AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 9 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES,
WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the citizens of Charleston County to have an updated ordinance for the management of the flood hazard areas in the County in order for the citizens of Charleston County to be able to receive federally subsidized flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, and to receive discounts thereto as a result of the participation by Charleston County in the Community Rating System, and
Sec. 9-1. Statutory authorization.
The Legislature of the State of South Carolina has in
Code of Laws, §4-9-30(5), delegated the responsibility to local governmental
units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and
general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the County Council, of
Sec. 9·2. Findings of fact.
The flood hazard areas of
2. These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in flood plains, causing increases in flood heights and velocities, and by the occupancy in flood hazard areas by uses vulnerable to floods or hazardous to other lands which are inadequately elevated, flood proofed, or otherwise unprotected from flood damage.
In order for owners of property located within
Based on the findings set forth above, Charleston County Council finds it
is in the public interest and a benefit to the general health, safety and
welfare of the residents of
Sec. 9~3. Statement of purpose.
It is the purpose of this ordinance to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed to:
1. Restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion hazards, or which result in damaging increases in erosion or in flood heights or velocities;
2. Require that structures vulnerable to floods, including appurtenant structures, be protected against flood damage.
Sec. 94. Objectives.
1. The objectives of this ordinance are:
2. To protect human life and health;
3. To minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;
4. To minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;
5. To minimize prolonged business interruptions;
6. To minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, street and bridges located in floodplains;
7. To help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of flood prone areas in such a manner as to minimize flood blight areas, and;
8. To insure that potential homebuyers are notified that property is in a flood area.
Secs. 9·5 • 9·9. Reserved.
Sec. 9-10. Definitions.
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 in light of its stated objectives. Where it states "means" is the literal definition.
"A" Zone - Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event. Because detailed hydraulic analyses have not been performed, no Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) or flood depths are shown.
"AE" Zone - Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual~chance flood event determined by detailed methods. BFEs are shown within these zones.
Accessory residential structure is a structure on the same parcel of property as the principal structure, used for parking of vehicles or typical residential equipment, or for limited storage.
Appeal is a request for a review of the building official's interpretation of any provision of the chapter to the Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeal.
Appurtenant Structure is a structure which is on the same parcel of property as the principal structure, the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure in light of its stated objectives.
Area of Special Flood Hazard is the land in the floodplain within a community, subject to a one (1) percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. For purposes of these regulations, the term "special flood hazard area (SFHA)" is synonymous in meaning with the phrase "area of special flood hazard".
Base Flood or 100 Year Flood means the flood having a one (1) percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
Basement means area of a building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
Breakaway Wall means a wall that is not part of the structural support of a building that 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 the supporting foundation system.
Building - See structure.
Building Official is the individual charged with administration and enforcement of the building codes and floodplain regulations for the County.
Building Permit includes mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and any other permits issued by the County Building Official.
Coastal "AE" Zone· Areas subject to inundation by at least 1-percent-annual-chance flood event as determined by detailed methods, and where wave action is expected with wave heights between 1.5 and 3.0 feet. Coastal AE Zones are landward of the VE Zone up to the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) line. This area may also be referred to as a Coastal uA" Zone.
Coastal High Hazard Area means an area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to flooding and high velocity waters caused by, but not limited to, hurricane wave wash. This includes Zones, V and VE.
Critical Facility means a structure or facility that:
1. Produces, uses, or stores highly volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic and/or waterreactive materials; or
2. Is a hospital, nursing home, or housing likely to contain occupants who may not be sufficiently mobile to avoid death or injury during a flood; or
3. Is a police station, fire station, vehicle and equipment storage facility or emergency operations center that is needed for flood response activities before, during or after a flood; or
4. Is a public or private utility facility that is vital to maintaining or restoring normal services to flooded areas before, during or after a flood.
Critical Feature means an integral and readily identifiable part of a flood protection system, without which the flood protection provided by the entire system would be compromised.
Line means the border on either a
Datum is National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29) or North American
Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) measurement above "mean sea level" on the community adopted federal flood maps.
Design Flood Elevation - base flood elevation (BFE) plus freeboard.
Developed Area means an area of a community that is:
1. A primarily urbanized, built-up area that is a minimum of twenty (20) contiguous acres, has basic urban, infrastructure Including roads, utilities, communications, and public facilities, to sustain industrial, residential, and commercial activities, and
a. Within which seventy-five (75) percent or more of the parcels, tracts, or lots contain commercial, industrial, or residential structures or uses; or
b. A single parcel, tract, or lot in which seventy (75) percent of the area contains existing commercial or industrial structures or uses; or
c. A subdivision developed at a density of at least two (2) residential structures per acre within which seventy-five (75) percent or more of the lots contain existing residential structures at the time the designation is adopted.
