[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Burlington 10-5-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of these regulations is to promote public health, safety, and general welfare within the Town of Burlington, to minimize flood losses in floodway and flood-fringe areas in the Town, and to protect the aquifer within said areas by:
Restricting, prohibiting, or controlling uses, including but not limited to deposit, removal or storage of materials, construction of structures or buildings, and any other works which are dangerous to health, safety or property in times of flood, cause increases in flood heights or velocities, or are likely to pollute groundwater;
Requiring that permitted uses vulnerable to flood, including public facilities, shall be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction, thereby reducing damage due to flooding, and the need for investment in flood-control projects;
Ensuring that potential buyers will have the opportunity of identifying land within the flood hazard area;
Minimizing surface water and groundwater pollution which will affect human, animal, or plant life;
Helping to maintain a stable tax base through the preservation of property values by reducing the potential of future flood blight areas;
Providing for public awareness of the potential for flooding and harm to the aquifer; and
Protecting the aquifer for use as a public water supply by limiting the amount of impervious surface within the floodplain areas and reducing the effect of de-icing salts, chemicals and other pollutants.
These regulations shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the Town of Burlington.
For the purpose of these regulations only, the following definitions shall apply:
- 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.[Amended 4-23-2019]
- An underground stratum of earth, gravel or porous stone that contains water.
- 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.
- See "structure."
- BUILDING COVERAGE
- That percentage of the plot or lot area covered by the building area.
- Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate,
including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining,
dredging, filling, paving, grading, excavation or drilling operations.[Amended 4-23-2019]
- FLOOD-FRINGE AREA
- That area outside of the regulated floodway and within the limits of the base flood.
- FLOOD HAZARD AREA
- The total area indicated by the official Federal Insurance Administration map including the floodway and the flood-fringe area.
- FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
- An official map of a community 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 or FLOODING
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
- FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT
- The operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including but not limited to emergency preparedness.
- FLOODPLAIN or FLOOD PRONE AREA
- Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source (see definition of "flooding").
- Watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water, and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.
- Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduces or eliminates flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures or 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).
- LOWEST FLOOR
- The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement).
- 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. Recreational vehicles and similar transportable structures placed on a site for 180 consecutive days or longer shall be considered manufactured homes for the purpose of this chapter.
- MEAN SEA LEVEL
- For purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGDV) of 1929 or other datum to which base flood elevations shown on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map are referenced.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after August 17, 1981, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
- PRINCIPAL STRUCTURE
- A building in which is conducted the permitted use which is the main or principal use of the lot on which said building is located.
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
- A vehicle which is:
- A. Built on a single chassis;
- B. Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projections;
- C. Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck; and
- D. Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use.
- REGULATORY FLOODWAY
- See "floodway."
- SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA
- The area within a community subject to one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year, as identified on the community's FIRM.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- The date the building permit was issued, provided 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.[Amended 4-23-2019]
- A walled and roofed building that is principally above ground, a manufactured home, or a gas or liquid storage tank.
- SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any combination of repairs, reconstruction, alteration, or improvements to a structure taking place over a one-year period, in which the cumulative cost equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure. The market value of the structure should be the appraised value of the structure using the cost approach to value based on the square foot method prior to the start of the initial repair or improvement, or in the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring. 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 any improvement project required to comply with existing health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions.
- 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.
The areas of special flood hazard, Zone A and Zones A1 through A30, are identified by the Federal Insurance Administration in its FIRM dated effective September 26, 2008, which map and any revisions thereto are adopted by reference and declared to be part of these regulations, or the areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Insurance Administration through a scientific and engineering report titled "Flood Insurance Study for the Town of Burlington, Connecticut," dated September 26, 2008, revised September 16, 2011, which study and accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps and any revisions thereto are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be part of these regulations.
No structure, land, or water shall hereafter be used and no structure shall be located, extended, converted or structurally altered without full compliance with the terms of these regulations and other applicable regulations (e.g., Subdivision and Zoning Regulations, Health Code).
These regulations shall not repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where these regulations impose greater restrictions, the provisions of these regulations shall prevail.
The degree of flood protection required by these regulations is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on engineering and scientific methods of study. Larger floods may occur on rare occasions, or the flood height may be increased by man-made or natural causes, such as ice jams and bridge openings restricted by debris. These regulations do not imply that areas of special flood hazard or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages. These regulations shall not create liability on the part of the Town of Burlington or any commissioner, officer, or employee thereof for any damages that may result from reliance on these regulations or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
The Town Building Inspector is hereby appointed to administer and implement the provisions of this program. The devices and responsibilities of the Town Building Inspector are as follows:
To review permits to assure sites are reasonably safe from flooding.
To review permits including Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers for proposed development to assure that all necessary permits have been received from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law.
To require new construction and substantial improvements in flood-prone areas to be constructed using flood-resistant materials.
The Town Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission will notify abutting communities and the State Coordinating Office prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit copies of such notification to the Flood Insurance Administration.
The Town Building Inspector will notify adjacent communities and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit evidence of such notification to FEMA.
