Chapter 1
FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTIONlinklink

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12-1-1: STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION:
12-1-2: FINDINGS OF FACT:
12-1-3: PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES:
12-1-4: DEFINITIONS:
12-1-5: GENERAL PROVISIONS:
12-1-6: FLOODPLAIN ADMINISTRATOR:
12-1-7: DEVELOPMENT PERMIT:
12-1-8: VARIANCE/APPEAL PROCEDURE:
12-1-9: FLOOD HAZARD REDUCTION:
12-1-10: COMPLIANCE:
12-1-11: PENALTIES:

12-1-1: STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION:linklink


The legislature of the state of Montana has delegated the responsibility to local government units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry.

Other authority for municipalities and counties to adopt floodplain management regulations appears in sections 76-5-101 through 406, Montana Code Annotated. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)
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12-1-2: FINDINGS OF FACT:linklink


A. The flood hazard areas of the city of Three Forks are subject to periodic inundation which results in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety and general welfare.


B. These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazard which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated, or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

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12-1-3: PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES:linklink


A. Purpose: It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions to specific areas by provisions designed:

1. To protect human life and health;

2. To minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;

3. To minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;

4. To minimize prolonged business interruptions;

5. To minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone and sewer lines, streets and bridges located in areas of special flood hazard;

6. To help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas;

7. To ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and

8. To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.


B. Methods Of Reducing Flood Losses: In order to accomplish its purposes, this chapter includes methods and provisions for:

1. Restricting or prohibiting 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. Requiring that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, to be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;

3. Controlling the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel floodwaters;

4. Controlling filling, grading, dredging and other development which may increase flood damage; and

5. Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

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12-1-4: DEFINITIONS:linklink

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

APPEAL: A request for a review of the city of Three Forks floodplain administrator's interpretation of any provisions of this chapter or a request for a variance.

AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD: The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one percent (1%) or greater chance of flooding in any given year.

BASE FLOOD: The flood having a one percent (1%) chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

BASE FLOOD ELEVATION: The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base flood elevations (BFEs) are shown on flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles.

BASEMENT: Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.

DEVELOPMENT: 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 located within the area of special flood hazard.

EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION: A manufactured home park 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, either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before September 5, 1990.

EXPANSION TO EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION: 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).

FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM): The official map dated September 2, 2011, on which the federal emergency management agency has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY: The official report dated September 2, 2011, provided by the federal emergency management agency that includes flood profiles, the flood boundary floodway map and the water surface elevation of the base flood.

FLOOD OR FLOODING: A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

A. The overflow of inland or tidal waters, and/or

B. The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

FLOODPROOFING: 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 sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.

FLOODWAY: 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 foot (0.5').

HISTORIC STRUCTURE: Any structure that is:

A. 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;

B. 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;

C. 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

D. Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:

1. By an approved state program as determined by the secretary of the interior.

2. Directly by the secretary of the interior in states without approved programs.

LOWEST FLOOR: 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.

MANUFACTURED HOME: 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 attached to the required utilities. The term "manufactured home" does not include a "recreational vehicle".

NEW CONSTRUCTION: Structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after September 5, 1990, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION: 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 on or after the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the city of Three Forks.

RECREATIONAL VEHICLE: A vehicle which is:

A. Built on a single chassis;

B. Four hundred (400) square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projections;

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.

START OF CONSTRUCTION: Includes substantial improvement and means the date the zoning permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement, or other improvement was within one hundred eighty (180) days of the permit date. The actual start means 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.

STRUCTURE: A. For floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally aboveground, as well as a manufactured home. Structure, for insurance purposes, means:

1. A building with two (2) or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured roof, that is affixed to a permanent site;

2. A manufactured home (a "manufactured home", also known as a mobile home, is a structure: built on a permanent chassis, transported to its site in 1 or more sections, and affixed to a permanent foundation); or

3. A travel trailer without wheels, built on a chassis and affixed to a permanent foundation, that is regulated under the community's floodplain management and building ordinances or laws.