2. Undeveloped parcel, tract, or lot, the combination of which is ef less than twenty (20) acres and is contiguous on at least three (3) sides to areas meeting the criteria of paragraph (a) at the time the designation is adopted.
3. A subdivision that is a minimum of twenty (20) contiguous acres that has obtained all necessary government approvals, provided that the actual "start of construction" of structures has occurred on at least ten (10) percent of the lots or remaining lots of a subdivision of ten (10) percent of the maximum building coverage or remaining building coverage allowed for a single lot subdivision at the time the designation is adopted and construction of structures is underway. Residential subdivisions must meet the density criteria In paragraph (1)(c) of this definition.
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, excavating, drilling operations, or storage of equipment or materials.
Director of Public Works means the director of the Charleston County Department of Public Works.
Elevated building is a non-basement building which has its lowest elevated floor raised above the ground level by means of fill, solid foundation perimeter walls, pilings, columns, piers, or shear walls.
construction means any structures for
which the start of construction commenced before
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) was completed before November 15, 1973.
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).
Farm structure is a structure which is constructed on a farm, other than a residence or a structure attached to it, for use on the farm including, but not limited to, barns, sheds and poultry houses, but not including public livestock areas. .
FEMA means the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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 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 (Le., mudflow) and/or flood-related erosion hazards.
Flood hazard boundary map (FHBM) means an official map of a community, issued by the Federal Insurance Administrator, where the boundaries of the flood, mud slide (Le., mudflow) and related erosion areas having special hazards have been designated.
insurance rate map (
Flood insurance study - See flood elevation study.
Floodplain or flood-prone area means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source.
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 such state or local regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.
Flood proofing 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 their contents.
Floodway - See regulatory floodway.
Floodway encroachment lines mean the lines marking the limits of f100dways on federal, state and local floodplain maps.
Freeboard is a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a mandatory base flood elevation for purposes of flood plain management.
Functionally dependent use means a use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water, such as 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 or related manufacturing facilities.
Hazardous Velocities - Hydrodynamic pressure must be considered in the design of any foundation system where velocity waters or the potential for debris flow exists. If flood velocities are excessive (greater than 5 feet per second), foundation systems other than solid foundations walls should be considered so that obstructions to damaging flood flows are minimized.
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 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 that has been certified by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Improvement is any alteration, addition, or structural repair to an existing structure where "substantial improvement" or "substantial damage" is not a factor.
Lowest floor means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). Unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access, or storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor; provided such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of this ordinance.
Mangrove stand means an assemblage of mangrove trees which is mostly low trees noted for a copious development of interlacing adventitious roots above the ground and which contain one (1) or more of the following species: Black mangrove (Avicennia nitida); Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle); White mangrove (Longunculariaracemosa); and buttonwood (Conocarpus erecta).
Manufactured home means a structure, transportable in one (1) or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed to meet HUD standards, for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached 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 (2) or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
home permanent foundation Is a foundation designed
by a Professional Engineer registered in
Mean sea level is the average height of the sea for all stages of the tide as determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, used as a reference for establishing various elevations within the flood plain.
Modular building unit is a building or set of building components manufactured off-site and transported to the point of use for Installation or erection, with or without other specified components, as a finished building and not designed for ready removal to another site, and built in accordance to the Modular Construction Act of the State of South Carolina. This term is not to be limited to residential dwellings.
construction means, for flood plain
management purposes, structures for which the start of construction commenced
on or after the effective date of a Flood Plain Management Ordinance adopted by
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) was
completed on or after
Planning and Zoning Official is the individual charged with administration and enforcement of planning and zoning for the County.
Primary oceanfront sand dune means a continuous or nearly continuous mound or ridge of sand with relatively steep seaward and landward slopes immediately landward and adjacent to the beach and subject to erosion and overtopping from high tides and waves during major coastal storms. The inland limit of the primary frontal dune occurs at the point where there is a distinct change from a relatively steep slope to a relatively mild slope.
Recreational vehicle means a vehicle, for flood insurance purposes, which is:
1. Built on a single chassis;
2. Four Hundred (400) 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.
Regulatory 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 half (1/2) of (1) foot.
Remedy a violation means to bring the structure or other development into compliance with state or local flood plain management regulations, or, if this is not reasonably possible as provided in the standards for grant of a variance, 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, state or local 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.
