Sec. 35.1-45. Flood hazard districts: floodway districts (FW), floodway fringe districts (FF), and approximated flood plain districts (AFP).
(a) Intent. These districts are to provide primarily for the preservation and protection of lives and property in the flood plain areas of the city as well as to satisfy the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements for full compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to:
(1) Prevent the loss of life and excess damage to property in flood hazard areas.
(2) Promote health and safe use of flood plains and avoid disruption of commerce and industry, extraordinary public expenditures for flood relief and the impairment of the tax base.
(3) Restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety or property in times of flood.
(4) Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including public facilities which serve such uses, shall be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction.
(1) Base flood – The flood having a one percent (1%) chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
(2) Base flood elevation – The Federal Emergency Management Agency designated one hundred (100)-year water surface elevation.
(3) Basement – Any area of the building having its floor sub-grade (below ground level) on all sides.
(4) Board of Zoning Appeals – The board appointed to review appeals made by individuals with regard to decisions of the zoning administrator in the interpretation of this ordinance.
(5) 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.
(6) Elevated building – A non-basement building built to have the lowest floor elevated about the ground level by means of fill, solid foundation perimeter walls, pilings or columns (posts and piers).
(7) Encroachment – The advance or infringement of uses, plant growth, fill, excavation, buildings, permanent structures or development into a floodplain, which may impede or alter the flow capacity of a floodplain.
(8) Flood or flooding –
1. A general or temporary condition or partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
a. the overflow of inland or tidal waters; or,
b. the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
2. The collapse or subsistence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusually high water level in a natural body of water, accompanied by a severe storm, or by an unanticipated force of nature such as flash flood or an abnormal tidal surge, or by some similarly unusual an unforeseeable event which results in flooding as defined in paragraph 1 (a) of this definition.
(9) Floodplain or flood-prone area – Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source.
(10) 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 cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height.
(11) 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 in the watershed.
(12) Historic structure – Any structure that is:
1. listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the 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;
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; or,
5. any building located in a local historic district as designated by Section 35.1-44.1 of the zoning ordinance.
(13) 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 area is not considered a building’s lowest floor; provided, that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable non-elevation design requirements of Federal Code 44CFR §60.3.
(14) 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 connected to the required utilities. For floodplain management purposes the term manufactured home also includes park trailers, travel trailers, and other similar vehicles placed on a site for greater than one hundred and eighty (180) consecutive days.
(15) New construction – For the purposes of determining insurance rates, structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Map on or after December 31, 1974, whichever is later, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures. For floodplain management purposes, new construction means structures for which start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
(16) Recreational vehicle – A vehicle which is:
1. built on a single chassis;
2. four hundred (400) square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;
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 a temporary living quarters for recreational camping, travel or seasonal use.
(17) Shallow flooding area – A special flood hazard area with the base flood depths from one (1) to three (3) feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate, and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.
(18) Start of construction – The date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement, substantial improvement or other improvement was within one hundred and eighty (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 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 the property 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 the 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.
(19) 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 fifty (50) percent of the market value of the structure before the damaged occurred.
(20) Substantial improvement – Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty (50) percent of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. The term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage regardless of the actual repair work performed. 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 official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions, or
2. any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure.
(21) Watercourse – A lake, river, creek, stream, wash, channel or other topographic feature on or over which water flows at least periodically. Watercourse includes specifically designated areas in which substantial flood damage may occur.
(c) Boundaries. The boundaries of the flood zoning districts will be shown on the official zoning map, as they become available, and shall be determined by the water surface profiles, and, in the event of conflict between the boundaries shown on the official zoning map and the water surface profiles, the water surface profiles shall control. Applicants for a building permit must ensure to the satisfaction of the building inspector and the board of zoning appeals that the building site is not in a floodplain.
The building official shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source, as criteria for requiring that new construction, substantial improvements or other development in Zone A comply with applicable sections of this ordinance.