B. For the latter purpose, "structure" does not mean a recreational vehicle or a park trailer or other similar vehicle, except as described in subsection A3 of this definition, or a gas or liquid storage tank.

SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE: 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 percent (50%) of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT: A. A repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the market value of the structure either:

1. Before the improvement or repair is started; or

2. If the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred.

B. For the purpose of this definition, "substantial improvement" is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commences, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure. The term does not, however, include either:

1. Any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions; or

2. Any alteration of a structure listed on the national register of historic places or a state inventory of historic places.

VARIANCE: A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.

VIOLATION: 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 44 CFR section 60.3, (c)(4), (c)(10), (d)(3), and (e)(2) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

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12-1-5: GENERAL PROVISIONS:linklink


A. Applicable Lands: This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the city of Three Forks.


B. Basis For Establishing The Areas: The areas of special flood hazard identified by the federal emergency management agency is a scientific and engineering report entitled, "The Flood Insurance Study For The City Of Three Forks, Montana, Gallatin County", dated September 2, 2011, with an accompanying flood insurance rate map (FIRM), is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter.


C. Compliance: No land use shall be developed, and no structure shall be located, extended, converted, or structurally altered within the 100-year floodplain without full compliance with the provisions of these regulations and other applicable regulations. These regulations meet the minimum requirements as set forth by the Montana department of natural resources and conservation, and the national flood insurance program.


D. Abrogation And Greater Restrictions: This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.


E. Interpretation: In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:

1. Considered as minimum requirements;

2. Liberally construed in favor of the governing body; and

3. Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes.


F. Warning And Disclaimer Of Liability: The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by manmade or natural causes. This chapter 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 chapter shall not create liability on the part of the city, any officer or employee thereof, or the federal emergency management agency for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

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12-1-6: FLOODPLAIN ADMINISTRATOR:linklink


A. Appointment: The city of Three Forks zoning official shall hereby be appointed as city floodplain administrator (FPA) and will administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.


B. Duties And Responsibilities: Duties of the city floodplain administrator shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Permit Review:

a. Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.

b. Review all development permits to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from federal, state, or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required, including section 404 of the federal water pollution control act amendments of 1972.

c. Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development is located in the floodway. If located in the floodway, assure that the encroachment provisions of section 12-1-9 of this chapter are met.

2. Maintain Records: Keep a record of all permits, appeals, variances and such other transactions and correspondence pertaining to the administration of this chapter.

3. Use Of Other Base Flood Data: When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with subsection 12-1-5B of this chapter, the city floodplain administrator shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from any federal, state, or other source as criteria for requiring that new construction, substantial improvements, or other development in zone A are administered in accordance with section 12-1-9 of this chapter.

4. Information Obtained And Maintained:

a. Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether the structure includes a basement. The FEMA elevation certificate shall be completed for all new or substantially improved structures.

b. For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:

(1) Verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure has been floodproofed.

(2) Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in subsection 12-1-9E of this chapter.

c. Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.

5. Alteration Of Watercourses:

a. Notify adjacent communities and the state of Montana department of natural resources and conservation floodplain administrator prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the federal emergency management agency.

b. Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood carrying capacity is not diminished.

6. Interpretation Of FIRM Boundaries: Make interpretations, where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions). For the purposes of administering this chapter, the floodplain administrator will determine the floodplain zone in which the development activity is proposed, interpret floodplain boundaries and provide flood hazard and flood protection elevation information. When available, the FPA shall use the floodway data table to determine floodway width, and the flood profiles to determine BFEs. When FEMA has not provided BFEs, the FPA shall use best available data. When no best available data exists, the FIRM/FHBM shall be used. The person contesting an elevation or location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in section 12-1-8 of this chapter. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

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12-1-7: DEVELOPMENT PERMIT:linklink


A. Permit Required: A floodplain development permit issued by the floodplain administrator shall be secured prior to any floodplain development (any manmade change to improved and unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations), including the placement of factory built homes, within any area of special flood hazard established in subsection 12-1-5B of this chapter. If the application is deemed incomplete, the floodplain administrator will notify the applicant of deficiencies within sixty (60) days. Under no circumstances should it be assumed that the permit is automatically granted. All approved applications will be signed by the floodplain administrator. Denied applications may be resubmitted if additional information is provided to support a change in development.