Sand dune means naturally occurring accumulations of sand in ridges or mounds landward of the beach.
60-year setback means a distance equal to sixty (60) times the average annual long term recession rate at a site, measured from the reference feature,
Special flood hazard area (SFHA) - See "area of special flood hazard."
Special hazard area means an area having special flood, mudslide (Le., mudflow), or flood-related erosion hazards, and shown on a flood hazard boundary map or flood insurance rate map.
Start of construction (for other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (Pub. L. 97-348)), includes substantial improvement, and means the date the construction 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 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 gas or liquid storage tanks, that is principally above ground, as well as modular and manufactured homes.
Substantial damage means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed fifty (50) percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred as determined by the Building Official. Floodplain management requirements for new construction apply to substantial damage.
Substantial improvement means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure, taking place during any five (5) consecutive years in the life of a building, the cumulative cost of which equals or exceeds fifty (50) percent of the market value of the existing structure at the date of "start of construction" of the improvement as determined by the Building Official. 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 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 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.
30 year setback means a distance equal to thirty (30) times the average annual long term recession rate at a site, measured from the reference feature.
“VE" Zone - High risk areas subject to inundation by at least a 1~percent-annual-chance flood event as determined by detailed methods, and where wave action is expected with wave heights of more than 3.0 feet. BFEs or base flood depths are shown within these zones.
Variance is a grant of relief from the requirements of this ordinance which permits construction in a manner otherwise prohibited by this ordinance where specific enforcement would result in exceptional hardship.
Violation means the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the county's flood plain management regulations. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in this ordinance is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
Water surface elevation is the height, of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the flood plains of coastal or riverine areas.
"X" Zone (shaded) - Moderate risk areas within the 0.2~percent-annual-chance floodplain, areas of 1-percent-annual-chance flooding where the average depths are less than one (1) foot. No BFEs or base flood depths are shown within these zones
'X" Zone (unshaded) - Minimal risk areas outside the 1-percent and O.2-percent-annual-chance floodplains. No BFEs or base flood depths are shown within these zones.
Secs. 9-11 - 9-19. Reserved.
Sec. 9-20. Lands to which this ordinance applies.
ordinance shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the
Sec. 9-21. Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard.
The national flood insurance county-wide risk map for the areas of the Charleston County Flood Insurance Study, copies of which are on file in the Offices of Building Services and Planning, is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be as fully a part of this chapter as if set forth herein. Letters of Map Change (LOMC) to these adopted maps authorized by the NFIP shall become effective immediately upon the date established by the NFIP.
Sec. 9-22. Warning and disclaimer of liability.
degree of flood protection required by this ordinance is considered reasonable
for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering
consideration. Larger floods can and will occur on rare occasions. Flood
heights may be increased by manmade or natural causes. This ordinance does not imply that land outside
the areas of special flood hazard or uses permitted within such areas will be
free from flooding or flood damages. This ordinance shall not create liability
on the part of
Sec. 9-23. Severability.
If any provision of this ordinance or its application to any circumstance is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid for any reason, then this holding does not affect other provisions or applications of this ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and, to this end, the provisions of this ordinance are severable.
Secs. 9-24 - 9-29. Reserved.
Sec. 9-30. Designation of Building Official.
The County Building Official ("Building Official"), and/or his designee, is hereby appointed to administer and implement the provisions of this ordinance.
Sec. 9-31. Duties and responsibilities of the Building Official.
1. Duties of the Building Official shall include, but not be limited to:
a. Review all applications for construction permits to assure that the requirements of this ordinance have been satisfied.
b. Review Application for a construction permit on forms furnished by the Building Official, prior to authorizing the commencement of any construction activities. The following information, as a minimum, is required to be reviewed:
i. Two (2) sets of building plans drawn to scale and showing, at a minimum, elevations for each exterior wall; floor plan(s); foundation and wall sections and details; stair details; and electrical, plumbing and mechanical riser diagrams. The plans shall give a full description of proposed construction including a site plan identifying area(s) having special flood related hazards as applicable.
ii. Plans shall indicate the BFE and the DFE elevation of the proposed building, verification that materials proposed below the design flood elevation (DFE) are flood resistant per FEMA Technical Bulletin 2; If applicable, include flood proofing certification (non-residential), hydrostatic venting information, breakaway wall details and certifications from a Registered Architect/Engineer.
c. Maintain permanent copy of building permits issued and copies of all required certifications for the life of the structure.
d. Where interpretation is needed as to the exact location and elevation of all areas of special flood hazard (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions), the Building Official shall make the necessary interpretation. The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in this ordinance.
