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Section 11

§ 19.6-76 FPO Floodplain Overlay District.

§ 19.6-76.1 Purpose.

The purpose of the Floodplain Overlay District requirements is to prevent the loss of property and life, the creation of health and safety hazards, the disruption of commerce and governmental services, the extraordinary and unnecessary expenditure of public funds for flood protection and relief, and the impairment of the tax base. All references in this section to variances and recreational vehicles shall be limited to the applicable section herein.

§ 19.6-76.2 Applicability.

These provisions shall apply to all lands within the jurisdiction of Appomattox County and identified in the one-hundred-year floodplain by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

§ 19.6-76.3 Disclaimer of liability.

The degree of flood protection required by these requirements is based on engineering and scientific methods of study. Larger floods may occur on rare occasions. These requirements do not imply that areas outside the floodplain districts and any land uses will be free from flooding or flood damage and shall not create liability on the part of the County or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on these requirements or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.

§ 19.6-76.4 Basis of floodplain districts.

Floodplain districts shall include areas subject to inundation by water of the one-hundred-year flood. The basis for the delineation of floodplain district boundaries shall be the Flood Insurance Study for Appomattox County prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Insurance Administration, dated January 2, 2008, as amended, in which the boundaries of the floodplain districts are shown on the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map, which is declared to be part of this chapter and which shall be kept on file at the Zoning Administrator’s office.

A. District boundary changes. The delineation of any of the floodplain districts may be revised by the Board of Supervisors where natural or man-made changes have occurred and/or more-detailed studies have been conducted or undertaken by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, or other qualified agency or individual, which document the notification for such change. However, prior to any such change, approval must first be obtained from the Federal Insurance Administration.

B. Interpretation of district boundaries. Initial interpretations of the boundaries of the floodplain district shall be made by the Zoning Administrator. Should a dispute arise concerning the boundaries of any of the districts, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall make the necessary determination. A person questioning or contesting the location of the district boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to present a case and may submit his/her own technical evidence.

§ 19.6-76.5 Establishment of floodplain districts.

The floodplain areas within the County are hereby divided into four districts: Floodway District, Flood-Fringe District, Special Floodplain District, and Approximated Floodplain District.

A. The Floodway District is delineated for the purpose of this chapter using the criteria that a certain area within the floodplain must be capable of carrying waters of the one-hundred-year flood without increasing the water surface elevation of the flood more than one foot at any point. The areas included in this district are specifically defined in the above-referenced Flood Insurance Study and shown on the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map or Flood Insurance Rate Map.

B. The Flood-Fringe District shall be that area of the one-hundred-year floodplain not included in the Floodway District. The basis for the outermost boundary of this district shall be the one-hundred-year flood elevations contained in the flood profiles of the above-referenced Flood Insurance Study and as shown on the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map or Flood Insurance Rate Map.

C. The Special Floodplain District shall be those areas identified as Zone AE on the maps accompanying the Flood Insurance Study for which one-hundred-year flood elevations have been provided but for which no floodway has been delineated.

D. The Approximated Floodplain District shall be that floodplain area for which no detailed flood profiles or elevations are provided, but where a one-hundred-year floodplain boundary has been approximated. Such areas are shown as Zone A on the maps accompanying the Flood Insurance Study. For these areas, the one-hundred-year flood elevation and floodway information should be used, when available. Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis shall be undertaken only by professional engineers or others qualified to do so to determine this area when no other means is available. This information is the responsibility of the developer to provide to the Zoning Administrator.

§ 19.6-76.6 Allowable activities.

A. In the Floodway District, no development shall be permitted except where the effect of such development on flood heights is fully offset by accompanying improvements which have been approved by all appropriate local and/or state authorities, as required herein. The following uses and activities may be permitted, provided that they do not require structures, fill, or storage of materials and equipment:

(1) Agricultural uses, such as general farming, pasture, grazing, outdoor plant nurseries, horticulture, truck farming, forestry, sod farming, and wild crop harvesting.

(2) Public and private recreational uses and activities, such as parks, day camps, picnic grounds, golf courses, boat launching and swimming areas, horseback riding and hiking trails, wildlife and nature preserves, game farms, fish hatcheries, trap and skeet game ranges, and hunting/fishing areas.

(3) Accessory residential uses, such as yard areas, gardens, play areas, and loading areas.

B. In the Flood-Fringe District, the development and/or use of land shall be permitted in accordance with the regulations herein provided so that all such uses, activities, and/or development shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the floodproofing and related provisions contained in the Virginia Unified Statewide Building Code and all other applicable codes and ordinances used by the Building Official.

