MapLink™ | Procedures | Floodplain Development Permit

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Floodplain Development Permit
Application procedures and requirements.
Application for such a permit shall be made, in writing, to the floodplain administrator on forms supplied by West Goshen Township. Such application shall contain the following:
(1) Name and address of applicant.
(2) Name and address of owner of land on which proposed construction is to occur.
(3) Name and address of contractor.
(4) Site location, including address.
(5) Listing of other permits required.
(6) Brief description of proposed work and estimated cost, including a breakout of flood-related cost and the market value of the building before the flood damage occurred, where appropriate.
(7) A plan of the site showing the exact size and location of the proposed construction as well as any existing buildings or structures.
If any proposed construction or development is located entirely or partially within any identified floodplain area, applicants for permits shall provide all the necessary information in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the floodplain administrator to determine that:
(1) All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and conform with the requirements of this article and all other applicable codes and ordinances;
(2) All utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems, are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage;
(3) Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards;
(4) Structures will be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement;
(5) Building materials are flood-resistant;
(6) Appropriate practices that minimize flood damage have been used; and
(7) Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air-conditioning equipment, and other service facilities have been designed and located to prevent water entry or accumulation.
Applicants shall file the following minimum information plus any other pertinent information as may be required by the floodplain administrator to make the above determination:
(1) A completed permit application form.
(2) A plan of the entire site, clearly and legibly drawn at a scale of one inch being equal to 100 feet or less, showing the following:
(a) North arrow, scale, and date;
(b) Topographic contour lines, if available;
(c) The location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, and other improvements, including the location of any existing or proposed subdivision and development;
(d) The location of all existing streets, drives, and other accessways; and
(e) The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, identified floodplain areas, and, if available, information pertaining to the floodway, and the flow of water, including direction and velocities.
(3) Plans of all proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, drawn at suitable scale showing the following:
(a) The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building, based upon North American Vertical Datum of 1988;
(b) The elevation of the base flood;
(c) Supplemental information as may be necessary under 34 Pa. Code, the 2009 IBC or the 2009 IRC, or the latest revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(4) The following data and documentation:
(a) Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures and corresponding elevations.
(b) If available, information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a base flood.
(c) Documentation, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, to show that the effect of any proposed development within a Floodway Area will not increase the base flood elevation at any point.
(d) Documentation, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, to show that the cumulative effect of any proposed development within an AE Area/District without floodway, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the base flood elevation more than one foot at any point within the community.
(e) A document, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction or development has been adequately designed to withstand the pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces associated with the base flood. Such statement shall include a description of the type and extent of floodproofing measures which have been incorporated into the design of the structure and/or the development.
(f) Detailed information needed to determine compliance with sections regarding § 84-90.12, storage and development which may endanger human life, including:
[1] The amount, location and purpose of any materials or substances which are intended to be used, produced, stored or otherwise maintained on site.
[2] A description of the safeguards incorporated into the design of the proposed structure to prevent leaks or spills of the dangerous materials or substances during a base flood.
(g) The appropriate component of the Department of Environmental Protection's "Planning Module for Land Development."
(h) Where any excavation or grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection, to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control.
Applications for permits shall be accompanied by a fee, payable to the municipality based upon the estimated cost of the proposed construction as determined by the floodplain administrator.

Review by County Conservation District.
A copy of all applications and plans for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval may be submitted by the floodplain administrator to the County Conservation District for review and comment prior to the issuance of a permit. The recommendations of the Conservation District may be considered by the floodplain administrator for possible incorporation into the proposed plan.

Review of application by others.
A copy of all plans and applications for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval may be submitted by the floodplain administrator to any other appropriate agencies and/or individuals (e.g., Planning Commission, Municipal Engineer, etc.) for review and comment.

After the issuance of a permit by the floodplain administrator, no changes of any kind shall be made to the application, permit or any of the plans, specifications or other documents submitted with the application without the written consent or approval of the floodplain administrator. Requests for any such change shall be in writing, and shall be submitted by the applicant to the floodplain administrator for consideration.

In addition to the permit, the floodplain administrator shall issue a placard, or similar document, which shall be displayed on the premises during the time construction is in progress. This placard shall show the number of the permit, the date of its issuance, and be signed by the floodplain administrator.
Start of construction.
A. Work on the proposed construction or development shall begin within 180 days after the date of issuance of the development permit. Work shall also be completed within 12 months after the date of issuance of the permit or the permit shall expire unless a time extension is granted, in writing, by the floodplain administrator. The issuance of a development permit does not refer to the zoning approval.
B. The "actual start of construction" means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of a 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 a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
C. Time extensions shall be granted only if a written request is submitted by the applicant, who sets forth sufficient and reasonable cause for the floodplain administrator to approve such a request and the original permit is compliant with the ordinance and FIRM/FIS in effect at the time the extension is granted.

Enforcement and penalties.
Any person who fails to comply with any or all of the requirements or provisions of this article or who fails or refuses to comply with any notice, order of direction of the floodplain administrator or any other authorized employee of the municipality shall be subject to the administrative and enforcement provisions of Article XVI: Administration and Article XVII: Zoning Hearing Board of this chapter. In addition to the above penalties, all other actions are hereby reserved, including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of this article. The imposition of a fine or penalty for any violation of, or noncompliance with, this article shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance or permit it to continue. Any development initiated or any structure or building constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered, or relocated in noncompliance with this article may be declared by the Board to be a public nuisance and abatable as such.

A. Any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the floodplain administrator concerning the administration of the provisions of this article may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. Such appeal must be filed, in writing, within 30 days after the decision, determination or action of the floodplain administrator.
B. Upon receipt of such appeal, the Zoning Hearing Board shall consider the appeal in accordance with the Municipalities Planning Code and the specific provisions of the Zoning Ordinance governing actions before the Zoning Hearing Board.
C. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Zoning Hearing Board may seek relief therefrom by appeal to court, as provided by the laws of this state, including the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act.

Changes in identification of area.
The identified floodplain area may be revised or modified by the Board of Supervisors where studies or information provided by a qualified agency or person documents the need for such revision. However, prior to any such change to the special flood hazard area, approval must be obtained from FEMA. Additionally, as soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the date such information becomes available, the Township shall notify FEMA of the changes to the special flood hazard area by submitting technical or scientific data.

Boundary disputes.
Should a dispute concerning any identified floodplain boundary arise, an initial determination shall be made by the floodplain administrator, with input from the Township Engineer, and any party aggrieved by this decision or determination may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. The burden of proof shall be on the appellant.

Jurisdictional boundary changes.
Prior to development occurring in areas where annexation or other corporate boundary changes are proposed or have occurred, the Township shall review flood hazard data affecting the lands subject to boundary changes. The Township shall adopt and enforce floodplain regulations in areas subject to annexation or corporate boundary changes which meet or exceed those in 44 CFR 60.3.

See Article XIX: Floodplain Regulations for more information.