e. Maintain a copy of letter of map changes (LOMC) issued by FEMA in the Office of the Building Official.
f. Maintain on file for public access flood maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
g. Review violations that occur during the course of construction. Failure of the contractor to make required changes shall be cause for issuance of a stopwork order for the project.
h. When base flood elevation or floodway data have not been provided by the applicants, the Building Official shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source.
i. Advise owners, no new flood insurance coverage may be provided for any new construction of, or substantial improvement to, a structure located within the coastal barrier resources system as defined in Section 4 of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act.
j. Determine the elevation requirement for construction in flood zones.
k. Review proposed development to assure that all necessary permits have been received from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by Federal or State law, including section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 33 U.S.C. 1334.
l. Notify adjacent communities and the S. C. Natural Resources Department prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
m. Ensure that maintenance and inspections are provided within the altered or relocated portion of watercourses so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished, and maintaining records of the same until completion of the project.
Sec. 9-32. Duties and responsibilities of the Planning and Zoning Official shall include, but not be limited to: require a zoning permit to be issued in conformance with the provisions of the Charleston County Zoning and Land Development Regulations, as amended, and/or the Charleston County Comprehensive Plan prior to the commencement of any development or construction activities. The permit shall give a full description of proposed construction.
Sec. 9·33. Duties and responsibilities of the Public Works Official shall include, but not be limited to, requiring stormwater permit approval in conformance with the provisions of the Charleston County Public Works Stormwater Utility Fee Ordinance, the Charleston County Stormwater Management Program, and the Charleston County Stormwater Program Standards and Procedures Manual prior to the commencement of any land disturbance or development activities and requiring encroachment permit approval in conformance with the Encroachment Permit Manual prior to impacting public right-of-way or easement. The stormwater approval should provide a full description of the proposed construction.
1. To coordinate, implement, and manage
To deny a
facility connection to
3. To require the submittal of an application for all applicable construction activities that cause any land disturbance or alter the storm drainage characteristics of the land.
The application shall include the information required to control stormwater pollutants and other components in accordance with the Charleston County Stormwater Program Standards and Procedures Manual.
4. To require the development and enforcement of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for all new and re-development projects.
5. To approve construction activities and to require as a condition of such approval structural or non-structural controls, practices, devices, operating procedures or other mechanisms to protect public and private property from flooding, erosion, pollutants, and attain Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) pollutant reductions and water quality standards.
6. To require the submittal of an application for all applicable activities that impact a public right-of-way or easement.
7. To require the removal of an encroachment, if necessary, at the expense of the permittee.
Secs. 9-34 - 9-39. Reserved.
Sec. 9-40. General standards.
1. All new construction and substantial improvements within the areas of special flood hazard shall comply with the following:
a. be designed (or modified) and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, Including the effects of buoyancy and debris impact.
b. be constructed to meet or exceed the required Design Flood Elevation (DFE), which is the base flood elevation plus a two (2) foot freeboard.
c. when proposed new construction and substantial improvements are partially located in an area of special flood hazard, the entire structure shall meet the standards for new construction.
d. when proposed new construction and substantial improvements are located in multiple flood hazard risk zones or in a flood hazard risk zone with multiple base flood elevations, the entire structure shall meet the standards for the most hazardous flood hazard risk zone and the highest base flood elevation.
e. be constructed with Class 4 or 5 materials resistant to flood damage as per FEMA Technical Bulletin 2, entitled "Flood-Resistant Materials Requirements for Buildings Located in Special Flood Hazard Areas", incorporated herein by reference, in all areas below the design flood elevation,
f. be constructed by methods and practices that minimize potential for flood damages.
g. a temporary construction trailer may only be permitted to be on site for fewer than 180 consecutive calendar days at a time, and must be fully ready for highway use, and shall be attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices.
2. Elevation Certificate Requirements when a structure is constructed or substantially improved in the area of special flood hazard:
a. A certified under construction Elevation Certificate is required J after the lowest floor is completed and before any further inspections are accepted and vertical construction commences.
b. Floodproofing Certificate for non-residential construction including f1oodproofing level is required immediately after the flood-proofing is completed. When flood-proofing is utilized for non-residential structures, said certification shall be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a professional engineer or architect and certified by same.
c. A certified finished construction Elevation Certificate shall be provided after completion of construction including final grading of the site.
d. Elevation Certificates shall be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a registered land surveyor or professional engineer and certified by same.
e. Any work undertaken prior to approval of these certifications shall be at the permit holder's risk. The Building Official shall review the above referenced certification data submitted. Deficiencies detected by such review shall be corrected by the permit holder immediately and prior to further work being allowed to proceed.
f. Failure to submit certification or failure to make the corrections required hereby shall be cause to issue a stop work order for the project and/or the Certificate of Occupancy may be withheld.
