Town of North Branford, CT
New Haven County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The North Branford Town Engineer is hereby appointed to administer and implement the provisions of this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
No development, improvement or construction, including the placement of prefabricated buildings and manufactured homes, within any area of special flood hazard, shall begin until a development permit therefor has been obtained. Application for a development permit shall be made to the Town Engineer on a form furnished for that purpose by the Town Engineer and may include but not be limited to a plan 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.
A. 
Specifically, the following information is required:
(1) 
The elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor, including basement, of all structures.
(2) 
The elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any nonresidential structure has been floodproofed.
(3) 
A description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
(4) 
A statement as to whether or not the proposed alterations to an existing structure meets the criteria of the substantial improvement definition.
(5) 
A statement as to whether there will be dry access to the structure during the one-hundred-year storm event.
B. 
Where applicable, the following certifications by a registered engineer or architect are required and must be provided to the Town Engineer: the design and methods of construction must be certified to be in accordance with accepted standards of practice, and with the provisions of § 148-14.
C. 
Nonresidential floodproofing must meet the provisions of § 148-15B.
D. 
Enclosed areas below the flood elevation. If the minimum design criteria in § 148-15C(1)(a) through (c) is not used, then the design and construction methods must be certified as explained in § 148-15C(3).
E. 
No increase in floodway heights may be allowed. Any development in a floodway must meet the provisions of § 148-16.
Duties of the Town Engineer shall include but not be limited to the following:
A. 
Permit application review. The Town Engineer shall:
(1) 
Review all development permit applications to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied and whether the proposed development and building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding.
[Amended 10-19-2010 by Ord. No. 241]
(2) 
Advise the permittee that additional federal or state permits may be required; notify adjacent communities and the Department of Environmental Protection, Water Resources Unit, prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse; and assure that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
(3) 
Review plans for walls to be used to enclose space below the base flood level.
B. 
Use of other base flood and floodway data. When base flood elevation and floodway data has not been provided, the Town Engineer shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation data available from a federal, state or other source, in order to administer § 148-15A and B.
C. 
Information to be obtained and maintained. The Town Engineer shall:
(1) 
Obtain and record the actual elevation of the lowest floor, including basement, of all new or substantially improved structures.
(2) 
For all new and substantially improved floodproofed structures, verify and record the actual elevation to which the structure was floodproofed and maintain the floodproofing certifications required in § 148-15B.
(3) 
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
D. 
Alteration of watercourses. The Town Engineer shall:
(1) 
Notify adjacent communities and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Water Resources Unit, prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.
(2) 
Require the maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
E. 
Interpretation of FIRM boundaries. The Town Engineer shall make interpretations, where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard. The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in § 148-12.
A. 
The Flood and Erosion Control Board, as established by the Town of North Branford, shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
The Flood and Erosion Control Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged that there is an error in any requirement, decision or determination made by the Town Engineer in the enforcement or administration of the chapter.
C. 
Those aggrieved by the decision of the Flood and Erosion Control Board or any taxpayer may appeal such decision to the Superior Court, as provided in Connecticut State Statutes.
D. 
In passing upon such application, the Flood and Erosion Control Board shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors and all standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:
(1) 
The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others.
(2) 
The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage.
(3) 
The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner.
(4) 
The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community.
(5) 
The necessity to the facility to a waterfront location, where applicable.
(6) 
The availability of alternative locations, for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage.
(7) 
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development.
(8) 
The relationship of the proposed use to the Comprehensive Plan and floodplain management program of that area.
(9) 
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles.
(10) 
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the floodwaters.
(11) 
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.
E. 
Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one 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 § 148-12D(1) through (11) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the one acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
F. 
Upon consideration of the factors of § 148-12D and the purposes of this chapter, the Flood and Erosion Control Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variance as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
G. 
The Town Engineer shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
A. 
Variances may be issued 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, and provided that the proposed reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration will not result in the structure losing its historical character.
B. 
Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
C. 
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 the design of the building.
D. 
A variance 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 or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
E. 
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.