(d) Warning and disclaimer of liability. The degree of flood protection required by this ordinance is based on engineering and scientific methods of study. Larger floods may occur on rare occasions. This ordinance does not imply that areas outside the flood plain districts or land uses permitted within such districts will be free from flooding or flood damages. This ordinance shall not create liability on the part of the city or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on this ordinance or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
(e) Establishment of zoning districts. The flood hazard areas within the jurisdiction of this ordinance are hereby divided into four (4) sections: floodway districts (FW), floodway fringe districts (FF), approximated flood plain districts (AFP), and special floodplain districts (SFD).
The basis for the delineation of these districts shall be the flood insurance study (FIS) for the City of Lynchburg, Virginia, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Insurance Administration, dated June 3, 2008, or as amended. Any changes in the delineation are subject to the prior approval of the federal insurance administrator.
(1) The floodway district is delineated for purposes of this ordinance using the criteria that a certain area within the flood plain must be capable of carrying the waters of the one hundred (100)-year flood without increasing the water surface elevation. The areas included in this district are specifically defined in Table 2 of the above-referenced flood insurance study and shown on the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).
(2) The flood-fringe district shall be that area of the one hundred (100)-year flood plain not included in the floodway district. The basis for the outermost boundary of this district shall be the one hundred (100)-year flood elevations contained in the flood profiles of the above-referenced flood insurance study and as shown on the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), dated June 3, 2008, and subsequent revisions.
(3) The approximated flood plain district shall be that flood plain area for which no detailed flood profiles or elevations are provided, but where a one hundred (100)-year flood plain boundary has been approximated. Such areas are shown on the flood boundary and floodway map and/or flood insurance rate map. Where the specific one hundred (100)-year flood elevation cannot be determined for this area using other sources of data such as the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Flood Plain Information Reports, U. S. Geological Survey Flood Prone Quadrangles, etc., then the applicant for the proposed use, development and/or activity shall determine this elevation in accordance with hydrologic and hydraulic engineering techniques. Hydrologic and hydraulic analyses shall be undertaken only by professional engineers or others of demonstrated qualifications, who shall certify that the technical methods used correctly reflect currently accepted technical concepts. Studies, analyses, computations, etc., shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow a thorough review by the city.
(4) The special floodplain district shall be those areas identified as an AE Zone on the maps accompanying the flood insurance study for which one hundred (100)-year flood elevations have been provided but for which no floodway has been delineated.
(f) Alteration or relocation of a watercourse.
(1) Prior to any proposed alteration or relocation of any channels or floodways of any watercourse, stream, etc., within the City of Lynchburg, the following procedures shall apply:
a. Notification shall be given by the developer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for work in any stream, watercourse, etc., identified in the flood insurance study (FIS) for the City of Lynchburg.
b. Approval shall be obtained from the department of community development for work in any stream, watercourse, etc. in Lynchburg. The developer may be required to provide hydrologic and hydraulic analyses for approval.
c. Notification shall be given by the developer to the Virginia Division of Dam Safety and Floodplain Management, (Department of Conservation and Recreation), for any proposed work in any stream, watercourse, etc. in the City of Lynchburg and any required permits obtained before work will be permitted. A permit from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and certification from the Virginia State Water Control Board, may be necessary. (A joint permit is available from any of these agencies.) It shall be the responsibility of the developer to obtain all necessary permits. Further notification shall be given by the developer to all adjacent affected jurisdictions, as determined by the City of Lynchburg. Copies of this notification shall be forwarded to the Lynchburg department of community development and any affected counties.
d. Under no circumstances shall any use, activity and/or development adversely affect the capacity of the channels or floodways of any water course, drainage ditch or any other drainage facility or system.
(2) All uses, activities, and development occurring within any floodplain district shall be undertaken only upon the issuance of a building permit and/or land disturbance permit. Such development shall be undertaken only in strict compliance with the provisions of the city’s zoning ordinance, the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, the City of Lynchburgsubdivision regulations and with all other applicable codes and ordinances, as amended. All proposed development within flood hazard areas will be reviewed to assure that all necessary permits have been obtained from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law, including Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act amendments of 1972, 33 V.S.C. 1334.
(g) Prohibited uses: floodway district (FW). The following structures and uses are hereby prohibited in the floodway district:
(1) The storage or processing of materials that are pollutants, buoyant, flammable, poisonous, explosive or could be injurious to human, animal or plant life in time of flooding or that have high flood damage potential.
