the one-hundred-year flood, where the activities permitted elsewhere in the floodplain district will not cumulatively increase the water surface elevation more than one foot at any given point. Detailed studies of the regulatory flood by the Federal Insurance Administrator provide specific flood profiles and allow for the delineation of floodway and flood-fringe areas within the bounds of the floodplain. For those areas where no floodway has been identified by the Flood Insurance Study, the floodway may be identified by other available studies or sources of information provided by a registered professional engineer.
REGULATORY FLOOD
The flood which has been selected to serve as the basis upon which the floodplain management provisions of this chapter and other ordinances have been prepared and, for the purpose of this chapter, shall be the one-hundred-year flood, as defined by the Federal Insurance Administrator.
REGULATORY FLOOD ELEVATION
The one-hundred-year-flood elevation based upon the information contained in the Official Flood Insurance Study.
STRUCTURE
A man-made object usually assembled of interdependent parts or components which is designed to have a more or less fixed location, whether or not permanently attached at that location.
The following procedures shall be required in addition to those specified otherwise in these regulations:
A. 
Preapplication procedures (floodplain).
(1) 
It is suggested that prospective developers consult the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection concerning soil suitability when on-site sewage disposal facilities are proposed.
(2) 
Prospective developers shall consult the County Conservation District representative concerning erosion and sediment control and the probable effect of geologic conditions on the proposed development. Concurrently, a determination should be made as to whether or not any flood hazards either exist or will be created as a result of the proposed subdivision or development.
B. 
Preliminary plan requirements (floodplain). The following information shall be required as part of the preliminary plan when a subdivision is in a floodplain area and shall be prepared by a registered surveyor:
(1) 
A map illustrating the location of the proposed subdivision or land development with respect to the municipality's floodplain areas, including information on, but not limited to, regulatory flood elevations, boundaries of floodplain areas, proposed lots and sites, fill and flood- or erosion-protective facilities.
(2) 
Where the subdivision or land development lies partially or completely in the floodplain area or where the subdivision borders on the floodplain area, the preliminary plan map shall include detailed information giving the location and elevation of proposed roads, public utilities and building lots. All such maps shall also show contours at intervals of two feet and identify accurately the boundaries of the floodplain area.
C. 
Final plan requirements (floodplain). The following information shall be required as part of the final plan and shall be prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor:
(1) 
All information required for submission of the preliminary plan, plus any changes required by the municipality.
(2) 
A map showing the exact location and elevation of all proposed buildings, structures, roads and public utilities to be constructed in floodplain areas. All such maps shall show contours at intervals of two feet and identify accurately the boundaries of the floodplain area.
All subdivisions and land developments approved within any area of the Borough susceptible to flooding shall be subject to the following, in addition to Article V and all other applicable provisions of this chapter:
A. 
General.
(1) 
One-hundred-year-flood frequency areas. No residential subdivision or land development shall be effected within any area subject to a one-hundred-year-flood frequency and, in the case of all other development, except such permitted under Subsection A(2) hereunder, no structure intended for human occupancy or storage of chattel shall be erected unless the first floor or any opening below the first floor is constructed at an elevation of at least one foot above the elevation of the one-hundred-year flood, subject to the limitations of Subsection A(2) and the provisions of Subsection A(3) hereunder.
(2) 
Fifty-year-flood-frequency areas. No subdivision or land development shall be effected within any area subject to a fifty-year-flood frequency except for agricultural, public recreational and private nonprofit recreational uses, including seasonal residential development, provided that such shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection A(3) hereunder.
(3) 
Resistance to damage. Where not prohibited by this or any other laws or ordinances, land located in floodplain areas may be platted for development with the provision that the developer construct all buildings, structures and mechanical equipment to preclude flood damage in accordance with this and any other laws and ordinances regulating such development.
(4) 
Application of Chapter 350, Zoning, and Chapter 175, Floodplain Management. Building sites for residences or any other type of dwellings or accommodations and building sites for structures or buildings other than residential uses shall be permitted in the floodplain only when in compliance with Chapter 350, Zoning, and Chapter 175, Floodplain Management, and any other applicable regulations.
(5) 
Partial site development approval. If the municipality determines that only a part of a proposed plat can be safely developed, it shall limit development to that part and shall require that development proceed consistent with this determination.
(6) 
Deed restrictions. When a developer does not intend to develop the plat himself and the municipality 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.
