The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has in N.J.S.A. 40:48-1 et seq., delegated to local governmental units responsibility for adopting regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry.
The flood hazard areas of the Borough of Pennington 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, causes damage 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, bridges located in areas of special flood hazard;
Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the second 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 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, 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; and
Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.