[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Meriden 8-2-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 77.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 180.
Zoning — See Ch. 213.
Authority to adopt regulations — See C.G.S. § 7-194.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 110, Floodplain Management, adopted 9-20-1982.
The Legislature of the State of Connecticut has, in § 7-194 of its General Statutes, as amended, delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry.
The flood hazard areas of the City of Meriden are subject to periodic inundation which may result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety and general welfare.
These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazard which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss.
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the public health, safety and general welfare within the City and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in the floodway and flood-fringe areas in the City and to protect the aquifer within said areas by provisions designed to:
Protect human life and health;
Minimize expenditures 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 hazards;
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;
Ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and
Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.
In order to accomplish its purposes, this chapter includes methods and provisions for:
Restricting or prohibiting uses which are dangerous to health, safety, and property due to water and erosion hazards, or which result in damaging increases in erosion or in flood heights or velocities;
Requiring that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;
Controlling the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel floodwaters;
Controlling filling, grading, dredging, and other development which may increase flood damage;
Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas;
Protecting the aquifer for use as a public water supply, by limiting the amount of impervious surface within the floodplain area, and reducing the effect of de-icing salts, chemicals and other pollutants.
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
- ACCESSORY USE OR STRUCTURE
- A use or structure on the same lot with, and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to, the principal use or structure.
- The City Engineer of the City of Meriden or his designated representative.
- A request for a review of the administrator's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
- The owner or authorized agent of the owner of land partially or wholly in an area of special flood hazard and on which land development is proposed. His/her name shall appear on the development permit application and will be responsible for assuring that the provisions of this chapter are met and that any stipulations or conditions placed at the time of approval are adhered to.
- An underground stratum of earth, gravel or porous stone that contains water.
- AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
- The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
- BASE FLOOD
- 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.
- BREAKAWAY WALL
- A wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or the supporting foundation system.
- Any structure built for support, shelter, or enclosure for any occupancy or storage.
- DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE
- A person designated, in writing, by the Flood Control Implementation Agency to enforce the terms and provisions of this chapter.
- Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations located within areas of special flood hazard.
- DEVELOPMENT PERMIT
- The formal granting of permission to an applicant for land development in areas of special flood hazard, including permitted uses, regulated uses and special exceptions as herein described and specified.
- ELEVATED BUILDING
- A nonbasement building built to have the lowest floor elevated above the ground level by means of fill, solid foundation perimeter walls, pilings, columns (posts and piers), shear walls, or breakaway walls.
- FLOOD or FLOODING
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
- FLOOD BOUNDARY AND FLOODWAY MAP
- The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated the areas of special flood hazard applicable to the community.
- FLOOD FRINGE AREA
- The area outside of the floodway and within the limits of the base flood.
- FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
- The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
- FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY
- The official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration that includes flood profiles, the flood boundary - floodway map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
- 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 or sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.
- 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.
- The top surface of an enclosed area in a building (including basement), i.e., top of slab in concrete slab construction or top of wood flooring in wood frame construction. The term does not include the floor of a garage used solely for parking vehicles.
- LOWEST FLOOR
- The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking vehicles, building access or storage, in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor.
- MANUFACTURED HOME
- 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 also includes park trailers, travel trailers, and similar transportable structures placed on a site for 180 consecutive days or longer and intended to be improved property.
- MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
- A parcel, or contiguous parcels, of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
- MEAN SEA LEVEL
- For purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929, or other datum to which base flood elevations shown on a community's flood insurance rate map are referenced.
- NATIONAL GEODETIC VERTICAL DATUM (NGVD)
- As corrected in 1929, a vertical control used as a reference for establishing varying elevations within the floodplain.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of this chapter.
- PERMITTED USES
- Those types of development in areas of special flood hazard which do not require a development permit from the City.
- REGULATED USES
- Those types of development which require a development permit from the City.
- SPECIAL EXCEPTION
- Those types of development which require a development permit directly from the Meriden Flood Control Implementation Agency.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. 97-348), includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, or improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means the first placement of permanent construction of a structure (including a manufactured home) on a site such as the pouring of slabs or footings, installation of piles, construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation, or placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include 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.
- A walled and roofed building or manufactured home that is principally above ground.
- A. Any combination repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure as determined by the cost approach to value method, with the replacement cost as computed by the quantity survey method (summation of quantity and cost of each item of material plus labor necessary for installation), either:
- B. For the purposes of this definition, substantial improvement is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commences, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure. The term does not, however, include either:
- (1) Any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
- (2) Any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a state inventory of historic places.