B. Notice Of Application: Upon receipt of a complete application for a permit, the floodplain administrator shall prepare a notice containing the facts pertinent to the application and shall publish the notice at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the area. Notice shall also be served by first class mail upon adjacent property owners. The state floodplain NFIP coordinator located in DNRC and other permitting agencies shall also receive notice by the most efficient method. The notice shall provide a reasonable period of time, not less than fifteen (15) days, for interested parties to submit comments on the proposed activity. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)


C. Application For Permit; Contents: A fee shall be paid for each application. The City Council shall establish the fee, or after-the-fact fee, by resolution. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the City Floodplain Administrator and may include, but not be limited to, plans in duplicate, drawn to scale, showing the nature, location, dimensions and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required: (Ord. 377-2017, 12-12-2017)

1. Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures;

2. Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed;

3. Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in subsection 12-1-9E of this chapter; and

4. Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development. (Ord. 345-13, 11-26-2013)


D. Permit Application Factors: Floodplain development permits shall be granted or denied by the Floodplain Administrator on the basis of whether the proposed establishment, development, alteration, or substantial improvement of an artificial obstruction meets the requirements of these regulations. Additional factors that shall be considered for every permit application are:

1. The danger to life and property due to increased flood heights, increased floodwater velocities, backwater or alterations in the pattern of flood flow caused by the obstruction or encroachment;

2. The danger that the obstruction or encroachment may be swept onto other lands or downstream to the injury of others;

3. The ability of the proposed water supply and/or sanitation system to prevent disease, contamination, and unsanitary conditions;

4. The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effects of such damage on the individual owner;

5. The construction or alteration of the obstruction or encroachment in such manner as to lessen the flooding danger;

6. The importance of the services provided by the facility to the community;

7. The requirement of the facility for a waterfront location;

8. The availability of alternative locations not subject to flooding for the proposed use;

9. The compatibility of the proposed use with existing development and anticipated development in the foreseeable future;

10. The relationship of the proposed use to the Comprehensive Plan and Floodplain Management Program for the area;

11. The safety of access to property in times of flooding for ordinary and emergency services;

12. The request for fill for a residential or commercial building is not followed by a request for a basement for the same residential or commercial building, which would put the finished floor of the building below the BFE, which would negate the purpose of the fill;

13. The proposed use shall comply with the existing zoning designation;

14. For projects involving bank stabilization, channelization, levees, floodwalls and/or diversions, off property impacts including increased flood peaks, flood stage, flood velocity, erosion and sedimentation, should be considered and found to be nonexistent, neutral or able to be mitigated; and

15. Such other factors as are in harmony with the purposes of these regulations, the Montana Floodplain and Floodway Management Act, and the National Flood Insurance Program.


E. Emergency Waiver: Emergency repair and replacement of severely damaged public transportation facilities, public water and sewer facilities, and flood control works may be authorized by the Floodplain Administrator if:

1. Upon notification and prior to the emergency repair and/or replacement, the floodplain administrator determines that an emergency condition exists warranting immediate action; and

2. The floodplain administrator agrees upon the nature and type of proposed emergency repair and/or replacement.

3. Authorization to undertake emergency repair and replacement work may be given verbally if the floodplain administrator feels that such a written authorization would unduly delay the emergency work. Such verbal authorization must be followed by a written permit describing the emergency condition, the type of emergency work agreed upon, and stating that a verbal authorization had been previously given. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

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12-1-8: VARIANCE/APPEAL PROCEDURE:linklink


A. Board Of Adjustment:

1. The board of adjustment, as established by the city, shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.

2. The board of adjustment shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the city floodplain administrator in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.

3. Those aggrieved by the decision of the board of adjustment, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to a court of competent jurisdiction, as provided in state law.

