MapLink™ | Procedures | Floodplain Area Regulations

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Floodplain Area Regulations
1. Designation of flood hazard areas.
A. When exact measurements do not exist, the boundaries of the flood hazard areas shall be determined by scaling distances off the Flood Insurance Rate Map. A person who contests the location of a boundary as shown on the map and is denied a permit shall appeal the denial to the Zoning Hearing Board. The person contesting the location of a flood hazard area shall have the burden of establishing that the land does not lie within a flood hazard area.
2. Permits Required in Flood Hazard Areas.
A. Refer to permit requirements at Chapter 27: Zoning, § 27-102: Applicability herein, in addition to the requirements that follow.
B. A permit is required for all proposed construction, development and 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.
C. All necessary permits shall have been received from governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law, including provisions of the U.S. Water Pollution Control Act of 1972.
3. Other Flood Hazard Area Requirements.
A. Data on one-hundred-year flood elevations shall be submitted by the applicant.
B. Issuance of Building Permit.
(1) The Building Permit Officer shall issue a building permit only after it has been determined that the proposed work to be undertaken will be in conformance with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances.
(2) Prior to the issuance of any building 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); the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 1978-325, as amended); the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act (Act 1937-394, as amended); and the U.S. Clean Water Act, § 404, 33 U.S.C. § 1344. No permit shall be issued until this determination has been made.
(3) No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse until all adjacent municipalities which may be affected by such action have been notified by the Borough and until all required permits or approvals have been first obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Dams, Waterways and Wetlands.
In addition, the Federal Insurance Administrator and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development shall be notified by the Borough prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.
4. Variances in the Flood Hazard Areas Granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.
In addition to the factors stipulated in Part 1: ADMINISTRATION of this chapter for a variance, the following requirements shall be applicable:
A. Variances shall not be issued within the designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
B. Except for a possible modification of the freeboard requirement involved, no variance shall be granted for any of the other requirements of this section.
C. The applicant shall be notified in writing over the signature of a Borough official that:
(1) The issuance of a decision to allow construction of a structure below the base flood elevation will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.
(2) Such construction below the base flood elevation increase risks to life and property.
D. Variances.
(1) General. If compliance with any of the requirements of this Part would result in an exceptional hardship to a prospective builder, developer or landowner, the Borough may, upon request, grant relief from the strict application of the requirements.
(2) Variance Procedures and Conditions.
(a) If granted, a variance shall involve only the least modification necessary to provide relief.
(b) In granting any variance, the Borough shall attach whatever reasonable conditions and safeguards it considers necessary in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, and to achieve the objectives of this Part.
(c) In reviewing any request for a variance, the Borough shall consider, at a minimum, the following:
(i) That there is good and sufficient cause.
(ii) That failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant.
(iii) That the granting of the variance will (i) neither result in an unacceptable or prohibited increase in flood heights, additional threats to public safety, or extraordinary public expense, (ii) nor create nuisances, cause fraud on, or victimize the public, or conflict with any other applicable state or local ordinances and regulations.
(d) A complete record of all variance requests and related actions shall be maintained by the Borough. In addition, a report of all variances granted during the year shall be included in the annual report to the Federal Insurance Administration.
Notwithstanding any of the above, however, all structures shall be designed and constructed so as to have the capability of resisting the one-hundred-year flood.
5. If the Zoning Officer has reason to believe that the proposed use may have difficulty complying with the standards of Part 5: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, of the Zoning Chapter, then the Zoning Officer may require an applicant to provide written descriptions of proposed machinery, hazardous substances, operations and safeguards.
See § 27-516: Floodplain Area Regulations for more detailed information.
See § 27-110: Zoning Officer for more information on this officer.
See Forms and Applications for more information.
See Zoning for more information.