(2) Garbage and waste disposal facilities including any further encroachment upon the floodway at existing sites.
(3) Recreational uses which use fencing to surround the playing area—such as tennis courts or fenced ball fields.
(h) Uses permitted by right: floodway district (FW). The following uses shall be permitted within the floodway district; provided that they are not prohibited by any other ordinance, and, provided further, that encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development within the floodway district shall not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
(1) Agricultural uses such as general farming, pasturing, grazing, outdoor plant nurseries, horticulture, viticulture, truck farming, forestry, sod farming and wild crop harvesting.
(2) Industrial—commercial uses such as loading areas, parking areas, airport landing strips.
(3) Recreational uses such as temporary festivals operated by nonprofit organizations, golf courses, driving ranges, archery ranges, picnic areas, boat launching ramps, parks, swimming areas, fish hatcheries, wildlife preserves, game farms, target ranges, hiking and horseback trails and hunting and fishing areas.
(4) Residential uses such as lawns, gardens, parking areas and play areas.
(5) Transportation and service uses such as streets, bridges, pipes and pipelines, utilities and railroads, provided:
a. new and replacement water supply systems are to be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems; and
b. (i) new and replacement sanitary sewage systems are to be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems and discharges from the systems into flood waters; and (ii) onsite waste disposal systems are to be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.
c. Adequate drainage shall be provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
(i) Uses permitted by conditional use permit: floodway district (FW). Certain conditional uses may be allowed within the floodway district provided they comply with the regulations of Section 35.1-15 and Article X of this ordinance. However, encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development within the floodway districts, shall be proved not to result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge. Conditional uses include the following:
(1) Structures accessory to open space.
(2) Circuses, carnivals and similar transient amusement facilities.
(3) New and used car lots, roadside stands.
(4) Extraction of sand, gravel and other natural materials.
(5) Marinas, boat rentals, docks, piers, wharves.
(6) Storage yards for equipment, machinery or materials.
(7) Residential structures. All new construction and substantial improvements shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to at least one (1) foot above the one hundred (100)-year flood level. Accessory land uses such as yards, parking areas and railroad tracks may be placed at lower elevations.
Residential structures will have a means of ingress and egress to land outside the flood hazard district which is above the one hundred (100)-year flood level. The means of pedestrian ingress and egress shall be a minimum of fifteen (15) feet wide, or five (5) feet wide if equipped with handrails or other safety features. Such structures will also have a means of ingress and egress to land outside the flood hazard district for emergency vehicles.
Existing structures in the floodway area shall not be expanded or enlarged unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic or hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practices that the proposed expansion would not result in any increase in the base flood elevation.
The modification, alteration, repair, reconstruction or improvement of any kind to a structure and/or use, regardless of its location in a floodplain area to an extent or amount of fifty (50) percent or more of its market value shall be undertaken only in full compliance with this ordinance and shall require the entire structure to conform to the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within the flood hazard district shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at least one (1) foot above the base flood elevation and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system in accordance with the applicable provisions of the city.
All recreational vehicles placed on sites must either:
(a) be on the site for fewer than one hundred and eighty (180) consecutive days;
(b) be fully licensed and ready for highway use (a recreational vehicle is ready for highway use if it is on wheels or jacking system, is attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices and has not permanently attached additions); or,
(c) meet all the requirements for manufactured housing, including anchoring and elevation requirements.
(8) Nonresidential structures. All new construction and substantial improvements shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to at least one (1) foot above the one hundred (100)-year flood level or "flood-proofed" in accordance with the requirements of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
a. Any fill or materials proposed to be deposited in the flood hazard district must be shown to have some beneficial purpose and the amount thereof shall not be greater than on a plan submitted by the owner showing the uses to which the filled land will be put and the final dimensions of the proposed fill or other materials.
b. Such fill or other materials shall be protected against erosion by riprap, bulkheading or vegetative cover.
c. The applicant must show that construction of the fill will not cause damage to upstream properties by raising the flood surface profile.
(10) Mechanical and utility equipment. Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.
(11) Use of openings in enclosures below a structure's lowest floor. For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding and that are used solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria: a minimum of two (2) openings having a total net area of not less than one (1) square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided. The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one (1) foot above grade. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
(12) Other uses similar in nature which are consistent with the provisions put forth in the statement of intent.
Storage of materials or equipment, not prohibited in Subsection 35.1-45(g)(2), may be allowed if it is not subject to damage by floods and is either firmly anchored to prevent flotation or easily removable from the designated area within the time available after an official flood warning has been issued.
(j) Uses permitted by right: floodway fringe district (FF). Any use permitted in the floodway district (FW) may be permitted within the floodway fringe district (FF) provided it is not in conflict with any existing ordinances.
(k) Uses permitted by conditional use permit: floodway fringe district (FF). The following conditional uses will be permitted within the floodway fringe district provided they comply with the regulations of Section 35.1-15 and Article X of this ordinance.
(l) Uses permitted by right: Approximated flood plain district (AFP). Any use permitted in the floodway district (FW) and floodway fringe district (FF) may be permitted within the approximated floodplain district (AFP) provided it complies with the regulations of Section 35.1-45(e)(3) of this ordinance and is not in conflict with any existing ordinances.
(m) Uses permitted by conditional use permit: Approximated flood plain district (AFP). Any conditional use permitted in the floodway district (FW) and floodway fringe district (FF) may be permitted in the approximated flood plain district (AFP) provided it complies with Sections 35.1-15; 35.1-45(e)(3) and Article X of this ordinance.
(n) Within the special floodplain district the following provisions apply:
(1) 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 Zones 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 within the City of Lynchburg.
(o) Flood-proofing measures. When the board of adjustments and appeals declares that a structure must provide watertight flood-proofing before issuance of a use, conditional use or variance permit may be allowed, the applicant for said permit will submit a plan or documents certified by a professional engineer and/or architect registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, that the flood-proofing measures are consistent with the regulatory flood protection elevation and associated flood factors for that particular area.
(p) Regulation of real estate sales in flood hazard areas.
(1) Any owner or partial owner of real estate or his agent and any real estate broker or his agent who contracts to sell or sells real estate subject to a floodplain regulation without first notifying in writing the buyer or his agent that such real estate is subject to flood plain regulation shall be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor. Such an offense carries a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00). In addition, the buyer shall have the right to rescind the contract and the right to recover damages sustained by the buyer, whether or not the contract is rescinded.
(2) Flood plain regulation referred to in subsection (1) above includes zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations and building codes which impose restrictions specifically related to flooding on the whole or a portion of the lands.
(q) Development standards for public and private utilities. See Section 35.1-75.
(r) Variances to flood hazard district regulations.
In passing upon applications for variances, the board of zoning appeals shall satisfy all relevant factors and procedures specified in Section 35.1-13(d) of the zoning ordinance and consider the following additional factors:
(1) The showing of good and sufficient cause.
(2) 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 (100)-year flood elevation.
(3) The danger that materials may be swept on to other lands or downstream to the injury of others.
(4) The proposed water supply and sanitation systems and the ability of these systems to prevent disease, contamination and unsanitary conditions.
(5) The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owners.
(6) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community.
(7) The requirements of the facility for a waterfront location.
(8) The availability of alternative locations not subject to flooding for the proposed use.
(9) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing development and development anticipated in the foreseeable future.
(10) The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for the area.
(11) The safety of access by ordinary and emergency vehicles to the property in the time of flood.
(12) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood waters expected at the site.
(13) 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 a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
(14) Such other factors which are relevant to the purposes of this ordinance.
The board of zoning appeals may refer to 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.
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 (100)-year flood elevation (a) increases the risks to life and property and (b) will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.
(s) Building permits in flood plain district. All building permit applications issued for the floodplain district shall incorporate the following information:
(1) For residential structures, the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement);
(2) For nonresidential structures only, the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) or the flood-proofing elevation;
(3) The elevation of the one hundred (100)-year flood. (Ord. No. O-78-352, 12-12-78; Ord. No. O-86-087, 5-13-86; Ord. No. O-87-046, 3-10-87; Ord. No. O-89-150, 6-13-89; Ord. No. O-92-365, 12-8-92; Ord. No. O-08-051, 5-13-08)
Last updated date: 5/16/2008 1:40:14 PM