4. In passing upon such applications, the board of adjustment shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:

a. The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;

b. The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;

c. The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owners;

d. The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;

e. The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;

f. The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;

g. The compatibility of the proposed use with the existing and anticipated development;

h. The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for that area;

i. The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;

j. The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and

k. The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems, streets and bridges.

5. Upon consideration of the factors of subsection A4 of this section and the purposes of this chapter, the board of adjustment may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.

6. The city floodplain administrator shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the federal emergency management agency.


B. Conditions For Variances:

1. Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half (1/2) acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing subsections A4a through A4k of this section have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the one-half (1/2) acre, the technical justifications required for issuing the variance increases.

2. Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, or restoration of structures listed on the national register of historic places or the state inventory of historic places without regard to the procedures set forth in the remainder of this section.

3. Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.

4. Variances shall only be issued upon:

a. A showing of good and sufficient cause;

b. A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and

c. A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expenses, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in subsection A4 of this section, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

5. Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk from the reduced lowest floor elevation. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

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12-1-9: FLOOD HAZARD REDUCTION:linklink


A. General Standards: In all areas of special flood hazard, the following standards are required:

1. Anchoring: All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure and capable of resisting the hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads.

2. Construction Materials And Methods:

a. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage.

b. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage.

c. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities that are designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.

3. Utilities:

a. All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system;

b. New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharge from the systems into floodwaters; and

c. On site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.


B. Floodway:

1. Uses Allowed Without Permit: The following open space uses shall be allowed without a permit anywhere within the floodway, provided that such uses are not prohibited by any other resolution or statute, do not require structures other than portable structures, do not require alteration of the floodplain such as fill, excavation or permanent storage of materials or equipment, do not require large scale cleaning of the riparian vegetation within fifty feet (50') of the mean high water mark, will not cause flood losses on other land or to the public:

a. Agricultural uses such as tilling, farming, irrigation, harvesting, grazing, etc.;

b. Accessory uses such as loading and parking areas, or emergency landing strips associated with industrial or commercial facilities;

c. Private and public recreational uses such as picnic grounds, swimming areas, parks, trap, skeet, target, shooting, and archery ranges, wildlife management and natural areas, hunting and fishing areas, or hiking and horseback riding trails;

d. Forestry, including processing of forest products with portable equipment;

e. Residential uses such as lawns, gardens, parking areas, and play areas;

f. Irrigation and livestock supply wells, provided that they are located at least five hundred feet (500') from domestic water supply wells;

g. Fences, except permanent fences crossing channels;

h. Recreational vehicle use provided that they be on the site for fewer than one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days or be fully licensed and ready for highway use. A recreational vehicle is ready for highway use if it is on its wheels or jacking system with wheels intact, is attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices, and has no permanently attached additions.

2. Uses Requiring Permits: The following nonconforming uses and artificial obstructions may be permitted within the designated floodway, provided that such uses conform to all regulations and are approved for permit issuance by the floodplain administrator:

a. Excavation of material from pits or pools provided that:

(1) A buffer strip of undisturbed land of sufficient width to prevent flood flows from channeling into the excavation is left between the edge of the channel and the edge of the excavation;

(2) The excavation meets all applicable laws and regulations of other local and state agencies; and

(3) Excavated material is stockpiled outside the designated floodway. (However, for short term gravel mining operations, the floodplain administrator may allow stockpiling in the floodway fringe if there is no other alternative and there is no significant [1/2 foot] rise in the BFE. A "no rise" certification signed by a licensed engineer shall be required.)

b. Railroad, highway, street and stream crossings, provided that:

(1) The crossings are designed to offer minimal obstructions to the flood flow;

(2) Where failure or interruption of transportation facilities would result in danger to the public health or safety, the bottom of bridge spans shall have freeboard to at least two feet (2') above the BFE;

(3) If possible, normal overflow channels are preserved to allow passage of sediments to prevent aggradations;

(4) Midstream supports for bridges, if necessary, must have footings buried below the maximum scour depth; and

(5) Stream crossings shall not increase the elevation of the 100-year flood nor cause a significant increase in flood velocities. The applicant shall provide a "no rise" certification signed by a registered professional engineer. However, if the applicant receives a CLOMR from FEMA and LOMR, a half foot rise may be permitted.

