SECTION 14 - DEFINITIONS
Unless specifically defined below, words and phrases used in this Ordinance shall have the same
meaning as they have at common law and to give this Ordinance its most reasonable application.
Words used in the present tense include the future, the singular number includes the plural, and
the plural number includes the singular. The word "may" is permissive; "shall" is mandatory and
Accessory Structure - means a small detached structure that is incidental and subordinate to
the principal structure.
Adjacent Grade - means the natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to
the proposed walls of a structure.
Area of Special Flood Hazard - means the land in the floodplain having a one percent or greater
chance of flooding in any given year, as specifically identified in the Flood Hazard Boundary Map
cited in Article I of this Ordinance.
Base Flood - means the flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any
given year, commonly called the 100-year flood.
Basement - means any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all
Building - see Structure.
Certificate of Compliance - A document signed by the Code Enforcement Officer stating that a
structure is in compliance with all of the provisions of this Ordinance.
Code Enforcement Officer - any person or board responsible for performing the inspection,
licensing, and enforcement duties required by a particular statute or ordinance.
Conditional Use - means a use that because of its potential impact on surrounding areas and
structures, is permitted only upon review and approval by the Planning Board pursuant to Section
Development - means any change caused by individuals or entities to improved or unimproved
real estate, including but not limited to the construction of buildings or other structures; the
construction of additions or substantial improvements to buildings or other structures; mining,
dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation, drilling operations or storage of equipment or
materials; and the storage, deposition, or extraction of materials, public or private sewage
disposal systems or water supply facilities.
Elevated Building - means a non-basement building
a. built, in the case of a building in Zone A, to have the top of the elevated floor, elevated
above the ground level by means of pilings, columns, post, piers, or "stilts;" and
b. adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a
flood of up to one foot above the magnitude of the base flood.
In the case of Zone A, Elevated Building also includes a building elevated by means of fill or
solid foundation perimeter walls with hydraulic openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded
movement of flood waters, as required in Section 6.K..
Elevation Certificate - An official form (FEMA Form 81-31, 08/99, as amended) that:
a. is used to verify compliance with the floodplain management regulations of the National
Flood Insurance Program; and,
b. is required for purchasing flood insurance.
Flood or Flooding - means:
a. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land
1. The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
2. The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
b. The collapse or subsidence 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 and
unforeseeable event which results in flooding as defined in paragraph a.1. of this
Flood Elevation Study - means an examination, evaluation and determination of flood hazards
and, if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations.
Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) - means an official map of a community, issued by the
Federal Insurance Administration, where the boundaries of the base flood have been designated.
Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) - means an official map of a community, on which the
Federal Insurance Administrator has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk
premium zones applicable to the community.
Floodplain or Flood-prone Area - means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water
from any source (see flooding).
Floodplain Management - means the operation of an overall program of corrective and
preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including but not limited to emergency
preparedness plans, flood control works, and floodplain management regulations.
Floodplain Management Regulations - means 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 - means any combination of structural and non-structural 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 contents.
Floodway - see Regulatory Floodway.
Freeboard - means 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, such
as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed,
that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood
and floodway conditions.
Functionally Dependent Use - means a use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it
is located or carried out in close proximity to water. The term includes only docking facilities, port
facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship
building and ship repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing
Historic Structure - means any structure that is:
a. 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;
b. 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 of the Interior to qualify as a registered historic district;
c. 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
d. Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic
preservation programs that have been certified either:
1. By an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, or
2. Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.
Locally Established Datum - means, for purposes of this ordinance, an elevation established for
a specific site to which all other elevations at the site are referenced. This elevation is generally
not referenced to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) or any other established datum
and is used in areas where Mean Sea Level data is too far from a specific site to be practically
Lowest Floor - means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An
unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, usable solely for 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 described in Section 6.K. of this ordinance.
Manufactured Home - means 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 180 consecutive days.
Manufactured Home Park or Subdivision - means a parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land
divided into three or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
Mean Sea Level - means, for purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the National
Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929, or other datum, to which base flood elevations shown
on a community's Flood Insurance Rate map are referenced.
Minor Development - means all development that is not new construction or a substantial
improvement, such as repairs, maintenance, renovations, or additions, whose value is less than
50% of the market value of the structure. It also includes, but is not limited to: accessory
structures as provided for in Section 6.I., mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation,
drilling operations, storage of equipment or materials, deposition or extraction of materials, public
or private sewage disposal systems or water supply facilities that do not involve structures; and
non-structural projects such as bridges, dams, towers, fencing, pipelines, wharves and piers.
National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) - means the national vertical datum, whose standard
was established in 1929, which is used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). NGVD
was based upon mean sea level in 1929 and also has been called “1929 Mean Sea Level (MSL)”.
New Construction - means structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or
after the effective date of the initial floodplain management regulations adopted by a community
and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
100-year flood - see Base Flood.
Regulatory Floodway -
a. means the channel of a river or other water course 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 one foot, and
b. in Zone A riverine areas, the floodway is considered to be the channel of a river or other
water course and the adjacent land areas to a distance of one-half the width of the
floodplain, as measured from the normal high water mark to the upland limit of the
Riverine - means relating to, formed by, or resembling a river (including tributaries), stream,
Special Flood Hazard Area - see Area of Special Flood Hazard.
Start of Construction - means 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 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 streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for
basement, footings, 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, or modification of any construction element whether or not that alteration affects the
external dimensions of the building.
Structure - means, for floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building. A gas or
liquid storage tank that is principally above ground is also a structure.
Substantial Damage - means, damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of
restoring the structure to its before damage condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the
market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
Substantial Improvement - means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other
improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of
the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures
which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The
term does not, however, include either:
a. 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
b. Any alteration of a Historic Structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the
structure's continued designation as a historic structure, and a variance is obtained from
the community’s Board of Appeals.
Variance - means a grant of relief by a community from the terms of a floodplain management
Violation - means the failure of a structure or development to comply with a community's
floodplain management regulations.
Flood Plain Insurance Ordinance
SECTION 14 - DEFINITIONS