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Special Requirements (Flood Hazard District Areas)
A. Description and special requirements of Flood Hazard District Areas. The Flood Hazard District Area shall consist of the following specific areas:
(1) The Floodway Area shall be those areas identified in the FIS and the FIRM as floodway and which represent the channel of a watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without increasing the water surface elevation by more than one foot at any point.
(a) Within any floodway area, no new construction or development shall be allowed unless the appropriate permit is obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection's regional office.
(2) The AE Area/District shall be those areas identified as an AE Zone on the FIRM included in the FIS prepared by FEMA for which base flood elevations have been provided.
(a) The AE Area shall also include any flood fringe area adjacent to a floodway in areas of the Township that are not shown as such on the FIRM included in the FIS
[1] 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.
B. District regulations (general provisions):
(1) Permits.
Permits shall be required before any construction or development is undertaken within any area of the Township.
(a) The standards and specifications contained in 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401-405), as amended, and Chapter 80, Building Construction, of the Township Code, shall apply to this article to the extent that they are more restrictive and/or supplement the requirements of this chapter.
(b) The requirements of 34 Pa. Code Chapters 401-405, as amended, and the 2009 IRC (Sections R102.7.1, R105.3.1, R105.3.1.1, and Appendixes E and J) or the latest revision thereof and the 2009 IBC (Sections 101.3, 3403.1, and Appendix G) or the latest revision thereof shall also be utilized in conjunction with the provisions of this section.
(2) State and federal permits.
Prior to the issuance of any zoning permit, the Building Permit Officer shall review the application for the permit to determine if all other necessary government permits required by state and federal laws have been obtained, such as those required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 1966-537, as amended);[1] the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 1978-325, as amended);[2] the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law (Act 1937-394, as amended); and the United States Clean Water Act, Section 404, 33 U.S.C. 1344. No permit shall be issued until this determination has been made.
C. Variances
If a variance is sought in the Flood Hazard District Area, the Zoning Hearing Board shall determine that the standards and criteria enumerated in § 910.2 of the MPC are met before granting the request.
(1) As part of a petition for a variance hereunder, the applicant shall furnish such of the following material as the Township Engineer shall deem necessary for a complete consideration of the matter by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(a) Plans drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions and elevation of the lot and existing and proposed uses; and photographs or drawings showing existing uses and vegetation, soil types and other pertinent information.
(b) A series of cross sections at such intervals as the Township Engineer may deem necessary along the lot shoreline, showing the stream channel or the lake or pond bottom, elevation of adjoining land areas to be occupied by the proposed uses and high-water information.
(c) Profile showing the slope of the bottom of the channel, lake or pond.
(d) Specifications for building materials and construction, floodproofing, filling, dredging, grading, landscaping, storage, water supply and sanitary facilities.
(e) Computation of the increase, if any, in the height of flood stages which would be attributable to any proposed uses.
(f) The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building and base flood elevation based upon North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
(2) Reports.
(a) All written reports submitted to the Zoning Hearing Board in advance of or at the public hearing shall be made available for inspection at the public hearing by any party thereto.
(3) In any case where the Zoning Hearing Board shall grant a variance to permit the erection of a structure in the Flood Hazard District Area and it shall appear that such premises is to be offered for sale or lease or the Zoning Hearing Board grants a variance to permit a change in nonconforming use of a structure already existing in the Flood Hazard District Area and it shall appear that the premises is to be offered for sale or lease, the Zoning Hearing Board shall, for the protection of prospective purchasers and lessees, impose the following conditions:
(a) Require the applicant to advise prospective purchasers and/or lessees that the lot is located, either entirely or partially, as the case may be, in the Flood Hazard District Area.
(b) Require that, before settlement or change in a nonconforming use, as the case may be, may take place, the purchaser or lessee shall signify in writing that he has been advised that the premises lies partially or entirely in the Flood Hazard District Area, and a signed copy of such signification shall be delivered to the Township.
(c) Where the premises are to be conveyed, the deed shall contain the following provision: "This lot is entirely (partially) within the Flood Hazard District Area of the Township of Tredyffrin, Chester County, Pennsylvania."
(4) Whenever a variance is granted, the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall notify the applicant in writing that:
(a) The granting of the variance may result in increased premium rates for flood insurance; and
(b) Such variances may increase the risks to life and property.
(5) Prior to the issuance of any permit, the floodplain administrator shall review the application for the permit to determine if all other necessary government permits required by state and federal laws have been obtained, such as those required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 1966-537, as amended); the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 1978-325, as amended); the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act (Act 1937-394, as amended); and the United States Clean Water Act, Section 404, 33 U.S.C. 1344. No permit shall be issued until this determination has been made.
(6) In the case of existing structures, prior to the issuance of any permit, the floodplain administrator shall review the proposed cost of improvements or repairs and the pre-improvement market value of the structure, so that a substantial improvement/substantial damage determination can be made, in accordance with FEMA's Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference.
(7) In the case of existing structures, prior to the issuance of any permit, the floodplain administrator shall review the history of repairs to the subject building so that any cumulative substantial damage concerns can be addressed before the permit is issued.
(8) During the construction period, the floodplain administrator or other authorized official shall inspect the premises to determine that the work is progressing in compliance with the information provided on the permit application and with all applicable municipal laws and ordinances. He/she shall make as many inspections during and upon completion of the work as are necessary.
(9) In the discharge of his/her duties, the floodplain administrator shall have the authority to enter any building, structure, premises or development in the Flood Hazard District Area, upon presentation of proper credentials, at any reasonable hour to enforce the provisions of this ordinance.