c. Limited filling for highway, street, and railroad embankments not associated with stream crossings and bridges provided that:

(1) Reasonable alternate transportation routes outside the designated floodway are not available;

(2) The encroachment is located as far from the stream channel as possible;

(3) Measures are provided to mitigate the impact to property owners and the natural stream function; and

(4) The encroachment shall not result in a cumulative increase in base flood elevation, after the allowable encroachment into the floodway. A "no rise" certification signed by a registered professional engineer shall be provided by the applicant. However, if the applicant receives a CLOMR from FEMA and LOMR, a half foot rise may be permitted.

d. Buried or suspended utility transmission lines, provided that:

(1) Suspended utility transmission lines are designed such that the lowest point of the suspended line is at least six feet (6') higher than the elevation of the flood of 100-year frequency;

(2) Towers and other appurtenant structures are designed and placed to withstand and offer minimal obstruction to flood flows;

(3) When technically feasible, the crossing will not disturb the bed and banks of the stream and alternatives such as alternative routes, directional drilling, and aerial crossings are considered; and

(4) Utility transmission lines carrying toxic or flammable materials are buried to a depth of at least twice the calculated maximum depth of scour for a flood of one hundred (100) year frequency. The maximum depth of scour may be determined from any of the accepted hydraulic engineering methods, but the final calculated figures shall be subject to approval by the floodplain administrator.

e. Storage of materials and equipment provided that:

(1) The material or equipment is not subject to major damage by flooding and is properly anchored to prevent flotation or downstream movement; and

(2) The material or equipment is readily removable within the limited time available after flood warning. Storage of flammable, toxic or explosive materials shall not be permitted.

f. Irrigation, livestock and domestic water supply wells, provided that:

(1) They are driven or drilled wells located on ground higher than surrounding ground to assure positive drainage from the well;

(2) They require no other structures (e.g., a well house);

(3) Well casings are watertight to a distance of at least twenty five feet (25') below the ground surface;

(4) Water supply and electrical lines have a watertight seal where the lines enter the casing;

(5) All pumps and electrical lines and equipment are either of the submersible type or are adequately floodproofed;

(6) Check valves are installed on main water lines at wells and at all building entry locations; and

(7) Irrigation and livestock supply wells are located at least five hundred feet (500') from domestic water supply wells.

g. Only those wastewater disposal systems that meet the requirements and separation distances under ARM 17.36.101-116 and ARM 17.36.301-345 are allowed.

h. Fences crossing channels.

i. Residential uses not requiring buildings such as lawns, gardens, parking areas and play areas.

j. Public or private recreational uses not requiring structures such as campgrounds, golf courses, driving ranges, archery ranges, wildlife management and natural areas, alternative livestock ranches (game farms), fish hatcheries and shooting preserves provided that:

(1) Access roads require only limited fill and do not obstruct or divert floodwaters;

(2) There are no dwellings or permanent mobile homes;

(3) There is no rise in the BFE;

(4) Off property impacts have been considered and found to be nonexistent, neutral or can be mitigated;

(5) There is no large scale clearing of riparian vegetation within fifty feet (50') of the mean annual high water mark; and

(6) Recreational vehicles and travel trailers are licensed and ready for highway use. They are ready for highway use if on wheels or jacking system with wheels intact, are attached to the site with only quick disconnect type utilities and securing devices, and have no permanently attached additions.

k. Structures accessory to the uses permitted in this section, such as boat docks, loading and parking areas, marinas, emergency airstrips, permanent fences crossing channels, picnic shelters and tables, provided that:

(1) The structures are not intended for human habitation or supportive of human habitation;

(2) The structures will have low flood damage potential as certified by a registered professional engineer on a "no rise" certificate;

(3) The structures will, insofar as possible, be located on ground higher than the surrounding ground and as far from the channel as possible;

(4) Only those wastewater disposal systems that meet the requirements and separation distances under ARM 17.36.101-116 and ARM 17.36.301-345 are allowed;

