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Township of Lower Saucon, PA
Northampton County
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The provisions of this chapter do not require any changes or improvements to be made to lawfully existing structures. However, when an improvement is made to any existing structure, the provisions of § 90-33 shall apply.
The following provisions shall apply whenever any improvement is made to an existing structure located within any identified floodplain area:
A. 
No improvement or reconstruction of an existing structure shall be allowed within any FW Area as identified by the Flood Insurance Study prepared by FEMA or other available studies or sources of information found acceptable by Lower Saucon Township and approved by FEMA.
B. 
No expansion or enlargement of an existing structure shall be allowed within any identified floodplain area that would cause any increase in BFE. In A Area/District(s), BFEs are determined using the methodology in § 90-20C.
C. 
The improvement or reconstruction of existing structures that store materials that are buoyant, flammable, explosive, or injurious to property, water quality or human, animal, plant, fish or aquatic life shall be prohibited in the Flood Hazard District.
D. 
Existing structures in the AE Area/Districts and A Area/Districts are defined and regulated as follows:
(1) 
Intact structures. If any improvement to an existing intact structure is proposed to the extent of 10% or more of its market value, it shall only be undertaken only in full compliance with the floodproofing requirements in the Lower Saucon Township Building Code, as amended.
(2) 
Partially damaged structures. Any improvement or reconstruction to an existing partially damaged structure shall be undertaken only in full compliance with the floodproofing requirements in the Lower Saucon Township Building Code, as amended.
(3) 
Substantially damaged structures. Any improvement or reconstruction to a substantially damaged structure shall be in full compliance with the floodproofing requirements in the Lower Saucon Township Building Code, as amended, and shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to flood protection elevation.
(4) 
Repetitive loss structures.
(a) 
An improvement to a repetitive loss structure to an extent 10% or more of its market value of the intact structure shall be prohibited. Any permitted improvement to a repetitive loss structure shall be in full compliance with the floodproofing requirements of the Lower Saucon Township Building Code, as amended,[1] and shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to flood protection elevation.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 65, Building Construction.
(b) 
The reconstruction of a repetitive loss structure shall be in full compliance with the Lower Saucon Township Building Code, as amended, and shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to flood protection elevation.
(5) 
Severe repetitive loss structures.
(a) 
An improvement to a severe repetitive loss structure to an extent 5% or more of its market value as an intact structure shall be prohibited. Any permitted improvement to a severe repetitive loss structure shall be in full compliance with the floodproofing requirements of the Lower Saucon Township Building Code, as amended,[2] and shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to flood protection elevation.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 65, Building Construction.
(b) 
The reconstruction of a severe repetitive loss structure: a) shall be in full compliance with the Lower Saucon Township Building Code, as amended; b) shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to flood protection elevation; and c) the applicant shall provide documentation from Lower Saucon Township, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Federal Emergency Management Agency that states Lower Saucon Township, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or FEMA will not acquire the property for the purposes of flood mitigation prior to the reconstruction of the structure.
E. 
The cost of improvements or reconstruction commenced since the adoption of this chapter must be calculated at today's current cost.
F. 
It is the responsibility of the applicant to supply the information necessary (e.g., appraisals, construction costs, estimates, etc.) to make the determination that the market value is reasonably accurate and that the cost estimate reasonably reflects the actual costs of the improvements to the structure.
G. 
Acceptable estimates of market value shall be determined from one of the following methods:
(1) 
Independent appraisals by a state licensed real estate appraiser.
(2) 
The value of the building taken from NFIP claims data.
(3) 
Acceptable estimates of cost of improvement shall be determined from one of the following methods:
(a) 
Itemized estimates made by contractors licensed to work in Lower Saucon Township.
(b) 
Building Code valuation tables.
(4) 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall have the right to waive or modify, as a special exception, any of the requirements of this section for any structure listed on a national, state or local Register of Historic Places; provided, however, that the provisions of Article VIII shall be applied in such a case.
H. 
The above activity shall also address the requirements of the 34 Pa. Code, as amended, and the 2009 IBC and the 2009 IRC.
I. 
Within any Floodway Area/District (See § 90-20A), no new construction or development shall be allowed, unless the appropriate permit is obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office.
J. 
Within any AE Area/District without floodway (See § 90-20B), no new construction or development shall be located within the area measured 50 feet landward from the top-of-bank of any watercourse, unless the appropriate permit is obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office.
K. 
Any modification, alteration, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind to an existing structure, to an extent or amount of less than 50% of its market value, shall be elevated and/or floodproofed to the greatest extent possible.
L. 
Any modification, alteration, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind that meets the definition of "repetitive loss" shall be undertaken only in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter.