City of Trenton, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 109-5 Definitions and word usage.

A. 
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AH ZONE
Areas subject to inundation by one-percent-annual-chance shallow flooding (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between one foot and three feet. Base flood elevations (BFEs) derived from detailed hydraulic analyses are shown in this zone.
AO ZONE
Areas subject to inundation by one-percent-annual-chance shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between one foot and three feet.
APPEAL
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 AH Zone on a community's Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) with a one-percent annual or greater chance of flooding to an average depth of one foot to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.
AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
Land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. It is shown on the FIRM as Zone V, VE, V1-30, A, AO, A1-A30, AE, A99, or AH.
BASE FLOOD
A flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE)
The flood elevation shown on a published Flood Insurance Study (FIS) including the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). For zones AE, AH, AO, and A1-30, the elevation represents the water surface elevation resulting from a flood that has a one-percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
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.
COASTAL A ZONE
The portion of the special flood hazard area (SFHA) starting from a Velocity (V) Zone and extending up to the landward limit of the moderate wave action delineation. Where no V Zone is mapped, the Coastal A Zone is the portion between the open coast and the landward limit of the moderate wave action delineation. Coastal A Zones may be subject to wave effects, velocity flows, erosion, scour, or a combination of these forces. Construction and development in Coastal A Zones is to be regulated the same as V Zones/coastal high-hazard areas.
COASTAL HIGH-HAZARD AREA
An area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources.
CUMULATIVE SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure that equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure at the time of the improvement or repair when counted cumulatively for 10 years.
DEVELOPMENT
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, or storage of equipment or materials located within the area of special flood hazard.
DIGITAL FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (DFIRM)
The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
ELEVATED BUILDING
A nonbasement building 1) 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 A Zone, to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated floor elevated above the base flood elevation plus freeboard by means of piling, columns (posts and piers), or shear walls parallel to the flow of the water; and 2) adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood 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 A Zones "elevated buildings" also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building" even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway walls.
EROSION
The process of the gradual wearing away of land masses.
EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
The official report in which the Federal Insurance Administration has provided flood profiles, as well as the Flood Insurance Rate Map(s) and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
FLOOD or FLOODING
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
(1) 
The overflow of inland or tidal waters; and/or
(2) 
The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
Zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special-purpose ordinances (such as a floodplain ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other applications of police power. The term describes such state or local regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.
FLOODPROOFING
Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.
FLOODWAY
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 accumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than 0.2 foot.
FREEBOARD
A factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a flood level for purposes of floodplain management. "Freeboard" tends to compensate for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed.
HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE
The highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed or existing walls of a structure.
HISTORIC STRUCTURE
Any structure that is:
(1) 
Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
(2) 
Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
(3) 
Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or
(4) 
Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
(a) 
By an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior; or
(b) 
Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.
LIMIT OF MODERATE WAVE ACTION (LiMWA)
Inland limit of the area affected by waves greater than 1.5 feet during the base flood. Base flood conditions between the V Zone and the LiMWA will be similar to, but less severe than those in the V Zone.
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 to render the structure in violation of other applicable nonelevation design requirements of 44 CFR 60.3.
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 attached to the required utilities. The term "manufactured home" does not include a "recreational vehicle."
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.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the municipality.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicle which is: (1) Built on a single chassis; (2) Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the longest horizontal projections; (3) Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck; and (4) Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
SAND DUNES
Naturally occurring or man-made accumulations of sand in ridges or mounds landward of the beach.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. No. 97-348), includes substantial improvements and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, 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 or 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. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
STRUCTURE
A walled and roofed building, a manufactured home, or a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. Substantial damage also means flood-related damages sustained by a structure on two or more separate occasions during a ten-year period for which the cost of repairs at the time of each such flood event, on the average, equals or exceeds 25% of the market valve of the structure before the damages occurred.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure during a ten-year period the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. Substantial improvement also means "cumulative substantial improvement." This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed, or repetitive loss. The term does not, however, include either:
(1) 
Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement officer and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
(2) 
Any alteration of an historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as "historic structure."
VARIANCE
A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter that permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.
VIOLATION
The failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with this chapter. A new or substantially improved structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in 44 CFR 60.3(b)(5), (c)(4), (c)(10), (e)(2), (e)(4), or (e)(5) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.