3. New development in the area of special flood hazard shall minimize disruption to shorelines, stream channels, stream banks, and the regulatory floodway.
4. Plumbing supply lines and wastewater disposal system piping shall be located and/or properly supported to withstand all loads imposed.
5. Existing buildings and structures:
a. Where substantial improvement or substantial damage is not a factor, replacement of electrical, heating, plumbing, heating and air conditioning equipment to existing structures shall be elevated to at least the existing lowest floor level or to the design flood elevation; and replacement ductwork installed below DFE shall be designed so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within during conditions of flooding.
b. Improvements to a structure where substantial improvement or substantial damage is not a factor shall be designed and constructed so as to meet the requirements of this ordinance, with an exception that the minimum elevation of the lowest floor of an improvement may match the existing legally non-conforming structure existing lowest floor.
6. Modular construction shall be consistent with the South Carolina Modular Building Construction Act (South Carolina Code Section 23w43w10 et seq.) as may be amended from time to time, which is incorporated herein by reference.
7. Enclosures below the design flood elevation, shall be the minimum necessary to allow for parking of vehicles, limited storage, or entry to the living area.
8. Accessory Residential Structure Specific Standards:
All new construction or substantially improved accessory residential structures, as defined herein shall meet the following conditions:
a. Accessory residential structures shall be constructed in compliance with this ordinance.
b. Accessory residential structures shall not be used for human habitation.
c. Flood elevation certificates may be required, if the structure has a footprint in excess of 600 square feet and is determined by the Building Official that these are necessary to determine the elevation of electric or other utility services provided to the accessory structure.
d. Accessory structures shall be firmly anchored to prevent flotation which may result in damage to other structures.
e. Service facilities such as electrical and heating equipment shall be elevated or f1oodproofed to DFE.
f. Accessory structures shall be constructed and placed on the building site so as to offer the minimum resistance to the flow of floodwaters.
Sec. 941. Specific standards in addition to 9.40 general standards for A Zones, AE Zones, and VE Zones.
1. A & AE Zone Additional Specific Standards:
construction and substantial improvements of residential structures within Zone
AE on the Charleston County
construction and substantial improvements of non-residential structures within
Zone AE on the community
c. Where a non-residential structure is intended to be made watertight below the base flood level,
i. A Registered Professional Engineer or Architect licensed in South Carolina shall develop and/or review structural design, specifications, and plans for the construction, and shall certify that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the applicable provisions of this ordinance, including but not limited to Floodproofing Non- Residential Buildings (FEMA P-936) as published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency incorporated herein by reference, and
ii. A record of such certificates which includes the specific elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which such structures are flood proofed shall be maintained with the Building Official.
below the design flood elevation, including foundation crawl space areas, shall
be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic and hydrodynamic flood forces
on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs
for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered
Professional Engineer or Architect licensed in
i. A minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for .every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided.
ii. The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
iii. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, valves, or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of flood waters.
iv. The area of the opening is the net clear opening calculated as the open area (excluding area of screening or other coverings that prohibit the free flow of water through the opening).
2. In special flood hazard areas without base flood elevation data, new construction or substantial improvements of structures shall be elevated to at least two (2) feet above the anticipated flood elevation during a base flood, as determined through an engineering analysis meeting the Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines for flood insurance studies, or at a minimum so that the lowest floor is no less than four (4) feet above the highest adjacent grade at the building site or above design flood elevation determined through other means approved by the Building Official, including but not limited to:
a. Data available from a federal, State of local source to determine the anticipated base flood level, or
b. Contour Interpolation to estimate a base flood level, or
c. Data extrapolation for sites within 500 feet upstream of a stream for which a 100-year profile has been computed by detailed methods, as long as the floodplain and channel bottom slope characteristics are relatively similar to the downstream reaches, or
Hydrologic and hydraulic calculations using FEMA approved methods,
including but not limited to
3. Standards for streams without established base flood elevations located within the areas of special flood hazard (Zones A), are small streams where no base flood data has been provided and where no floodways have been identified. The following provisions apply within such areas:
a. In all areas of special flood hazard where base flood elevation data is not available, the applicant shall provide a hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analysis that generates base flood elevations for all subdivision proposals and other proposed developments containing at least 50 lots or 5 acres, whichever is less.
b. No encroachments, including fill material, new construction, or substantial improvement shall be located within a distance of 100 feet of the stream bank unless certification by a registered Professional Engineer licensed in South Carolina with supporting technical data is provided, demonstrating that such encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
Standards for Streams with Established Base Flood Elevations but without
f100dways - along rivers and streams where Base Flood Elevation (BFE) data is
provided but no floodway is identified for a Special Flood Hazard Area on the
5. VE Zone Additional Specific Standards:
VE zones are areas designated as coastal high hazard areas. These areas have special flood hazards associated with wave wash, and therefore, the following provisions shall apply:
a. All new construction within VE zones are to be located landward of the reach of mean high tide.
