[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerdale 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:08 (Ch. 57 of the 1973 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has, in N.J.S.A. 40:48-1 et seq., delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerdale does ordain as follows.
The flood hazard areas of Somerdale are subject to periodic inundation which results 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 and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed to:
Protect human life and health.
Minimize expenditure 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 hazard.
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.
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 or 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, are 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.
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meanings they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A request for a review of the Construction Code Official's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
- AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING
- A designated AO, AH or VO Zone on a community's Flood
Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) with a one-percent or greater annual chance
of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet where a clearly
defined channel does not exist where the path of flooding is unpredictable
and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized
by ponding or sheet flow.[Amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- 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.
- Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below
ground level) on all sides.[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09]
- 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 supporting foundation system.[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09]
- 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
or storage of equipment or materials located within the area of special
flood hazard.[Amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- ELEVATED BUILDING
- A nonbasement building built in the case of a building in
an area of special flood hazard to have the top of the elevated floor
or in the case of a building in a coastal high-hazard area to have
the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated
floor elevated above the ground level by means of piling, columns
(posts and piers) or shear walls parallel to the flow of the water
and adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity
of the building during a flood up to the magnitude of the base flood.
In an area of special flood hazard "elevated building" also includes
a building elevated by means of fill or solid foundation perimeter
walls with openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded movement
of floodwaters.[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09; amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
- The Official Map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazard and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
- FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY
- The official report provided in which the Federal Insurance Administration has provided flood profiles, as well as the Flood Boundary - Floodway Map and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
- FLOOD or FLOODING
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
- FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
- Zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes,
health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as a floodplain
ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other
applications of police power. The term describes such state or local
regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for
the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.[Added 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- The channel of a river or other waterway course 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 0.2 of a foot.
- HISTORIC STRUCTURE
- Any structure that is:[Added 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- (1) Listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
- (2) Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
- (3) Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or
- (4) Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
- LOWEST FLOOR
- The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area, including basement.
An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for the
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 to render the structure in violation
of other applicable nonelevation design requirements.[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09]
- MANUFACTURED HOME
- A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which
is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without
a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The
term "manufactured home" does not include a recreational vehicle.[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09; amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION
- A parcel or contiguous parcels of land divided into two or
more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09]
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Structures for which the start of construction commenced
on or after the effective date of this chapter and includes any subsequent
improvements to such structures.[Amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
- A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction
of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes
are to be affixed (including at a minimum, the installation of utilities,
the construction of streets and either final site grading or the pouring
of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of the
floodplain management regulations adopted by the Borough of Somerdale.[Added 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
- A vehicle which is built on a single chassis; 400 square
feet or less when measured at the longest horizontal projections;
designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty
truck; and designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling
but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel
or seasonal use.[Added 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- For other than new construction or substantial improvements
under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. No. 97-348), includes
substantial improvements and means the date the building permit was
issued, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction,
rehabilitation, addition, placement or other improvement was within
180 days of the permit date. The actual start means either the first
placement of a slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction
of columns or any work beyond the stage of excavation, or the 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 or 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. For
a substantial improvement, the actual "start of construction" means
the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor or other structural
part of a building, whether or not that alteration effects the external
dimensions of the building.[Amended 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09; 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- A walled and roofed building, a manufactured home or a gas
or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.[Amended 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09]
- SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
- Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the
cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would
equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the
damage occurred.[Added 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any construction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement
of a structure, the cost of which exceeds 50% of the market value
of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement.
This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage,
regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not,
however, include either:[Amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
- (1) Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local Code Enforcement Officer and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
- (2) Any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure.
- A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.
Editor's Note: The former definitions of "existing mobile home park or mobile home subdivision" and "expansion to an existing mobile home park or mobile home subdivision," which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09.
Editor's Note: The former definitions of "habitable floor" and "mobile home," which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "new mobile home park or mobile home subdivision," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09.
This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the Borough of Somerdale.
The areas of special flood hazard are identified by the Federal Insurance Administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled the "Flood Insurance Study for the Borough of Somerdale," dated August 1978, with accompanying Flood insurance Rate Maps and Flood Boundary - Floodway Maps, and any revisions thereto, which report and maps are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. The Flood Insurance Study is on file at the Borough Hall, 105 Kennedy Boulevard, Somerdale, New Jersey 08083.
[Amended 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09]
No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements, including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions, shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days or shall be subject to a period of community service not to exceed 90 days, or any combination of the foregoing, for each violation, and, in addition, shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Borough of Somerdale from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and other ordinances, easements, covenants or deed restrictions 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 hazard 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 Borough of Somerdale, 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 § 138-7. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Construction Code Official 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:
The elevation, in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor, including basement, of all structures.
The elevation, in relation to mean sea level, to which any structure has been floodproofed.
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in § 138-17B.
A description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
The Construction Code Official is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
Duties of the Construction Code Official as administrator under this chapter shall include but not be limited to:
Permit review. The local administrator shall:
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 is located in the floodway; if located in the floodway, assure that the encroachment provisions of § 138 — 18A are met.
Use of other base flood and floodway data. When base flood elevation and floodway data has not been provided in accordance with § 138-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, the Construction Code Official shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source, in order to administer § 138-17A, Residential construction, and § 138-17B, Nonresidential construction.
[Amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
Information to be obtained and maintained. The local administrator shall:
Obtain and record the actual elevation, in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest habitable floor, including basement, of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement.
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
Alteration of watercourses. The local administrator shall:
Notify adjacent communities and the New Jersey 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 Insurance Administration.
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
Interpretation of FIRM boundaries. The local administrator shall make interpretations, where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard (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 a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in § 138-15.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment, as established by the Code of the Borough of Somerdale, shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision or determination made by the Construction Code Official in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
Those aggrieved by the decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the Superior Court of New Jersey, as provided by law.
In passing upon such applications, the Zoning Board of Adjustment 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 alternative 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 of 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 action, if applicable, expected at the site.
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.
The Construction Code Official shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
Conditions for variances.
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 the items in Subsection A(4)(a) through (k) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the 1/2 acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
[Amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase 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 or extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in Subsection A(4) 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.
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 manufactured homes shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include but are not to be limited to use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces.
[Amended 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09]
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 systems and discharge from the systems into floodwaters.
On-site wastewater disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.
Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and 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.
[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09]
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.
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed developments which contain at least 50 lots or five acres, whichever is less.
[Added 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09; amended 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than basement and which are subject to flooding shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters.
Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
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 shall be provided.
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers or other covering or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
In all areas of special flood hazard where base flood elevation data have been provided as set forth in § 138-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, or in § 138-14B, Use of other base flood and floodway data, the following standards 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.
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 or:
[Amended 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09; 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
Be floodproofed so that below the base flood level 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
Be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice of meeting the applicable provisions of this subsection. Such certification shall be provided to the official as set forth in § 138-14C(2).
[Amended 4-8-1987 by Ord. No. 87:09; 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09]
[Amended 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09; 2-13-1991 by Ord. No. 91:01]
Located within the areas of special flood hazard established in § 138-17 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 shall be prohibited unless a technical evaluation demonstrates that encroachment shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
In all areas of special flood hazard in which base flood elevation data has been provided and no floodway has been designated, the cumulative effect of any proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, shall not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than two-tenths of a foot at any point.