(10) In the event the floodplain administrator discovers that the work does not comply with the permit application or any applicable laws and ordinances, or that there has been a false statement or misrepresentation by any applicant, the floodplain administrator shall revoke the permit and pursue available remedies for violations.
D. Application procedures and requirements.
(1) Application for such a permit shall be made, in writing, to the floodplain administrator on forms supplied by the Township. Such application shall contain the following:
(a) Name and address of applicant.
(b) Name and address of owner of land on which proposed construction is to occur.
(c) Name and address of contractor.
(d) Site location, including address.
(e) Listing of other permits required.
(f) Brief description of proposed work and estimated cost, including a breakout of flood-related cost and the market value of the building before the flood damage occurred, where appropriate.
(g) A plan of the site showing the exact size and location of the proposed construction as well as any existing buildings or structures.
(2) If any proposed construction or development is located entirely or partially within any Flood Hazard District Area, applicants for permits shall provide all the necessary information in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the Floodplain Administrator to determine that:
(a) All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and conform with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances;
(b) All utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage;
(c) Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards;
(d) Structures will be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement;
(e) Building materials are flood-resistant;
(f) Appropriate practices that minimize flood damage have been used;
(g) Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air-conditioning equipment, and other service facilities have been designed and located to prevent water entry or accumulation; and
(h) Water and sanitary sewer facilities and systems:
[1] All new or replacement water supply and sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be located, designed and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damages and the infiltration of floodwaters.
[2] Sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be designed to prevent the discharge of untreated sewage into floodwaters.
[3] No part of any on-site waste disposal system shall be located within any Flood Hazard District Area.
[4] The design and construction provisions of the UCC and FEMA No. 348, "Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damages" and "The International Private Sewage Disposal Code" shall be utilized.
(3) Applicants shall file the following minimum information plus any other pertinent information as may be required by the Floodplain Administrator to make the above determination:
(a) A completed permit application form.
(b) A plan of the entire site, clearly and legibly drawn at a scale of one inch being equal to 100 feet or less, showing the following:
[1] North arrow, scale, and date;
[2] Topographic contour lines, if available;
[3] The location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, and other improvements, including the location of any existing or proposed subdivision and development;
[4] The location of all existing streets, drives, and other access ways; and
[5] The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, Flood Hazard District Areas, and, if available, information pertaining to the floodway and the flow of water, including direction and velocities.
(c) Plans of all proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, drawn at suitable scale showing the following:
[1] The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building based upon North American Vertical Datum of 1988;
[2] The elevation of the base flood;
[3] Supplemental information as may be necessary under 34 Pa. Code, the 2009 IBC or the 2009 IRC, or the latest revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(d) The following data and documentation:
[1] Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures and corresponding elevations.
[2] If available, information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a base flood.
[3] Documentation, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, to show that the cumulative effect of any proposed development within any Flood Hazard District Area, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not cause any increase in the base flood elevation.
[4] A document, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction or development has been adequately designed to withstand the pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces associated with the base flood. Such statement shall include a description of the type and extent of floodproofing measures which have been incorporated into the design of the structure and/or the development.
[5] Detailed information needed to determine compliance with § 208-15.1I(9), including:
[a] The amount, location and purpose of any materials or substances referred to in § 208-15.1I(9) which are intended to be used, produced, stored or otherwise maintained on site.
[b] A description of the safeguards incorporated into the design of the proposed structure to prevent leaks or spills of the dangerous materials or substances listed in § 208-15.1I(9) during a base flood.
[6] The appropriate component of the Department of Environmental Protection's "Planning Module for Land Development."
[7] Where any excavation or grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection, to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control.
(4) Applications for permits shall be accompanied by a fee, payable to the municipality in an amount set by resolution of the Township.
E. Review by Chester County Conservation District.
A copy of all applications and plans for any proposed construction or development in any Flood Hazard District Area to be considered for approval may be submitted by the floodplain administrator to the County Conservation District for review and comment prior to the issuance of a permit. The recommendations of the Conservation District shall be considered by the floodplain administrator for possible incorporation into the proposed plan.
F. Review of application by others.
A copy of all plans and applications for any proposed construction or development in any Flood Hazard District Area to be considered for approval may be submitted by the floodplain administrator to any other appropriate agencies and/or individuals (e.g., planning commission, municipal engineer, etc.) for review and comment.
G. Changes.
After the issuance of a permit by the floodplain administrator, no changes of any kind shall be made to the application, permit or any of the plans, specifications or other documents submitted with the application without the written consent or approval of the floodplain administrator. Requests for any such change shall be in writing, and shall be submitted by the applicant to floodplain administrator for consideration.
H. Placards.
In addition to the permit, the floodplain administrator shall issue a placard, or similar document, which shall be displayed on the premises during the time construction is in progress. This placard shall show the number of the permit, the date of its issuance, and be signed by the floodplain administrator.
I. Start of construction.
(1) Work on the proposed construction or development shall begin within 180 days after the date of issuance of the development permit. Work shall also be completed within 12 months after the date of issuance of the permit or the permit shall expire unless a time extension is granted, in writing, by the floodplain administrator. The issuance of development permit does not refer to the zoning approval.
J. Appeals.
(1) Any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the floodplain administrator concerning the administration of the provisions of this article may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. Such appeal must be filed, in writing, within 30 days after the decision, determination or action of the floodplain administrator.
(2) Upon receipt of such appeal, the Zoning Hearing Board shall consider the appeal in accordance with the Municipalities Planning Code and any other local ordinance.
(3) Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Zoning Hearing Board may seek relief therefrom by appeal to court, as provided by the laws of this state, including the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act.
See Article V: Flood Hazard Districts for more information on floodplain areas and associated regulations.
See Permits and Inspections for more information.
See Stormwater and Grading Permits for more information.