- A grant of relief by the Flood Control Implementation Agency from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.
- A stream, river, brook, or channel which conveys surface runoff for a majority of the year. These may or may not be part of designated floodway areas.
- WATER SURFACE ELEVATION
- The height, in relation to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929 (or other datum, where specified), of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the floodplains of coastal or riverine areas.
This chapter shall apply to all land parcels or portions thereof located within areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the City of Meriden.
The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") in its Flood Insurance Study ("FIS") for New Haven County, Connecticut, dated May 16, 2017, and accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps ("FIRM") dated May 16, 2017 (Panels 09009C0161J, 09009C0163J, 09009C0164J, 09009C0167J, 09009C0169J, 09009C0190J, 09009C0307J), and December 17, 2010 (Panels 09009C0160H, 09009C0162H, 09009C0166H, 09009C0168H, 09009C0306H, 09009C0330H), and other supporting data applicable to the City of Meriden, and any subsequent revisions thereto, are adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter.
Since mapping is legally adopted by reference into this regulation it must take precedence until such time as a map amendment or map revision is obtained from FEMA. The area of special flood hazard includes any area shown on the FIRM as Zones A and AE, including areas designated as a floodway on the FIRM. Areas of special flood hazard are determined utilizing the base flood elevations ("BFE") provided on the flood profiles in the Flood Insurance Study ("FIS") for a community. BFEs provided on a Flood Insurance Rate Map ("FIRM") are approximate (rounded up or down) and should be verified with the BFEs published in the FIS for a specific location. The FIS and FIRM are on file and available for public use and inspection in the office of the City Clerk.
No development shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations.
This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.
In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:
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 hazards 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 City of Meriden, any officer or employee thereof, or the Federal Insurance Administration, for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 110-7. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the administrator 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 or will be floodproofed;
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in § 110-19B;
A description, including maps, drawings, computations and other information, of the extent to which any floodway and/or watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of the development, new or substantial improvement; and
A description, including maps, drawings and site plans, which defines the extent to which encroachment of the flood-fringe area results from the proposed development, new or substantial improvement.
The City Engineer is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions. The actions of the City Engineer in the implementation of this chapter are subject to review by the Flood Control Implementation Agency of the City.
Duties of the City Engineer 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.
Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development adversely affects the flood-carrying capacity of the area of special flood hazard. For purposes of this chapter, "adversely affects" means the cumulative effect of proposed development when combined with all other existing and anticipated development that increases the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point.
Use of other base flood data: When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with § 110-7, Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard, the administrator shall obtain, review and utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state, local or other source. When determined necessary by the administrator, the applicant, at the request of the administrator, will supplement such data with a hydraulic report which clearly describes anticipated changes to base-flood flows and water surface elevations which would result from the proposed development or activity. Such reports shall be certified by a professional engineer registered in the State of Connecticut. Where such data has been provided the provisions of § 110-19, Specific standards for flood hazard reduction, shall be administered in addition to those contained in § 110-18, General standards for flood hazard reduction.
Information to be obtained from the applicant and maintained by the administrator:
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 within the areas of special flood hazard.
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
Alteration of floodways and watercourses:
Notify adjacent communities and the State Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Resources, prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Require that flows equal to or greater than those presently encountered be maintained. Changes to existing flood-carrying capacities shall not adversely affect upstream or downstream floodways or watercourses.
Require that flood stages and water surface heights be substantially maintained at their present elevations.
Interpretation of FIRM boundaries: make interpretations where needed as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (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 an opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in § 110-20A.
Assure that subdivision proposals and proposals for other developments, including their utilities and drainage, are located and designed to be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
Require that all subdivision proposals and other proposed new developments and substantial improvements include base flood data.
Require new water and sewer systems (including on-site systems) to be located and designed to avoid impairment and to minimize infiltration into and exfiltration out of the system.
Require anchoring to prevent flotation and lateral movement of any type of structural development.
Assure, through inspection of permitted activities, that compliance with this chapter is maintained.
Provide technical assistance to the Flood Control Implementation Agency on matters concerning special exceptions.
The following open space uses shall be permitted within the flood-fringe area, excluding the regulatory floodway, to the extent that they are not prohibited by any other ordinance or regulation and provided that they do not require structures, earth fill, the storage of materials or equipment, or the use of utilities such as gas, electric, water or sewer:
Agricultural uses such as general farming, pasture, grazing, outdoor plant nurseries, horticulture, truck farming, forestry, sod farming, and wild crop harvesting.
