Sec 1-19-9-110

1-19-9.110 Activities within Floodplain District
(A) General.
(1) A permit is required for all development within the FEMA floodplain, flooding soils, and wetlands. It shall be granted only after all necessary permit applications are approved by Federal, State, and County agencies.

(2) The issuance of any permits by the State of Maryland or Corps of Engineers does not permit development within the Floodplain District except in conformity with provisions of this chapter.

(3) The Zoning Administrator may use tax assessment records to determine substantial improvement when an improvement is proposed to an existing structure. Substantial improvement will be calculated on a cumulative basis.

(4) Any substantial improvement or replacement approved shall be in conformance with the requirements of the permit program of the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

(5) Within the FEMA floodplain, substantial improvements, substantial improvements due to existing structures substantial damage, replacement or relocated dwelling units (including manufactured homes), the addition of accessory buildings, the expansion or replacement of an existing nonconforming use, or development of an existing parcel of record lying totally within the FEMA floodplain, require approval by the Board of Appeals (§ 1-19-9.120 (A)).

(6) Within a danger reach area, the replacement of dwelling units (including manufactured homes) damaged by flood, the substantial improvement of habitable area within existing structures, the addition of habitable area to an existing structure, or development of an existing parcel of record lying partially within a danger reach area require approval by the Board of Appeals (§ 1-19-9.220(A)).

(B) Land development.

(1) FEMA Floodplain and Wetlands. Within the FEMA floodplain and wetlands, no new development, including parking lots impervious to water, or fill, or excavation operations in conjunction with development will be permitted. Substantial improvements, substantial improvements due to existing structures substantial damage, replacement or relocated dwelling units (including manufactured homes), the addition of accessory buildings, the expansion or replacement of an existing nonconforming use, or development of an existing parcel of record lying totally within the FEMA floodplain shall be permitted only with approval by the Board of Appeals. Open shelters, pole-type structures (open on all sides and without walls), open fences and recreational uses, and recreational equipment which are not contained in a building, are exempt from the requirements of this section upon obtaining a zoning certificate in order to ensure the type of construction will not alter the flood elevation, except as outlined in § 1-19-9.110(D).

(2) Watershed Management Plans. All substantial improvements, replacements or other developments within the FEMA floodplain shall be consistent with watershed management plans where such plans exist. Structures slated for acquisition under future flood hazard management projects may not be improved or replaced.

(3) Floodplain and stream setbacks. A minimum setback of 25 feet shall be provided from all Floodplain district boundaries, except as otherwise approved through the mitigation process described in § 1-19-9.110(B)(7), or a minimum setback of 50 feet shall be provided from the bank of any perennial or intermittent stream, whichever is greater. All setback areas shall be maintained or planted with natural vegetation.

(4) Subdivisions and site plans. All new subdivisions or site plans shall have stream setbacks as well as the 100-year floodplain and floodway delineations and elevations, as reflected on Frederick County's Flood Insurance Study and Digital FIRM published by FEMA clearly shown and certified by a registered professional engineer, registered professional land surveyor, or registered property line surveyor. The plan shall demonstrate that development will avoid the FEMA floodplain. No new lots shall be created unless they have adequate buildable area outside of designated FEMA floodplain areas.

(5) Approximate FEMA floodplain. For development proposed in the approximate floodplain Zone A (no water surface elevations or floodway data provided), the applicant must use the best available information to determine the elevation of the 100-year flood and the extent of the floodway, and must delineate these on the site plan submitted for approval. For new subdivisions, the applicant must have the 100-year flood elevations certified by a registered professional engineer based on hydrologic and hydraulic analyses which include a floodway analysis. For individual lot development if no data are available, methods described in FEMA Publication #265 “Managing Floodplain Development in Approximate Zone A Areas” should be used to determine the 100-year flood elevation at the site.

(6) Floodway restrictions. No new development shall be permitted in the floodway except as provided in § 1-19-9.110(D).

(7) Flooding soils. No new development shall be permitted in areas of flooding soils unless approved through a mitigation process including the following:

(a) Submission by the applicant of a geotechnical report and soils report prepared by a registered professional engineer in the State of Maryland and a soil scientist with full membership in a State Soils Professional Organization or that meets certification requirements. The report shall address soil characteristics to include flooding frequency, duration, and surface water depth.

