[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Egg Harbor City 7-22-1982 by Ord. No. 12-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has, in the New Jersey Statutes, delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Mayor and Council of the City of Egg Harbor, New Jersey, does ordain as follows.
The flood hazard areas of the City of Egg Harbor City 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 floodplains causing increases in flood heights and velocities and by the occupancy in flood hazard areas by uses vulnerable to floods or hazardous to other lands which are inadequately elevated, floodproofed or otherwise protected from flood damages.
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 floodplains.
Help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of flood-prone areas in such a manner as to minimize future flood-blight areas.
Ensure that potential home buyers are notified that property is in a flood area.
In order to accomplish its purposes, this chapter shall use the following methods. It shall:
Restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion or in flood heights or velocities.
Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction.
Control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels and natural protection barriers, which are involved in the accommodation of floodwaters.
Control filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase flood damage.
Prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards to other lands.
Word usage. 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.
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A request for a review of the Construction Official's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
- AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING
- A designated AO or VO Zone on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), with base flood depths from one to three feet, where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate and where velocity flow may be evident.
- 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 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
- 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 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
- 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 located within the area of special flood hazard.
- 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 sheer walls parallel to the flow of water; and
adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of
the building during a flood of 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. In areas of coastal high hazard, elevated building
also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated
building," even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway
walls.[Added 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
- FLOOD OR FLOODING
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from the overflow of inland or tidal waters or the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
- 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 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.
- 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 0.2 feet.
- 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 as to render the structure in violation of other applicable
nonelevation design requirements.[Added 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
- 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 connected to the required utilities. For
floodplain management purposes, the term "manufactured home" also
includes park trailers, travel trailers and other similar vehicles
placed on a site for greater than 180 consecutive days. For insurance
purposes, the term "manufactured home" does not include park trailers,
travel trailers and other similar vehicles.[Added 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
- 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 5-14-1987 by Ord. No 8-1987]
- MOBILE HOMES
- Not permitted within the City of Egg Harbor by ordinance.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of this chapter.
- START OF CONSTRUCTION
- For other than new construction or substantial improvements
under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. 97-348), includes substantial
improvement and means the date the building permit was issued. provided
that the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement
or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The "actual
start" means either the first placement of permanent construction
of a structure on a site, such as the pouring 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, 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 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
- A walled and roofed building that is principally aboveground, as well as a mobile home.
- SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any repair, reconstruction or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure either before the improvement or repair is started or, if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred. For the purpose 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:
- (1) Any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local health, sanitary or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
- (2) Any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a State Inventory of Historic Places.
- A grant of relief to a person from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner otherwise prohibited by this chapter where specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship.
Editor's Note: The definition of "new mobile home park or mobile home subdivision," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987.
This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the City of Egg Harbor.
The areas of special flood hazard are identified by the Federal Insurance Administration through a scientific and engineering report entitled the "Flood Insurance Study for the City of Egg Harbor," dated February 1982, which report, with accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Boundary Maps, and any revision thereto, is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter.
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 subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000, a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof, for each violation and, in addition, shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the City of Egg Harbor 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 another ordinance, easement, covenant or deed restriction 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 of 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 Egg Harbor City or by any officer or employee thereof 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 of development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 154-7. Application for a development permit shall be made to the Construction Official on forms furnished by him/her and may include, but not be limited to, the following 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 and drainage facilities and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:
Elevation, in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor, including basement, of all structures.
Elevation, in relation to mean sea level, to which any nonresidential structure has been floodproofed.
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of the proposed development.
The Construction 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 Official shall include but not be limited to:
Permit review. The Construction Official shall:
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
Review all development permits to require that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required.
Use of base flood data. When base flood elevation and floodway data has not been provided in accordance with § 154-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, the Construction 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 § 154-18A, Specific standards, Residential construction, and § 154-18B, Specific standards, Nonresidential construction.
[Amended 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
Information to be obtained and maintained. The Construction Official shall:
Verify and record the actual elevation, in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest 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 Construction Official shall:
Notify adjacent communities and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 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 Construction Official 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 this chapter.
[Amended 8-28-2014 by Ord. No. 9-2014]
The Land Use Board as established by the City of Egg Harbor City shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
The Land Use Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged that there is an error in any requirement, decision or determination made by the Construction Official in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Land Use Board or any taxpayer may appeal such decision to the Common Council of the City of Egg Harbor as provided in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-17.
In passing upon such applications, the Land Use Board shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter and the following:
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 not subject to flooding or erosion damage for the proposed use.
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 for 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 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.
Upon consideration of the factors listed above and the purposes of this chapter, the Land Use Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
Maintenance of records. The Construction Official shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
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 § 154-15A(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 used for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places, without regard to the procedures set forth in the remainder of this section.
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 or create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in § 154-15A(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 provisions are required:
Anchoring. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure.
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 discharges from the systems into floodwaters.
On-site waste 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 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
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 development which is greater than the lesser of 50 lots or five acres.
For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that 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:
[Added 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
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 coverings 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 has been provided as set forth in § 154-7, Basis for establishing areas of special flood hazard, or § 154-14B, Use of other base flood data, the following standards are required:
Residential construction. New construction or substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot above the base flood elevation.
Nonresidential construction. New construction or substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot above the base flood elevation or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, be floodproofed so that below the base flood level the structure is watertight, with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and the effects of buoyancy. 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 applicable provisions of this subsection. Such certification shall be provided to the official as set forth in § 154-14C(2). All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within an area of special flood hazard shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the top of the lowest floor is at or above the base flood elevation.
[Amended 5-14-1987 by Ord. No. 8-1987]
Floodways. Located within the areas of special flood hazard established in § 154-7 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 encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
The placement of any mobile homes shall be prohibited, except in an existing mobile home park or existing mobile home subdivision.
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 0.2 of a foot at any point.