Any parking areas for three vehicles or fewer.
Private and public recreational uses, such as golf courses, open tennis courts, driving ranges, archery ranges, picnic grounds, boat launching ramps, swimming areas, parks, wildlife and nature preserves, game farms, fish hatcheries, shooting preserves, target ranges, trap and skeet ranges, hunting and fishing areas, hiking and horseback riding trails.
Residential uses, such as lawns, gardens and play areas.
New development and substantial improvements shall be permitted within areas of special flood hazard, excluding the regulatory floodway, to the extent that they are not prohibited by any other ordinance or regulation and provided that they meet the provisions of §§ 110-18 and 110-19, provisions for flood hazard reduction, of this chapter.
Regulated uses shall be granted by the City Engineer, provided that all provisions of this chapter have been met.
New developments and substantial improvements may be permitted as a special exception in the regulated floodway and shall conform to the provisions of this chapter, provided that:
The area of the site covered by a proposed improvement, addition or accessory structure shall be no more than 25% of the area of the site covered by the existing building of principal use, as long as the pertinent requirements of this section are met. A special exception granted under these conditions shall be on a one-time-only basis.
The applicant shall provide the Agency with a report prepared by a professional engineer registered in the state, that certifies that the construction, as proposed, will not adversely affect the storage capacity of the affected watercourse during a base flood.
Where floodproofing is utilized for a particular nonresidential structure, a professional engineer or architect registered in the state shall certify that the floodproofing methods conform to the requirements in § 110-19B.
No encroachment of the regulatory floodway, including fill, substantial improvements, accessory structures or other development, including public works projects of the state, federal or local governments, shall be allowed except for those activities specifically granted as special exceptions by the Meriden Flood Control Implementation Agency. In no case, however, will any such activity be allowed if an increase in flood levels within the community would result.
In the event that elimination of a structure takes place, by reason of fire or other like catastrophe, and is subsequently replaced with a new structure of like kind and intended use, this will be allowed to the extent that the building coverage will not exceed 125% of the displaced building coverage, as long as all requirements of pertinent subsections of this section are met.
Commercial or industrial loading areas, parking areas for more than three vehicles, or airport landing strips are in accordance with the pertinent subsections of this section.
Alterations, reconstruction or rehabilitation of watercourses and land areas within the regulated floodway may be permitted as a special exception and shall conform to the provisions of this chapter.
Special exceptions shall be granted only by the Meriden Flood Control Implementation Agency, to the extent that they are not prohibited by any other ordinance or regulation, and provided that all provisions of this chapter are met.
In order to assure the furtherance of the purposes of this chapter, other requirements may be imposed upon the applicant as a condition to the granting of a special exception.
In all areas of special flood hazard, the following standards are required:
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure.
All new or substantially improved manufactured homes or manufactured home parks or subdivisions to be placed in an area of special flood hazard shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement. Anchoring may include, but not be limited to, the use of over-the-top and frame ties to ground anchors. Specific requirements shall be that:
Over-the-top ties be provided at each of the four corners of the manufactured home with two additional ties per side at intermediate locations, with manufactured homes less than 50 feet long requiring four additional ties per side;
Frame ties be provided at each corner of the home with five additional ties per side at intermediate points, with manufactured homes less than 50 feet long requiring four additional ties per side;
All components of the anchoring system be capable of carrying a force of 4,800 pounds; and
Any additions to the manufactured home be similarly anchored.
Construction materials and methods:
All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system.
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system and discharge from the systems into floodwaters.
On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.
Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air-conditioning equipment, and other service facilities shall be designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.
All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage;
All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, located and constructed to minimize flood damage;
All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage; and
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed development any portion of which is located within areas of special flood hazard.
In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in § 110-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, or § 110-14B, Use of other base flood data, the following provisions are required:
Residential construction: New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to or above base flood elevation, plus one foot.
Nonresidential construction: New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to the level of the base flood elevation, plus one foot or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:
Be floodproofed so that below the base flood level, plus one foot, the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water;
Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy; and
Elevated buildings: New construction or substantial improvements of elevated buildings that include fully enclosed areas formed by foundation and other exterior walls below the base flood elevation shall be designed to preclude finished living space and designed to allow for the entry and exit of floodwaters to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls.