(5) Service facilities within these structures such as electrical, heating and plumbing are floodproofed in accordance with subsection E of this section;

(6) The structure will be constructed and placed so as to offer a minimal obstruction to flood flows and is firmly anchored to prevent flotation;

(7) The use does not require fill and/or substantial excavation; and

(8) The use does not require the large scale clearing of riparian vegetation within fifty feet (50') of the mean annual high water mark.

l. Replacement of manufactured homes in an existing manufactured home park, sites outside of a park or subdivision, or subdivision on a developed site of the same dimensions with servicing utilities. (Previous home could have been destroyed by fire, flood, etc.) The replacement home must be elevated on a permanent foundation so the lowest floor is two feet (2') above the base flood elevation. The foundation must be reinforced concrete, reinforced mortared block, reinforced piers, or other foundation elements of equal strength. The mobile home chassis must be securely anchored to the foundation system so that it will resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Over the top ties to ground anchors be provided at each of the four (4) corners of the mobile home, with two (2) additional ties per side at intermediate locations for mobile homes less than fifty feet (50') long;

(2) Frame ties to ground anchors be provided at each corner of the home with five (5) additional ties per side at intermediate points, for mobile homes more than fifty feet (50') long;

(3) All components of the anchoring system be capable of carrying a force of four thousand eight hundred (4,800) pounds;

(4) Any additions to the mobile home must be similarly anchored; and

(5) Adequate surface drainage and access for a hauler are provided.

m. Agricultural structures (except buildings, dwellings and fuel storage) that will have low flood damage potential, or be located on higher ground and as far from the channel as possible, and meet the floodproofing requirements of subsection E of this section.

n. New surface water diversions and changes in place of diversion for agricultural uses and other uses, designed by a registered engineer to meet the following requirements:

(1) A copy of the water right permit or change authorization permit from MTDNRC water rights bureau for new surface water diversions and changes in place of diversion;

(2) Documentation that the proposed diversion or modification will not increase the upstream elevation of the base flood to the detriment of a neighboring property. Any increase to the BFE will require a CLOMR and LOMR;

(3) The proposed diversion is designed and constructed to minimize potential erosion from a base flood;

(4) For a permanent diversion structure crossing the full width of the stream channel:

(A) All other options should be studied and considered first;

(B) The structure is designed and constructed to withstand up to a base flood; and

(C) The diversion is not an obstruction to the passage of watercraft or fish.

o. The following flood control measures designed by a registered professional engineer to comply with the conditions set forth (structural flood control works often significantly obstruct and affect floodway flow capacity):

(1) Levees and floodwalls (new, reconstruction and/or maintenance) if:

(A) The proposed levee or floodwall is designed and constructed to safely convey a 100-year flood; and

(B) The cumulative effect of the levee or floodwall combined with allowable floodway fringe encroachments does not increase the unobstructed base flood elevation more than one-half foot (1/2'). The floodplain administrator may establish either a lower or higher permissible increase in the base flood elevation for individual levee projects only with concurrence from the Montana department of natural resources and conservation and the federal emergency management agency based upon consideration of the following criteria:

(i) The estimated cumulative effect of any anticipated future permissible uses; and

(ii) The type and amount of existing development in the affected area.

(C) The proposed levee or floodwall, except those to protect agricultural land, is constructed at least three feet (3') higher than the base flood elevation.

(D) For levee structures to be recognized on a FEMA map as providing flood protection, the structure must meet the criteria outlined in 44 CFR 65.10. Without the criteria being met, the area behind the uncertified structure will be shown to be in the floodplain of the flood source (river).

(2) Bank stabilization projects, such as hand placed riprap, native revetments, weirs, barbs, etc., if:

(A) It is designed to withstand a 100-year flood;

(B) It does not increase the base flood elevation;

(C) It will not increase erosion upstream, downstream, or adjacent to the site;

(D) Consideration will be given to accommodate the safe passage of watercraft in low flows; and/or

(E) It is preventive maintenance for bridge abutments, roads, industrial uses and public infrastructure.

(3) Channelization projects if they do not significantly increase the magnitude, velocity, or base flood elevation in the proximity of the project.