The Town Building Inspector will notify the regional planning agency and the affected municipality at least 35 days prior to the public hearing if any change of regulation or use of a flood zone will affect an area within 500 feet of another municipality.
Construction stage. Upon completion of the applicable portion of construction the applicant shall provide the Building Inspector with verification of the as-built lowest floor elevation, defined as the top of the lowest floor including basement or, in the case of floodproofed buildings, the elevation to which the floodproofing is effective.
New construction or substantial improvements shall be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage.
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.
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 discharges from the system into floodwaters.
On-site waste disposal systems shall be located and constructed to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.
In any portion of a watercourse which is altered or relocated the flood-carrying capacity shall be maintained.
Standards for subdivision proposals. In all special flood hazard areas the following requirements shall apply:
All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the needs 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 provide adequate drainage to reduce exposure to flood hazards; and
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for all subdivision proposals and other proposed developments (including manufactured home parks and subdivisions) which are five acres or 50 lots, whichever occurs first, and are located in Zone A.
A development permit will be obtained before start of construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 181-4. Application for a development permit will be made on forms furnished by the Town Building Inspector and will include, but not be limited to, plans in duplicate, drawn to scale, showing the existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following is required:
Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest flood (including basement) of all structures;
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed;
Certification by a professional engineer registered in the State of Connecticut that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in § 181-11K; and
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
Certification. Where required under this chapter, a registered professional engineer or architect shall certify that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this chapter. Such certification must be provided to the Building Inspector.
The following open space uses will be permitted by the Building Inspector within the flood hazard area, excluding the regulatory floodway, to the extent that they are not prohibited by any other ordinance or regulation, and provided they do not require structures, fill or storage of materials or equipment:
Agricultural uses such as general farming, pasture, grazing, outdoor plant nurseries, horticulture, truck farming, forestry, sod farming, and wild crop harvesting.
Industrial or commercial 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, and hiking and horseback riding trails.
Noncommercial uses such as lawns, gardens, parking areas for three vehicles or fewer, and play areas.
Substantial improvements or additions to existing structures or accessory structures or fill will be permitted by the Building Inspector only as a special exception in the flood-fringe areas, if authorized by the Planning and Zoning Commission, and will conform to the provisions of these regulations, provided that:
All substantial improvements, additions or accessory structures to residential structures within unnumbered A Zones on a community's FIRM have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated above the base flood elevation as obtained from alternate sources.
All substantial improvements, additions or accessory structures to nonresidential structures within unnumbered A Zones on the community's FIRM have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated or floodproofed above the base flood elevation as obtained from alternate sources. 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 have permanent openings designed to allow the entry and exit of floodwaters.
All substantial improvements or additions to residential structures or accessory structures within Zones A1-30 on the community's FIRM have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated above the base flood level.
All substantial improvements, additions or accessory structures to nonresidential structures within Zones A1-30 on the community's FIRM have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the base flood level, or be floodproofed above that level.
Within Zones A1-30, all manufactured homes will provide that:
Stands or lots are elevated on compacted fill or on pilings so that the lowest floor of the mobile home will be at or above the base flood level;
Adequate surface drainage and access for a hauler are provided;
In the instance of elevation on pilings, 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 piers more than six feet above ground level; and
All manufactured homes (including recreational vehicles placed on a site for 180 consecutive days or longer) to be placed or substantially improved shall be installed using methods and practices which minimize flood damage. They shall also be elevated and anchored to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties.
The placement of mobile homes, except in an existing mobile home park or mobile home subdivision, is prohibited in the floodway.
A volume of material equal to that added to the site below the base flood elevation plus that volume displaced by the structure below the base flood elevation plus any volume enclosed within the structure below the base flood elevation shall be removed from an equal or lower elevation than that upon which the construction is proposed. The material will then be moved to an elevation above that of the base flood.
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 provides the Commission with a report prepared by a professional engineer registered in the State of Connecticut that certifies that the construction, as proposed, will not adversely affect the storage capacity or flow capacity of the affected watercourse during a base flood.
Where floodproofing is utilized for a particular nonresidential structure, a professional engineer registered in the State of Connecticut shall certify that the floodproofing methods are adequate to withstand the flood depths, pressures, velocities, impacts, and uplift forces.
Nonresidential structures located in all A Zones may be floodproofed in lieu of being elevated provided that together with all attendant utilities and sanitary facilities the areas of the structure below the required elevation are watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and use structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and the effects to buoyancy. A registered professional engineer or architect shall review and/or develop structural design specifications and plans for the construction and shall certify that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with acceptable standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this subsection. Such certification shall be provided to the Building Inspector.
Floodways. Located within special flood hazard areas established in this chapter are areas designated as floodways. Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris and potential projectiles and have erosion potential, no encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other developments, shall be permitted unless certification (with supporting technical data) by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating that enroachments shall not result in any (0.00 feet) increase in flood levels during occurrence of the base flood discharge. Fences located in the floodway must be aligned with the flow and be of an open design. A permit may be given which allows enroachments resulting in increases in base flood elevations provided the community first obtains a conditional floodway revision by meeting the requirement of 44 CFR 65.12 (Burlington Regulations/Section 11K).
