Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this ordinance shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this ordinance its most reasonable application.

“Accessory Structure (Appurtenant Structure)” means a structure located on the same parcel of property as the principal structure and the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure.  Garages, carports and storage sheds are common urban accessory structures.  Pole barns, hay sheds and the like qualify as accessory structures on farms, and may or may not be located on the same parcel as the farm dwelling or shop building.

“Addition (to an existing building)” means an extension or increase in the floor area or height of a building or structure.

“Appeal” means a request for a review of the Floodplain Administrator’s interpretation of any provision of this ordinance.

“Area of Shallow Flooding” means a designated Zone AO on a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) with base flood depths determined to be from one (1) to three (3) feet.  These areas are located where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate, and where velocity flow may be evident.

“Area of Special Flood Hazard” see “Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)”.

“Base Flood” means the flood having a one (1) percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

“Base Flood Elevation (BFE)” means a determination of the water surface elevations of the base flood as published in the Flood Insurance Study. When the BFE has not been provided in a “Special Flood Hazard Area”, it may be obtained from engineering studies available from a Federal, State, or other source using FEMA approved engineering methodologies.  This elevation, when combined with the “Freeboard”, establishes the “Regulatory Flood Protection Elevation”.

“Basement” means any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.

“Building” see “Structure”.

“Chemical Storage Facility” means a building, portion of a building, or exterior area adjacent to a building used for the storage of any chemical or chemically reactive products.

“Development” means 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.

“Disposal” means, as defined in NCGS 130A-290(a)(6), the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste into or on any land or water so that the solid waste or any constituent part of the solid waste may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including groundwaters.

“Elevated Building” means a non-basement building which has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, posts, piers, pilings, or columns.

“Encroachment” means the advance or infringement of uses, fill, excavation, buildings, structures or development into a floodplain, which may impede or alter the flow capacity of a floodplain.

“Existing Manufactured Home Park or Manufactured Home Subdivision” means a manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) was completed before the initial effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the community.

“Flood” or “Flooding” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

(1)    the overflow of inland or tidal waters; and/or
(2)    the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

“Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM)” means an official map of a community, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on which the Special Flood Hazard Areas and the floodways are delineated.  This official map is a supplement to and shall be used in conjunction with the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).

“Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM)” means an official map of a community, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where the boundaries of the Special Flood Hazard Areas have been defined as Zone A.

“Flood Insurance” means the insurance coverage provided under the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)” means an official map of a community, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on which both the Special Flood Hazard Areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community are delineated.

“Flood Insurance Study (FIS)” means an examination, evaluation, and determination of flood hazards, corresponding water surface elevations (if appropriate), flood hazard risk zones, and other flood data in a community issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The Flood Insurance Study report includes Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps (FBFMs), if published.

“Flood Prone Area” see “Floodplain”

“Flood Zone” means a geographical area shown on a Flood Hazard Boundary Map or Flood Insurance Rate Map that reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.

“Floodplain” means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source.

“Floodplain Administrator” is the individual appointed to administer and enforce the floodplain management regulations.

“Floodplain Development Permit” means any type of permit that is required in conformance with the provisions of this ordinance, prior to the commencement of any development activity.

“Floodplain Management” means the operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage and preserving and enhancing, where possible, natural resources in the floodplain, including, but not limited to, emergency preparedness plans, flood control works, floodplain management regulations, and open space plans.

“Floodplain Management Regulations” means this ordinance and other zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances, and other applications of police power.  This term describes Federal, State or local regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for preventing and reducing flood loss and damage.

“Floodproofing” means any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitation facilities, structures, and their contents.

“Floodway” means 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 one (1) foot.

“Freeboard” means the height added to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) to account for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater that the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, blockage of bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed. The Base Flood Elevation (BFE) plus the freeboard establishes the “Regulatory Flood Protection Elevation”.

“Functionally Dependent Facility” means a facility which cannot be used for its intended purpose unless it is located in close proximity to water, limited to a docking or port facility necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, shipbuilding, or ship repair.  The term does not include long-term storage, manufacture, sales, or service facilities.

“Hazardous Waste Management Facility” means, as defined in NCGS 130A, Article 9, a facility for the collection, storage, processing, treatment, recycling, recovery, or disposal of hazardous waste.

“Highest Adjacent Grade (HAG)” means the highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, immediately next to the proposed walls of the structure.

“Historic Structure” means any structure that is:

(a)    listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the US Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
(b)    certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of 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;
(c)    individually listed on a local inventory of historic landmarks in communities with a “Certified Local Government (CLG) Program”; or
(d)    certified as contributing to the historical significance of a historic district designated by a community with a “Certified Local Government (CLG) Program”. Certified Local Government (CLG) Programs are approved by the US Department of the Interior in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources through the State Historic Preservation Officer as having met the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended in 1980.