C. In the Special Floodplain District, until a regulatory floodway is designated, no new construction, substantial improvements, or other development (including fill) shall be permitted within the areas of special flood hazard, designated as Zone AE on the Flood Insurance Rate Map, unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point within the County boundaries. Development activities in areas identified as Zone AE on the Appomattox County Flood Insurance Rate Map which increase the water surface elevation of the base flood by more than one foot may be allowed, provided that the developer or applicant first applies, with County endorsement, for a conditional Flood Insurance Rate Map revision and receives the approval of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

D. In the Approximated Floodplain District, the development and/or use of land shall be permitted in accordance with the regulations herein provided so that all such uses, activities, and/or development shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the floodproofing and related provisions contained in the Virginia Unified Statewide Building Code and all other applicable codes and ordinances used by the Building Official.

§ 19.6-76.7 General requirements.

A. All uses, activities, and development occurring within any floodplain district shall be undertaken only upon the issuance of a compliance permit as required in this chapter. Such development shall be undertaken only in strict compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with all other applicable codes and ordinances, such as the County Building Code. Prior to issuance of any such permit, the Zoning Administrator and the Building Official shall require all applications to include compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.

B. Under no circumstances shall any use, activity, and/or development adversely affect the capacity of the channel or floodways of any watercourse, drainage ditch, or any other drainage facility or system.

C. Prior to any proposed alteration or relocation of any channels or floodways of any watercourse or stream within the County, approval shall be obtained from the Division of Soil and Water Conservation (Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation). A permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Marine Resources Commission and/or certification from the State Water Control Board may be necessary. A joint permit application is available from any one of these agencies. Further notification shall be given to all affected adjacent jurisdictions. Copies of such notification shall be filed with the Division of Dam Safety and Floodplain Management (Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation) and the Federal Insurance Administration.

D. All applications for development in a floodplain district and all building permits issued for the floodplain shall contain the following information:

(1) Elevation of the lowest floor.

(2) Elevation of the one-hundred-year flood.

(3) Topographic information showing existing and proposed ground elevations.

E. The placement of any manufactured home within a floodway district is prohibited.

§ 19.6-76.8 Existing structures.

A structure or premises which lawfully existed before the enactment of these provisions but which is not in conformity with these provisions may be continued as a nonconforming use. Any modification, alteration, repair, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind to a structure and/or use less than 50% of its market value shall be elevated or floodproofed to the greatest extent possible. Any modification, alteration, repair, reconstruction or improvement of any kind greater than 50% of its market value shall be in full compliance with the provisions of the County Building Code.

§ 19.6-76.9 Variances as applied to the Floodplain Overlay District.

A. In passing upon applications for variances, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall satisfy all relevant factors and procedures specified in other sections of this chapter and consider the following additional factors:

(1) The danger to life and property due to increased flood heights or velocities caused by encroachments. No variance shall be granted for any proposed use, development, or activity within any floodway district that will cause any increase in the one-hundred-year flood elevation.

(2) The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands or downstream to the injury of others.

(3) The proposed water supply and sanitation systems and the ability of these systems to prevent disease, contamination, and unsanitary conditions.

(4) The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owners.

(5) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community.

(6) The requirements of the facility for a waterfront location.

(7) The availability of alternative locations not subject to flooding for the proposed use.

(8) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing development and development anticipated in the foreseeable future.

(9) The relationship of the proposed use to the Comprehensive Plan and floodplain management program for the area.

(10) The safety of access by ordinary and emergency vehicles to the property in time of flood.

(11) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the floodwaters expected at the site.

(12) The repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as an historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.

(13) Such other factors which are relevant to the purposes of this chapter.

B. The Board of Zoning Appeals may refer any application and accompanying documentation pertaining to any request for a variance to any engineer or other qualified person or agency for technical assistance in evaluating the proposed project in relation to flood heights and velocities and the adequacy of the plans for flood protection and other related matters.

C. Variances shall be issued only after the Board of Zoning Appeals has determined that the granting of such will not:

(1) Result in unacceptable or prohibited increases in flood heights;

(2) Result in additional threats to public safety;

(3) Result in extraordinary public expense;

(4) Create nuisances;

(5) Cause fraud or victimization of the public; or

(6) Conflict with local laws or ordinances.

D. Variances shall be issued only after the Board of Zoning Appeals has determined that the variance will be the minimum required to provide relief from hardship to the applicant.

E. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall notify the applicant for a variance, in writing, that the issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the one-hundred-year flood elevation:

(1) Increases the risks to life and property; and

(2) May result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.

F. A record shall be maintained of the above notification as well as all variance actions, including justification for the issuance of the variances. Any variances which are issued shall be noted in the annual or biennial report submitted to the Federal Insurance Administrator.

 

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