(7) 
Lot restrictions. Lots which are within the floodplain shall be subject to the following:
(a) 
Any lots created or revised shall have not more than 50% of their area within the floodplain, except that large lots may be exempted, provided that a minimum one-acre area of said lot is outside the floodplain.
(b) 
Lot access to a public road shall not be restricted or prevented by floodplain areas.
(8) 
Structural anchoring. All structures shall be firmly anchored to prevent such from floating away and thus threatening life or property downstream or further restricting bridge openings and other restricted sections of the waterway.
(9) 
Structural effect. All structures 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 a minimum effect upon the flow and height of floodwater.
(10) 
Obstructions. The following shall not be placed or caused to be placed at any elevation less than one foot above the one-hundred-year-flood-frequency level: 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 of floodwaters would carry the same downstream to the damage or detriment of either public or private property adjacent to and/or within the floodplain.
(11) 
Storage of materials. No materials that are buoyant, flammable, explosive or, in times of flooding, could be injurious to human, animal or plant life shall be stored below an elevation of one foot above the elevation of the one-hundred-year-flood-frequency level.
B. 
Excavation and grading. Where any excavation or grading is proposed or where any existing trees, shrubs or other vegetative cover will be removed, the developer shall consult the County Conservation District representative concerning plans for erosion and sediment control and also to obtain a report on the soil characteristics of the site so that determination can be made as to the type and degree of development the site may accommodate.
C. 
Drainage facilities.
(1) 
Storm drainage facilities shall be designed to convey the flow of surface water without damage to persons or property. The system shall ensure drainage at all points along streets and provide positive drainage away from buildings and on-site disposal sites.
(2) 
Plans shall be subject to the approval of the municipality. The municipality may also require a primarily underground system to accommodate frequent minor floods and a secondary surface system to accommodate larger, less frequent floods. Drainage plans shall be designed to prevent the discharge of excess runoff onto adjacent properties.
D. 
Streets. The finished excavation of proposed streets shall be no more than two feet below the regulatory flood elevation. The municipality may require, where necessary, profiles and elevations of streets to determine compliance with this requirement. Drainage openings shall be sufficient to discharge flood flows without unduly increasing flood heights.
E. 
Sewer facilities. All sanitary sewer systems located in floodplain areas, whether public or private, shall be floodproofed to a point two feet above the regulatory flood elevation.
(1) 
The municipality may 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. The municipality may require that the developer note on the face of the plat and in any deed of conveyance that soil absorption fields are prohibited in designated areas.
(2) 
The municipality may prescribe adequate methods for waste disposal. If a sanitary sewer system is located on or within 1,000 feet of the proposed subdivision and/or land development, the municipality shall require the developer to provide sewage facilities to connect to this system, where practical, and shall prescribe the procedures to be followed by the developer in connecting to the system.
F. 
Water facilities. All water systems located in floodplain areas, whether public or private, shall be floodproofed to a point two feet above the regulatory 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, where practical, and shall prescribe the procedures to be followed by the developer in connecting to the system.
G. 
Other public and/or private utilities and facilities. All other public and/or private utilities and facilities shall be elevated or floodproofed to a point two feet above the regulatory flood elevation.
H. 
Recommendations of an architect or engineer. Plans of buildings and structures within this area shall incorporate the recommendations of a registered architect or certified engineer to provide for protection against predictable hazard.
I. 
Conflicts. All subdivisions within areas susceptible to flooding shall comply with existing zoning regulations for the municipality and with all state and federal requirements, as amended from time to time. Should any conflicts develop among these regulations and the state and/or federal regulations, the strictest provisions shall apply.
No final plat shall be approved by the municipality until the improvements required by this chapter are completed in a satisfactory manner and approved by the municipality. In lieu of such construction, approval may be granted prior to completion, provided that:
A. 
Developer's agreement: The developer enters into an agreement with the local municipality guaranteeing that improvements will be installed in accordance with the plans, specifications and schedules approved by the municipality prior to plat approval. This agreement shall also guarantee that no lot will be sold or building constructed in any floodplain area prior to completion of all protective works or measures planned for such lot and necessary access to facilities; and
B. 
Developer's bond: The developer provides a fiscal surety to guarantee performance of this agreement and completion of the improvements as planned. The surety may include a certified check, escrow account, irrevocable letter of credit or other bond acceptable to the municipality. The procedural requirements of § 305-33 of this chapter shall apply to any such bonding proposal.
The grant of a permit or approval of a subdivision and/or land development plan in the identified floodplain area 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.