“Lowest Adjacent Grade (LAG)” means the elevation of the ground, sidewalk or patio slab immediately next to the building, or deck support, after completion of the building.

“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 limited storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building’s lowest floor, provided that such an enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable non-elevation design requirements of this ordinance.

“Manufactured Home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities.  The term “manufactured home” does not include a “recreational vehicle”.

“Manufactured Home Park or Subdivision” means a parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.

“Market Value” means the building value, not including the land value and that of any accessory structures or other improvements on the lot.  Market value may be established by independent certified appraisal; replacement cost depreciated for age of building and quality of construction (Actual Cash Value); or adjusted tax assessed values.

“Mean Sea Level” means, for purposes of this ordinance, the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) as corrected in 1929, the North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) as corrected in 1988, or other vertical control datum used as a reference for establishing varying elevations within the floodplain, to which Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) shown on a FIRM are referenced.  Refer to each FIRM panel to determine datum used.

“New Construction” means structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of the initial floodplain management regulations and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

“Non-Encroachment Area” means 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 one (1) foot as designated in the Flood Insurance Study report.

“Post-FIRM” means construction or other development for which the “start of construction” occurred on or after the effective date of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Map.

“Pre-FIRM” means construction or other development for which the “start of construction” occurred before the effective date of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Map.

“Principally Above Ground” means that at least 51% of the actual cash value of the structure is above ground.

“Public Safety” and/or “Nuisance” means anything which is injurious to the safety or health of an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, or unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or basin.

“Recreational Vehicle (RV)” means a vehicle, which is:

(a)    built on a single chassis;
(b)    400 square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;
(c)    designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and
(d)    designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling, but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.

“Reference Level” is the top of the lowest floor for structures within Special Flood Hazard Areas designated as Zone A1-A30, AE, A, A99 or AO.

“Regulatory Flood Protection Elevation” means the “Base Flood Elevation” plus the “Freeboard”.  In “Special Flood Hazard Areas” where Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) have been determined, this elevation shall be the BFE plus two (2) feet of freeboard.  In “Special Flood Hazard Areas” where no BFE has been established, this elevation shall be at least two     (2) feet above the highest adjacent grade

“Remedy a Violation” means to bring the structure or other development into compliance with State and community floodplain management regulations, or, if this is not possible, to reduce the impacts of its noncompliance.  Ways that impacts may be reduced include protecting the structure or other affected development from flood damages, implementing the enforcement provisions of the ordinance or otherwise deterring future similar violations, or reducing Federal financial exposure with regard to the structure or other development.

“Riverine” means relating to, formed by, or resembling a river (including tributaries), stream, brook, etc.

“Salvage Yard” means any non-residential property used for the storage, collection, and/or recycling of any type of equipment, and including but not limited to vehicles, appliances and related machinery.

“Solid Waste Disposal Facility” means any facility involved in the disposal of solid waste, as defined in NCGS 130A-290(a)(35).

“Solid Waste Disposal Site” means, as defined in NCGS 130A-290(a)(36), any place at which solid wastes are disposed of by incineration, sanitary landfill, or any other method.

“Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)” means the land in the floodplain subject to a one percent (1%) or greater chance of being flooded in any given year, as determined in Article 3, Section B of this ordinance.

“Start of Construction” includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition placement, 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 a 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 the building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

“Structure” means a walled and roofed building, a manufactured home, or a gas, liquid, or liquefied gas storage tank that is principally above ground.

“Substantial Damage” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure during any one-year period whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.  See definition of “substantial improvement”.  Substantial damage also means flood-related damage sustained by a structure on two separate occasions during a 10-year period for which the cost of repairs at the time of each such flood event, on the average, equals or exceeds 25 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

“Substantial Improvement” means any combination of repairs, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, taking place during any one-year period for which the cost 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 correction of existing violations of State or community health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the community code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
(b)    any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure.

“Variance” is a grant of relief from the requirements of this ordinance.

“Violation” means the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community’s floodplain management regulations.  A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in Articles 4 and 5 is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.

“Water Surface Elevation (WSE)” means the height, in relation to mean sea level, of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the floodplains of riverine areas.

“Watercourse” means a lake, river, creek, stream, wash, channel or other topographic feature on or over which waters flow at least periodically.  Watercourse includes specifically designated areas in which substantial flood damage may occur.

Mailing Address

PO Box 100
Misenheimer, NC 28109

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