Standards for streams without established base flood elevations, floodway and/or flood mapping.
The Building Inspector 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 the Town's Subdivision Regulations, as criteria for requiring that new construction, substantial improvements, or other development in Zone A on the Community's FIRM meets the standards in this chapter.
In A Zones where base flood elevations have been determined, but before a floodway is designated, no new construction, substantial improvement, or other development (including fill) shall be permitted which will increase base flood elevations more than one foot at any point along the watercourse when all anticipated development is considered cumulatively with the proposed development.
The Building Inspector may request floodway data of an applicant for watercourses without FEMA published floodways. When such data is provided by an applicant or whenever such data is available from any other source (in response to the Town's request or not), the Town shall adopt a regulatory floodway based on the principle that the floodway must be able to convey the waters of the base flood without increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot at any point along the watercourse.
The Building Inspector shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source as criteria for requiring that new construction, substantial improvements, or other development in any area of potential, demonstrable or historical flooding within the community meet the standards in this chapter.
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.
Outside of the floodway, land may be used for agricultural and amusement purposes; structure, if any, may be allowed upon application, and only as permitted under these regulations.
Any fill in the flood hazard area will be displaced by removing an equal volume of material from an equal or lower elevation so that the net change to the retention capacity remains constant, and that the material be removed to an elevation above that of the base flood.
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.
No variances will be granted for a principal structure and/or an accessory structure after one year.
Variances to these regulations allowing construction of a principal structure and/or accessory structure within the flood-fringe area will not be issued if any increase in flood heights or velocities would result.
If a variance is issued to construct a principal structure and/or accessory structure within the flood-fringe areas, increased premium rates for flood insurance will result as such construction within the flood-fringe area increases risk to life and property.
Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief; and in the instance of a historical building, a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary as not to destroy the historic character and result in the loss of historic designation of the building.
Variances may be allowed provided that:
The parcel of land is a lot of record on file in the Town Clerk's office before the effective date of these regulations.
A landowner makes application to the Town Building Inspector on forms provided by him for a variance to the above-listed regulations, provided that:
He demonstrates that the parcel is unique.
Strict enforcement of the regulations would cause an undue hardship.
Only hardships which are based on unusual physical characteristics of the property in question, characteristics which are not shared by adjacent parcels, shall qualify to meet Subsection E(2)(b) above. Claims of hardship based on the structure, on economics or on personal circumstances are not sufficient cause for the granting of a variance under this chapter.
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice specifying the difference between the base flood elevation and the elevation to which the structure is to be built and stating that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation up to amounts as high as $25 or $100 of insurance coverage.
The local Building Inspector shall maintain the records of all appeals actions and report any variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency upon request.
Granting of a variance would not result in increased flood heights, cause increased or 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.
Creating a variance would not change the character of the neighborhood.
Data supplied is certified to be substantially correct and a true representation of existing conditions by a professional engineer registered in the State of Connecticut.
An extension of the above time variance to these regulations may be allowed for construction of a principal structure and/or an accessory structure within the flood-fringe area when permission for this construction has been granted by the Burlington Planning and Zoning Commission prior to the adoption of these regulations. This variance is with regard to the extension of the time within which to construct, and shall not exceed the initial five-year period allowed by the Town Planning and Zoning Commission.
Variances for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, or restoration of structures listed in the National Register of Historical Places or the State Inventory of Historical Places may be issued without regard to any time limitation contained in this section.
All provisions of the Town Code in conflict herewith are hereby repealed, and if for any reason any word, clause, paragraph or section of this chapter shall be held to make the same unconstitutional, this chapter shall not hereby be invalidated and the remainder of this chapter shall continue in effect. Any provision herein which is in conflict with the Connecticut General Statutes is hereby repealed, it being understood that said statutes shall take precedence over this chapter.
The enactment of this chapter shall not operate as an abatement of an action or proceeding pending under or by virtue of any prior ordinance, Selectmen vote, or special act.
Any decision of the Town Building Inspector may be appealed in writing to the Planning and Zoning Commission 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 Town Building Inspector, which shall remain effective until such time as it may be overruled, modified, or otherwise changed by said Commission.
Any decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission may be appealed to the Superior Court by any aggrieved party within 15 days from the date when notice of said decision was published in a newspaper having a circulation in the Town of Burlington in accordance with C.G.S. § 8-8. In all respects the rules of appeal herein granted from a decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission shall be the same as provided by C.G.S. § 8-8 for appeals from a decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals as currently exist or as may be modified by future amendment by the State of Connecticut, except that no such appeal shall at any time stay the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission unless so ordered by the Superior Court.
Violation of the provisions of this chapter or failure to comply with any of its requirements, including violation of conditions and safeguards established in connection with grants of variance or special exceptions, 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 $250 per day if proven done willfully and $100 per day if not, and in addition shall pay all costs and reasonable legal fees involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town of Burlington from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.