City of Olean, NY
Cattaraugus County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-10]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
APPEAL
A request for a review of the local administrator's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING
A designated AO or VO zone on a community's flood insurance rate map (FIRM), with base flood depths from one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate, and where velocity flow may be evident.
AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year. This area may be designated as zone A, AE, AH, AO, A1-99, V, VO, VE, or V1-30. It is also commonly referred to as the base floodplain or one-hundred-year floodplain.
BASE FLOOD
The flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASEMENT
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.
BUILDING
Any structure built for support, shelter, or enclosure for occupancy or storage.
CELLAR
Basement.
COASTAL HIGH-HAZARD AREA
The area subject to high-velocity waters including but not limited to hurricane wave wash. The area is designated on a FIRM as zone V1-30, VE, VO, or V.
DEVELOPMENT
Any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, paving, excavation, or drilling operations located within the area of a special flood hazard.
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), or shear walls.
FLOOD OR FLOODING
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from the overflow of inland or tidal waters or the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
FLOOD BOUNDARY AND FLOODWAY MAP (FBFM)
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.
FLOOD HAZARD BOUNDARY MAP (FHBM)
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 defined but no water surface elevation is provided.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
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.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY
Is the official report provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The report contains flood profiles, as well as the flood boundary floodway map and the water surface elevations of the base flood.
FLOODPROOFING
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.
FLOODWAY
Has the same meaning as regulatory floodway.
FLOOR
The top surface of an enclosed area in a building, including the basement, i.e., the top of the slab in concrete slab construction or the top of wood flooring in wood frame construction.
FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT USE
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, ship-building, and ship repair. The term does not include long-term storage, manufacture, sales, or service facilities.
HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
The highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, next to the proposed walls of a structure.
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest level including the basement or cellar of the lowest enclosed area. An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or storage in an area other than a basement 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.
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.
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.
MOBILE HOME
Manufactured home.
NATIONAL GEODETIC VERTICAL DATUM (NGVD)
As corrected in 1929, a vertical control used as a reference for establishing varying elevations within the floodplains.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after March 24, 1987.
ONE-HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD
Base flood.
PRINCIPALLY ABOVEGROUND
That at least 51% of the actual cash value of the structure, excluding land value, is aboveground.
REGULATORY FLOODWAY
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.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
The initiation, excluding planning and design, of any phase of a project, physical alteration of the property, and shall include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; installation of streets and/or walkways; excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations; or the erection of temporary forms. It also includes the placement and/or installation on the property of accessory buildings (garages, sheds), storage trailers, and building materials. For manufactured homes the actual start means affixing of the manufactured home to its permanent site.
STRUCTURE
A walled and roofed building, a manufactured home, or a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally aboveground.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure, either before the improvement or repair is started; or, if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred. For the purposes of this definition substantial improvement is considered to commence 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 any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local building, fire, health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions, or any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a state inventory of historic places.
VARIANCE
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.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-20]
No structure 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 punished as provided in section 1-9. 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 this chapter will be declared noncompliant and notification sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-1]
The common council of the city finds that the potential and/or actual damages from flooding and erosion may be a problem to the residents of the city 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 set forth in this chapter, the common council does ordain the provisions of this chapter.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-2]
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:
(1) 
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;
(2) 
Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;
(3) 
Control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers which are involved in the accommodation of floodwaters;
(4) 
Control filling, grading, dredging, and other development which may increase erosion or flood damages;
(5) 
Regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands; and
(6) 
Qualify and maintain for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-3]
The objectives of this chapter are:
(1) 
To protect human life and health;
(2) 
To minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;
(3) 
To minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
(4) 
To minimize prolonged business interruptions;
(5) 
To minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains; electric, telephone, and sewer lines; and streets and bridges located in areas of special flood hazard;
(6) 
To 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;
(7) 
To provide that developers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and
(8) 
To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-16]
This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the city.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-17]
The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in a scientific and engineering report entitled the Flood Insurance Study for the City of Olean, of Cattaraugus County, New York, dated May 1987, with accompanying flood insurance rate maps and flood boundary-floodway maps, is hereby adopted and declared to be a part of this chapter. The flood insurance study and maps are on file at the Public Works Department, Olean Municipal Building, Olean, New York.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-18]
(a) 
This chapter is adopted in response to revisions to the National Flood Insurance Program effective October 1, 1986, and shall supercede all previous laws adopted for the purpose of establishing and maintaining eligibility for flood insurance.
(b) 
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 higher standards, shall govern.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-21]
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 manmade or natural causes. This chapter does not imply that land outside the area 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, 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.