Unless specifically defined in this section, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
“Alteration of watercourse” means any action that will change the location of the channel occupied by water within the banks of any portion of a riverine waterbody.
“Appeal” means a request for a review of the interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance pursuant to MMC 14.01.170(B).
“Area of shallow flooding” means a designated zone AO, AH, AR/AO or AR/AH (or VO) on the community’s flood insurance rate map (FIRM) with a one percent or greater annual chance of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet, where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable, and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow. Also referred to as the sheet flow area.
“Area of special flood hazard” means the land in the floodplain within the community subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. It is shown on the flood insurance rate map (FIRM) as zone A, AO, AH, A1-30, AE, A99, AR. The term “special flood hazard area” is synonymous in meaning with the phrase “area of special flood hazard.”
“ASCE 24” means the most recently published version of ASCE 24, Flood Resistant Design and Construction, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“Base flood” means the flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (also referred to as the “100-year flood”). Designation on maps always includes the letters “A” or “V.”
“Base flood elevation (BFE)” means the elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood.
“Basement” means any area of the building having its floor sub-grade (below ground level) on all sides.
“Breakaway wall” means a wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces, without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system.
Building. See “structure.”
“Building code” means the currently effective versions of the International Building Code and the International Residential Code adopted by the state of Washington Building Code Council and as adopted by the city of Monroe.
“Community” means the city of Monroe when referenced in this chapter.
“Critical facility” means a facility for which even a slight chance of flooding might be too great. Critical facilities include but are not limited to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, police, fire and emergency response installations, and installations which produce, use, or store hazardous materials or hazardous waste.
“Development” means any manmade 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. “Development” also means subdivision of a parcel or parcels into two or more lots located within the area of special flood hazard.
“Elevated building” means, for insurance purposes, a nonbasement building that has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, posts, piers, pilings, or columns.
“Elevation certificate” means an administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that can be used to provide elevation information, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a letter of map amendment (LOMA) or letter of map revision based on fill (LOMR-F).
Essential facility. See “essential facility” defined in ASCE 24. Table 1-1 in ASCE 24-14 further identifies building occupancies that are essential facilities.
“Existing manufactured home park or 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) is completed before the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the community.
“Expansion to an existing manufactured home park or subdivision” means the preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads).
“Farmhouse” means a single-family dwelling located on a farm site where resulting agricultural products are not produced for the primary consumption or use by the occupants and the farm owner.
“Flood or flooding” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
a. The overflow of inland or tidal waters;
b. The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; and/or
c. Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding as defined in subsection (1)(b) of this definition and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.
2. 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 subsection (1)(a) of this definition.
“Flood elevation study” means an examination, evaluation and determination of flood hazards and, if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations, or an examination, evaluation and determination of mudslide (i.e., mudflow) and/or flood-related erosion hazards. Also known as a “flood insurance study (FIS).”
“Flood insurance rate map (FIRM)” means the official map of the community, on which the Federal Insurance Administrator has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community. A FIRM that has been made available digitally is called a “digital flood insurance rate map (DFIRM).”
“Flood insurance study” means the official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration that includes flood profiles, the flood boundary-floodway map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
“Floodplain or flood prone area” means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source. See “flood or flooding.”
“Floodplain administrator” means the community official designated by title to administer and enforce the floodplain management regulations.
“Floodplain management regulations” means zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as floodplain ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other application 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 nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures, and their contents. Floodproofed structures are those that have the structural integrity and design to be impervious to floodwater below the base flood elevation.
“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 a designated height. Also referred to as “regulatory floodway.”
“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, and does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.
“Highest adjacent grade” means the highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.
“Historic structure” means 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; or
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.
“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 nonelevation design requirements of this chapter found in MMC 14.01.130 (i.e., provided there are adequate flood ventilation openings).
“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 one hundred eighty consecutive days. For insurance purposes the term “manufactured home” does not include park trailers, travel trailers, and other similar vehicles. 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.
“Mean sea level” means, for purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the vertical datum to which base flood elevations shown on the community’s flood insurance rate map are referenced.
“New construction” means, for the purposes of determining insurance rates, structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of an initial flood insurance rate map 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 the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by the community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
One hundred-year flood or 100-year flood. See “base flood.”
“New manufactured home park or subdivision” means a manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for 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) is completed on or after the effective date of adopted floodplain management regulations.
“Reasonably safe from flooding” means development that is designed and built to be safe from flooding based on consideration of current flood elevation studies, historical data, high water marks and other reliable data known to the community. In unnumbered A zones where flood elevation information is not available and cannot be obtained by practicable means, “reasonably safe from flooding” means that the lowest floor is at least two feet above the highest adjacent grade.
“Recreational vehicle” means a vehicle:
1. Built on a single chassis;
2. Four hundred 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 temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
“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 one hundred eighty 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 foundation 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.
“Structure” means, for floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
“Substantial damage” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure for which the cost of restoration to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed fifty percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
“Substantial improvement” means any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty 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:
1. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct previously identified existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications that have been previously identified by the local code enforcement official and that 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.”
“Variance” means a grant of relief by the community from the terms of a floodplain management regulation.
“Water dependent” means a structure for commerce or industry that cannot exist in any other location and is dependent on the water by reasons of the intrinsic nature of its operations.
“Water surface elevation” means the height, in relation to the vertical datum utilized in the applicable flood insurance study, of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the floodplains of coastal or riverine areas. (Ord. 004/2020 § 1(Exh. A); Ord. 018/2017 § 3; Ord. 033/2008 § 3; Ord. 004/2006 § 2; Ord. 021/2005 § 1)