Provide that all new construction and substantial improvements in zone VE,
on the Charleston County
i. The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the pilings or columns) is elevated to or above the design flood elevation, and
ii. The pile or column foundation and structure attached thereto is anchored to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components. Water loading values used shall be those associated with the base flood. Wind loading values used shall be those required by the International Building Code or International Residential Code as adopted and periodically amended by the State.
A Registered Professional Engineer or Architect licensed in
New construction and substantial improvements within the VE zone shall have
the space below the lowest floor either free of obstruction or constructed with
non-supporting breakaway walls, open wood latticework, or insect screening
intended to collapse under wind and water loads without causing collapse,
displacement, or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the
building or supporting foundation system. A breakaway wall shall be permitted
only if a Registered Professional Engineer or Architect licensed in
i. Breakaway wall collapse shall result from a water load less than that which would occur during the base flood; and,
ii. The elevated portion of the building and supporting foundations system shall not be subject to collapse, displacement, or other structural damage due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components (structural and non- structural). Water loading values used shall be those associated with the base flood. Wind loading values used shall be those required by applicable state or local building standards. Such enclosed space shall be useable solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or storage.
There shall be no fill used as structural support. Non-compacted fill may
be used around the perimeter of a building for landscaping/aesthetic purposes
provided the fill will wash out from storm surge, thereby rendering the
building free of obstruction prior to generating excessive loading forces,
ramping effects, or wave deflection. The Building Official shall approve design
plans for landscaping/aesthetic fill only after the applicant has provided an
analysis by an Engineer, Architect, and/or Soil Scientist licensed in
i. Particle composition of fill material does not have a tendency for excessive natural compaction;
ii. Volume and distribution of fill will not cause wave deflection to adjacent properties; and,
iii. Slope of fill will not cause wave run-up or ramping.
e. Man-made alteration of sand dunes and mangrove stands within Zone VE which would increase potential flood damage shall be prohibited.
Pre-construction and as-built design and breakaway wall certifications,
where applicable, shall be provided by Registered Professional Engineers and/or
Architects licensed in
g. Enclosed areas below the lowest floor shall be the minimum necessary to allow for parking of vehicles, limited storage, and access to the primary occupancy
h. Appurtenant features; defined as swimming pools, decks, gazebos, fences, and other features as determined by the building official as potentially causing an obstruction in the coastal high hazard area; must comply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Technical Bulletin 5, Free of Obstruction Requirements, or any revisions thereto, incorporated herein by reference.
6. Manufactured Home Additional Specification Standards:
a. Permits shall be obtained for placement of manufactured homes or temporary construction trailers.
b. All manufactured homes permitted to be placed shall be installed using methods and practices which minimize flood damage, which include but are not limited to elevating the lowest floor of the manufactured home on a permanent foundation, as defined herein as a manufactured home permanent foundation, to or above the design flood elevation.
i. For the purposes of this requirement, manufactured homes must be elevated and anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
ii. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not to be limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors.
iii. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces.
iv. Designs for manufactured home permanent foundations are subject to approval of the Building Official.
c. New or replacement manufactured homes (e.g. those designed to meet HUD standards) shall not be placed within property located in zone VE.
d. Existing manufactured homes in VE zones may be permitted to remain as long as the structure complies with minimum health and safety standards and is anchored to resist flotation, collapse, lateral movement or debris impacts.
7. Recreational Vehicles Additional Specific Standards:
All recreational vehicles, other than those parked at another permanent structure temporarily while not in use, placed or sited within zones A I AE, and VE must:
a. Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive calendar days, and
b. Be fully registered and ready for highway use. A recreational vehicle is ready for highway use if it is on its wheels or jacking system, is attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices, and has no permanently attached additions.
c. If the vehicle is to remain in an A or AE zone, it must be elevated in accordance with requirements for manufactured homes as provided in section 9-41 of this article.
d. The placement of a permanent recreational vehicle is prohibited in VE Zones.
