City of Olean, NY
Cattaraugus County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-27]
The fire chief is hereby appointed local administrator to administer and implement this article by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-29]
Duties of the local administrator shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) 
Permit application review.
a. 
Review all development permit applications to determine that the requirements of this article have been satisfied.
b. 
Review all development permit applications to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state, or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required.
1. 
If there is no adverse effect, then the permit shall be granted consistent with the provisions of this article.
2. 
If there is an adverse effect, then flood damage mitigation measures shall be made a condition of the permit.
c. 
Review all development permits for compliance with the provisions of section 9-56(5).
d. 
Review all development permit applications to determine if the proposed development adversely affects the area of special flood hazard. For the purposes of this article, adversely affects means physical damage to adjacent properties. An engineering study may be required of the applicant for this purpose.
(2) 
Use of other base flood and floodway data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with section 9-7, the local administrator shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state, or other source, including data developed pursuant to section 9-56(4)d., in order to administer section 9-57 and section 9-58.
(3) 
Information to be obtained and maintained.
a. 
Obtain and record the actual elevation, in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor, including the basement or cellar, of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement or cellar.
b. 
For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:
1. 
Obtain and record the actual elevation, in relation to mean sea level, to which the structure has been floodproofed; and
2. 
Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in sections 9-56 and 9-57.
c. 
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this article, including variances when granted and certificates of compliance.
(4) 
Alteration of watercourses.
a. 
Notify adjacent communities and the state department of environmental conservation prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit evidence of such notification to the Regional Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region II, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10278.
b. 
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of the watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
(5) 
Interpretation of FIRM boundaries.
a. 
The local administrator shall have the authority to make interpretations when there appears to be a conflict between the limits of the federally identified area of special flood hazard and actual field conditions.
b. 
Base flood elevation data established pursuant to section 9-7 and/or subsection (2) of this section, when available, shall be used to accurately delineate the area of special flood hazards.
c. 
The local administrator shall use flood information from any other authoritative source, including historical data, to establish the limits of the area of special flood hazards when base flood elevations are not available.
(6) 
Stop work orders.
a. 
All floodplain development found on-going without an approved permit shall be subject to the issuance of a stop work order by the local administrator. Disregard of a stop work order shall be subject to the penalties described in section 9-2.
b. 
All floodplain development found noncompliant with the provisions of this article and/or the conditions of the approved permit shall be subject to the issuance of a stop work order by the local administrator. Disregard of a stop work order shall be subject to the penalties described in section 9-2.
(7) 
Inspections. The local administrator and/or the developer's engineer or architect shall make periodic inspections at appropriate times throughout the period of construction in order to monitor compliance with permit conditions and enable the inspector to certify that the development is in compliance with the requirements of either the development permit or the approved variance.
(8) 
Certificate of compliance.
a. 
It shall be unlawful to use, occupy, or to permit the use or occupancy of any building or premises, or both, or part thereof hereafter created, erected, changed, converted, or wholly or partly altered or enlarged in its use or structure until a certificate of compliance has been issued by the local administrator stating that the building or land conforms to the requirements of this chapter.
b. 
All other development occurring within the designated flood hazard area will have upon completion a certificate of compliance issued by the local administrator.
All certifications shall be based upon the inspections conducted subject to subsection (7) of this section and/or any certified elevations, hydraulic information, floodproofing, anchoring requirements, or encroachment analysis which may have been required as a condition of the approved permit.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-28]
A development permit shall be obtained before the start of construction or any other development within the area of special flood hazard, as established in section 9-7. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the local administrator and may include but not be limited to plans, in duplicate, drawn to scale and 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.
(1) 
Application stage. The following information is required where applicable:
a. 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the proposed lowest floor, including the basement or cellar, of all structures;
b. 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any nonresidential structure will be floodproofed;
c. 
When required, a certificate from a licensed professional engineer or architect that the utility floodproofing will meet the criteria in section 9-56(3)a.;
d. 
Certificate from a licensed professional engineer or architect that the nonresidential floodproofed structure will meet the floodproofing criteria in section 9-57; and
e. 
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
(2) 
Construction stage. Upon placement of the lowest floor, or floodproofing by whatever means, it shall be the duty of the permit holder to submit to the local administrator a certificate of the elevation of the lowest floor, or floodproofed elevation, in relation to mean sea level. The elevation certificate shall be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a licensed land surveyor or professional engineer and certified by such surveyor or engineer. When floodproofing is utilized for a particular building, the floodproofing certificate shall be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer or architect and certified by such engineer or architect. Any further work undertaken prior to submission and approval of the certification shall be at the permit holder's risk. The local administrator shall review all data submitted. Deficiencies detected shall be cause to issue a stop work order for the project unless immediately corrected.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-54]
(a) 
The zoning board of appeals as established by the city shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this article.
(b) 
The zoning board of appeals shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the local administrator in the enforcement or administration of this article.
(c) 
Those aggrieved by the decision of the zoning board of appeals may appeal such decision to the supreme court, pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules art. 78 [§ 7801 et seq.].
(d) 
In passing upon such applications, the zoning board of appeals shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:
(1) 
The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
(2) 
The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
(3) 
The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
(4) 
The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
(5) 
The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
(6) 
The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
(7) 
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
(8) 
The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program of that area;
(9) 
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(10) 
The costs to local governments and the dangers associated with conducting search and rescue operations during periods of flooding;
(11) 
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and
(12) 
The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including search and rescue operations; maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems; and streets and bridges.
(e) 
Upon consideration of the factors of subsection (d) of this section and the purposes of this local law, the zoning board of appeals may attach to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this article.
(f) 
The local administrator shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency upon request.
[Code 1971, § 11 1/2-55]
(a) 
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, providing subsections (1)—(12) in section 9-34(d) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond 1/2 acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
(b) 
Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, or restoration of structures and contributing structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the state inventory of historic places, without regard to the contributing structures procedures set forth in the remainder of this section.
(c) 
Variances may be issued by a community for new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use provided that:
(1) 
The criteria of subsections (a), (d), (e), and (f) of this section are met; and
(2) 
The structure or other development is protected by methods that minimize flood damages during the base flood and create no additional threat to public safety.
(d) 
Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
(e) 
Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(f) 
Variances shall only be issued upon receiving written justification providing:
(1) 
A showing of good and sufficient cause;
(2) 
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
(3) 
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, or extraordinary public expense; create nuisances; cause fraud on or victimization of the public; or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
(g) 
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted for a building with the lowest floor below the base flood elevation shall be given written notice that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from lowest floor elevation.