Designs for complying with this requirement must either be certified by a professional engineer or architect or meet the following minimum criteria:
Provide 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;
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above the grade; and
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, valves or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic flow of floodwaters in both directions.
Electrical, plumbing, and other utility connections are prohibited below the base flood elevation.
Access to the enclosed area shall be the minimum necessary to allow for parking of vehicles (garage door) or limited storage of maintenance equipment used in connection with the premises (standard exterior door) or entry to the living area (stairway or elevator).
For expansions to existing manufactured home parks or subdivisions; for existing manufactured home parks or subdivisions where the repair, construction or improvement of the streets, utilities and pads equals or exceeds 50% of the value of streets, utilities and pads before the repair, reconstruction or improvement has commenced; and for manufactured homes not placed in a manufactured home park or subdivision, it shall be required that:
All manufactured homes (including mobile homes placed on a site for 180 consecutive days or longer) be elevated so that the lowest floor is above the base flood elevation;
It shall be placed on a permanent foundation which itself is securely anchored and to which the structure is securely anchored so that it will resist flotation, lateral movement, and hydrostatic and hydrodynamic pressures. Anchoring may include, but not be limited to, the use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors;
Adequate surface drainage and access for a hauler are provided; and
In the instance of elevation on pilings, that lots are large enough to permit steps; piling foundations are placed in stable soil no more than 10 feet apart, and reinforcement is provided for pilings more than six feet above the ground level.
No manufactured homes shall be placed in a floodway.
Substantial improvements, additions or accessory structures to residential structures within unnumbered A Zones on the community's FIRM shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the base flood elevations, plus one foot, as obtained from alternate sources.
Substantial improvements, additions or accessory structures to nonresidential structures within unnumbered A Zones on the community's FIRM shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated or floodproofed to or above the base flood elevation, plus one foot, as obtained from alternate sources.
Substantial improvements or additions to residential structures or accessory structures within Zones A1-30 and A4 on the community's FIRM shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the base flood level, plus one foot.
Substantial improvements, additions or accessory structures to nonresidential structures within Zones A1-30 on the community's FIRM shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the base flood level, plus one foot, or be floodproofed to or above the base flood level, plus one foot.
Occupation of floodway areas: Located within areas of special flood hazard established in § 110-7 are areas designated as floodways. Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential, the following provisions apply:
Encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development, are prohibited unless certification by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
The placement of any manufactured homes is prohibited.
Alteration of floodways and watercourses: Proposed changes to floodways and watercourses as defined in § 110-17B shall be subject to the following provisions:
The applicant shall submit a hydrologic and hydraulic report which clearly describes anticipated changes to base flood flows and water surface elevations which would result from the proposed development or activity. Such reports shall be certified by a professional engineer, registered in the State of Connecticut.
Any proposed stormwater conveyance element shall be designed to carry existing base flood flows.
Base floodwater surface elevations shall be substantially maintained at their existing levels after development.
Any decision of the City Engineer may be appealed on a form provided by the City Engineer to the Meriden Flood Control Implementation Agency within seven calendar days of the date of said decision, the date of said decision being excluded in the calculation of said seven days. Any such appeal shall not stay the decision of the City Engineer, which shall remain effective until such time as it may be overruled, modified or otherwise changed by said Agency. All decisions by the City Engineer shall be conveyed to the applicant in writing by certified mail.
The Agency shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the administrator in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
Those aggrieved by the decision of said Agency, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the Superior Court in the same manner as an appeal under § 8-28 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, including all provisions relating to time limitations, hereby imposing upon the Agency the same time limitations as are imposed upon the Planning Commission for the purposes of § 8-28.
In passing upon such applications, the Agency shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, 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 alternate locations for the proposed use which 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 for 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 actions, 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.
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 that § 110-20A(4) has been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the 1/2 acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
Upon consideration of the factors of § 110-20A(4) and the purposes the Agency may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
The administrator shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
Conditions for variances:
Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the state inventory of historic places, without regard to the procedures set forth in the remainder of this section.
Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increases 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 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.
[Amended 12-16-1996; 3-20-2017]
This chapter shall be enforced by the Administrator, the Director of Public Works and/or the Flood Control Implementation Agency.
The provisions of this chapter may be enforced by citation of $250, in addition to other remedies. Each day's failure to comply with any such provision shall constitute a separate violation. The following persons have authority to issue citations for violations pursuant to this section: the Administrator, the Director of Public Works or their designee.