Sec. 9-42. Standards for Regulatory Floodways.
Areas of special flood hazard established as regulatory
f100dways in the Charleston County Flood Insurance Rate Map (
1. Prohibition of encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development within the adopted regulatory floodway unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice in accordance with the Charleston County Flood Insurance Study or as otherwise deemed appropriate by FEMA or the Building Official, certified by a South Carolina licensed Engineer, that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharges.
be permitted within the adopted regulatory floodway that would result in an
increase in base flood elevations, provided that the county first applies for a
3. The area chosen for the regulatory floodway must be designed to carry the waters of the base flood, without increasing the water surface elevation of that flood more than 0.5 foot at any point.
Sec. 9-43. Standards for subdivision proposals and other development.
Standards for subdivision proposals shall meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
1. All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage;
2. All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage;
3. All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards, and;
4. Base flood elevation data shall be provided for all subdivision proposals (including manufactured home parks and subdivisions).
5. In all areas of special flood hazard where base flood elevation data is not available, the applicant shall provide a hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analysis that generates base flood elevations for all subdivision proposals and other proposed developments containing at least 50 lots or 5 acres, whichever is less.
Secs. 9-44-9-49. Reserved.
Sec. 9·50. Appeal and variance procedures.
1. The Charleston County Construction Board of Adjustment & Appeals as established by County Council shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variance meeting the following provisions from the requirements of this ordinance:
a. Public notice of all meeting of the Board shall be provided by at least electronic delivery to the news television stations, the newspaper of general circulation, the radio communication companies, and several individual town/jurisdictional distribution papers.
b. Decisions on which a variance or appeal is requested shall be those made by the Building Official or his designee.
c. Requests for a hearing for a variance or appeal of a decision shall be in writing, and shall be received in the Office of the Building Official within 30 calendar days of notice to the appellant of the decision.
d. The appellant shall be the owner of the property affected by the decision or his or her duly authorized representative.
1. This board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement. decision, or determination made by the Building or the Planning and Zoning Official in the enforcement or administration of this ordinance.
2. Any person aggrieved by the decision of this board or any taxpayer may appeal such decision, as provided in §4~9-30 of the S.C. Code of Laws.
3. Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
4. Variances may be issued for a new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use provided that requirements of this article are met and the structure or other development is protected by methods that minimize flood damages during the base flood and create no additional threats to public safety.
5. Variances may be issued to wet flood proof an expansion to an existing farm structure in accordance with Technical Bulletin 7, Wet Flood Proofing Requirements for Structures Located in Special Flood Hazard areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The structure must meet all of the conditions and considerations for variances otherwise established within this ordinance. In addition, the following standards shall apply:
a. Use of the structure must be limited to agricultural purposes such as pole frame buildings with open or closed sides used exclusively for the storage of farm machinery and equipment; steel grain bins and steel frame corn cribs; and general purpose barns for temporary feeding of livestock;
b. The expansion to an existing farm structure must be built or rebuilt, in the case of an existing building which is substantially damaged, with flood resistant materials for building elements below the base flood elevation;
c. The expansion to an existing farm structure must be adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement. All of the structure's components must be capable of resisting specific flood-related forces including hydrostatic, buoyancy, hydrodynamic and debris impact forces;
d. The expansion to an existing farm structure shall meet the requirements for hydrostatic venting requirements of this ordinance.
e. Electrical, mechanical or other utility equipment must be located at or above the design flood elevation, or must be maintained in a flood proofed enclosure complying with this ordinance which is capable of resisting damage during flood conditions;
f. The expansion to an existing farm structure must comply with floodway encroachment provisions of this ordinance;
g. Major equipment or machinery must be protected from damage by flooding, which may include safely removing the contents of an expansion to an existing farm structure to a specified site out of the flood plain upon notification of potential flooding event.
7. In passing upon such applications, this board shall consider all staff reports and technical evaluations, all relevant factors and all standards specified in other sections of this ordinance, and
g. The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
h. The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
i. The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
j. The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
k. The necessity of the facility to a waterfront location, in the case of a functionally dependent usage;
l. The availability of alternative locations, not subject to flooding or erosion damage, for the proposed use;
conformance of the proposed use to the Charleston County Comprehensive Plan and
n. The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
o. The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood waters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site during a base flood event, and
p. The costs of providing governmental services to the site during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems, and streets and bridges.
8. The board may attach such reasonable conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purpose of this ordinance.
9. Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result, nor shall a variance be based on financial hardship alone; nor solely due to existing or as-built elevation deficiencies that will cause extreme hardship.