(b) Determination of buildable areas by the Division of Permitting and Development Review in consultation with the Soil Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(c) Submission by the applicant of a mitigation plan for approval by the Division of Permitting and Development Review in consultation with the Soil Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The mitigation plan shall include such factors as:

1. Retention pond releasing at predevelopment rates to include capacity for temporary inundation as determined in § 1-19-9.110 (B)(7)(a).

2. Use of techniques to reduce off-site runoff and ensure adequate groundwater recharge.

(C) Building standards. Development within the FEMA floodplain shall meet the standards as provided in subsection 1 through 4 below. Replacement or relocated dwelling units (including manufactured homes) or substantial improvements due to existing structures substantial damage or addition of accessory buildings will not be permitted without the approval of the Board of Appeals and then only if the lowest floor is elevated 1 foot above the elevation of the 100 year flood and the dwelling or improvement is placed on a permanent foundation or securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement.

(1) Elevation.

(a) The elevation of the lowest floor (see definition of “lowest floor”) of all substantially improved or replaced structures shall be at least 1 foot above the elevation of the 100 year flood. Basements are prohibited.

(b) All applicants shall agree in writing to provide an elevation certificate completed by a registered professional engineer or surveyor to certify the lowest floor (as built) of any structure is elevated above the 100-year flood. An Elevation Certificate must be submitted before a Zoning Certificate may be approved.

(2) Enclosures below lowest floor. The relocation or substantial improvements to existing structures or the addition of accessory structures containing fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor (including, but not limited to crawl spaces, solid footings and continuous foundations) shall be designed to meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:

(a) A minimum of 2 openings having a total net area of not less than 1 square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided.

(b) The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than 1 foot above grade.

(c) Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, valves, or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

(3) Anchoring. All structures shall be firmly anchored in accordance with acceptable engineering practices to prevent flotation, collapse, and lateral movement during flooding. All large pipes and storage tanks located below the Flood Protection Elevation shall be firmly anchored to prevent flotation.

(4) Utilities.

(a) Electric: All electric utilities to the building side of the meter, both interior and exterior to the building, must comply with all requirements of this chapter. Distribution panel boxes must be at least 2 feet above the Flood Protection Elevation. All outlets and electrical installations, such as heat pumps, air conditioners, water heaters, furnaces, generators, distribution systems, including duct work, must be installed at or above the Flood Protection Elevation. Replacement HVAC equipment shall be elevated to the Flood Protection Elevation unless proven to be impractical.

(b) Plumbing: Toilets, sinks, showers, water heaters, pressure tanks, furnaces, and other permanent plumbing installations must be installed at or above the Flood Protection Elevation.

(c) Gas: Gas meters and gas appliances must be installed at or above the Flood Protection Elevation.

(d) Fuel tanks: All gas (propane) tanks installed in the floodplain are required to be anchored to prevent flotation in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association Code 58. All tanks installed in floodplain areas shall be either elevated or adequately anchored to prevent flotation up to the Flood Protection Elevation. All fuel oil storage tanks installed in the floodplain must be either elevated or securely anchored to prevent flotation up to the Flood Protection Elevation. Vent pipes must extend to or above the Flood Protection Elevation and fill caps below the Flood Protection Elevation must be screw type with a tight fitting gasket to prevent mixing of water with oil.

(e) Water supply and sanitary facilities: Water supply distribution and sanitary disposal collection systems must be designed to minimize or eliminate the infiltration of flood waters into the systems or discharges from the systems into flood waters and shall be located and constructed so as to minimize or eliminate flood damage. On-site sewage disposal systems shall meet these same standards.

(D) Exemptions. This section does not prohibit the placement or repair of road crossings; water impoundments for stormwater management; retention areas; agricultural activities not requiring zoning certificate approval; public utility lines; environmental mitigation projects; or other minor wetland fill activities (less than 5,000 square feet of wetland impact) within designated FEMA floodplain, flooding soils, or wetlands. These floodplain activities must obtain all federal, state and local permits required and for minor wetland fills receipt of a letter of no significant impact from the responsible federal or state agency.

(Ord. 92-04-039, 2-18-1992; Ord. 92-13-048, 7-7-1992; Ord. 93-13-077, 6-1-1993; Ord. 07-29-469, 9-4-2007; Ord. 08-21-497, 8-5-2008)
Division 1. Floodplain District Regulations