10. Conditions for variances:
a. Variances shall be issued only on a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary needed to afford relief considering the flood hazard; and in the instance of an historical building, a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary so as not to destroy the historic character and design of the building;
b. Variances shall be issued only upon:
i. a showing of good and sufficient cause; and
ii. a determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship; and
iii. a determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, creation of a nuisance. fraud on or victimization of the public, or conflict with other existing laws or ordinances.
c. Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice specifying the differences between the base flood elevation and the elevation of which the building is to be built and a statement that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation, and
d. The Building Official shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances granted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency upon request.
e. Variances may not be issued when the variance will make the structure in violation of other federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.
Secs. 9·51 - 9-59. Reserved.
Section 9-60. Provision for Inspections.
1. For the purpose of establishing pre-existing conditions which may not be in compliance with the Charleston County Flood Damage Prevention and Protection Ordinance, it is hereby established that the Building Services Department is authorized to conduct inspections of existing structures at the request or with the consent of the owner of the structure or his agent for compliance with the Charleston County Flood Damage Prevention and Protection Ordinance when requested for a proposed real estate transaction or insurance policy issue.
2. The County Building Official may promulgate regulations for the implementation of this program, consistent with the intent hereof and with the terms of the remainder of Chapter 9 of the code of Ordinances of Charleston County.
3. These inspections are to be conducted at a convenient time for the property owner or his agent and during the normal operating hours of the Building Services Department.
4. Reports generated as a result of these inspections are to be considered public records and are to be maintained in the Office of the Building Official in accordance with the County Records Retention schedule.
Sees. 9-61·9-69. Reserved.
Sec. 9-70. Nuisances within a special flood hazard area.
1. Certain nuisances defined: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in the Code of Ordinances, Charleston County, South Carolina, the following activities occurring within a special flood hazard area constitute a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the county, are hereby defined as public nuisances and are prohibited within any special flood hazard area.
a. The manufacture, processing, blending, mixing or refining of the following products as defined in the International Fire Code as adopted by County Council:
ii. blasting agents
b. Storage of the products listed in subsection (a) above, except that the retail sale of packages products off-the-shelf at properly licensed and otherwise authorized retail sales outlets, is allowed.
2. Defense - Prior use of property. It shall be a defense to prosecution pursuant to section (1) above if:
Property located within a special flood hazard zone was being used for a
purpose defined as a nuisance In section (a) above, before
Was a permitted use pursuant to the County zoning ordinance as of
ii. Constituted a lawful
non-conforming use under the County's Zoning Ordinance on
Property which becomes located within a special flood hazard area as the
result of an amendment to the County's
ii. Was permitted use pursuant to the
County's Zoning Ordinance as of the effective date of the
iii. Constituted a lawful non-conforming use under the County's Zoning
Ordinance on the effective date
Sec. 9·71. Penalties.
Criminal penalties: Violation of the provisions of this ordinance or failure to comply with any
of its requirements, including violation of conditions and safeguards
established in connection with grants of variance or special exceptions, shall
constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this ordinance or fails to
comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined
not more than five hundred ($500.00) dollars or imprisoned for not more than
thirty (30) days, or both, and in addition, shall pay all costs and expenses
involved in the case. Each day such violation continues shall be considered a
separate offense. Nothing herein contained shall prevent
2. Civil Remedies: In addition to any other criminal or civil remedies that may be available to the County, the County may seek and obtain an injunction against the owner or owner's representative with control over the property in accordance with applicable laws and procedures.
Sec. 9·72. Ordinance cumulative.
The provisions of this Ordinance are to be cumulative of all other ordinances or parts of Ordinances governing or regulating the same subject matter as that covered herein, provided, however. that all prior ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with or in conflict with any of the provisions of this ordinance, including, but not limited to, Ordinance No. 1526 and 1349, are hereby expressly repealed to the extent of any such inconsistency or conflict. The enactment of this ordinance shall not serve to terminate or be cause for the termination of the prosecution of any civil or criminal actions under the prior ordinances which were pending at the time of the enactment hereof.
Sec. 9-73. Abrogation and Greater Restriction:
This Ordinance shall not in any way impair/remove the necessity of compliance with any other applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, etc. Where this Ordinance imposes a greater restriction, the provisions of this Ordinance shall control.
Sec. 9-74. Effective date is as follows:
This Ordinance shall be effective 60 days after
ratification; provided, however, that this Ordinance shall not be applicable to
new construction or substantial improvements for which the start of
construction, as defined in Section 9-10 of the Code of Ordinances,