(4) Dams, provided that:

(A) They are designed and constructed in accordance with the Montana dam safety act and applicable safety standards; and

(B) They will not increase flood hazards downstream either through operational procedures or improper hydrologic/hydraulic design.

p. All other artificial obstructions, substantial improvements, or nonconforming uses not specifically listed in or prohibited by these regulations.

3. Prohibited Uses: The following artificial obstructions and nonconforming uses are prohibited within the floodway:

a. A building, dwelling or structure for living purposes, place of assembly or permanent use by human beings;

b. New construction of any residential dwelling, commercial or industrial building;

c. Encroachments, including fill, new construction, buildings, substantial improvements, excavations and other development that would cause water to be diverted from the established floodway, erosion of embankment, obstruction of the natural flow of waters, reduce the carrying capacity of the floodway or increase flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the 100-year flood;

d. The construction or permanent storage of an object subject to flotation or movement during the 100-year flood;

e. Mobile homes and manufactured homes;

f. Storage and disposal of solid waste, hazardous waste, toxic, flammable, or explosive materials;

g. Only those wastewater disposal systems that meet the requirements and separation distances under ARM 17.36.101-116 and ARM 17.36.301-345 are allowed;

h. Cemeteries, mausoleums, or any other places of burial of human remains.


C. Floodway Fringe:

1. Uses Allowed Without Permits: All uses allowed in the floodway without permit according to the provisions of these regulations, shall also be allowed without a permit in the floodway fringe.

2. Uses Requiring Permits: All uses allowed in the floodway subject to the issuance of a permit according to the provisions of these regulations shall also be allowed by permit within the designated floodway fringe. In addition, new construction, substantial improvements, alterations to structures (including, but not limited to, residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial), and suitable fill shall be allowed subject to the following conditions:

a. Flood Fringe: Except an encroachment is not required for development in the designated flood fringe;

b. Floodplain: The allowable encroachment increase for developments in the designated floodplain without a floodway and with or without a base flood elevation is 0.5 foot unless a lesser amount is specified in the specific supporting hydraulic analysis supports the floodplain designation study adopted herein;

c. Otherwise Prohibited: Such structures or fill must not be prohibited by any other statute, regulation, ordinance, or resolution;

d. Comprehensive Plans: Such structures or fill must be compatible with local comprehensive plans, if any;

e. Residential: The new construction, alterations, and substantial improvements of residential dwellings including manufactured homes must be constructed on suitable fill with a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor elevation (including basement) is two feet (2') or more above the BFE (base flood elevation). The suitable fill shall be at an elevation no lower than the elevation of the 100-year flood and shall extend for at least fifteen feet (15'), at that elevation, beyond the dwelling(s) in all directions. Replacement manufactured and mobile homes in an existing mobile home park or subdivision may, instead of using suitable fill, be elevated on a concrete or mortared block foundation, or other suitable permanent foundation, and anchored to prevent flotation or downstream movement.

(1) Crawl space must be designed to allow internal flooding and must be limited to storage of equipment or materials not appreciably affected by floodwaters. The floors and walls shall be designed and constructed of materials resistant to flooding to an elevation no lower than two feet (2') above the BFE. Walls shall be designed to equalize hydrostatic forces by allowing for entry and exit of floodwaters. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, valves, and other coverings or devices which permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

(2) For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic 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 or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:

(A) A minimum of two (2) openings;

(B) Openings shall have a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding;

(C) The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot (1') above grade;

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

f. Nonresidential: The new construction, alteration, and substantial improvement of commercial and industrial buildings must be constructed on suitable fill with a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor elevation (including basement) is two (2) or more feet above the BFE (base flood elevation), or the building must be adequately floodproofed to an elevation no lower than two feet (2') above the elevation of the 100-year flood. The building is required to be designed by a registered professional engineer, architect, or other qualified person that floodproofing methods are adequate to withstand the flood depths, hydrodynamic and hydrostatic pressures, velocities, impact, buoyancy, and uplift forces associated with the 100-year flood.

(1) If the building is designed to allow internal flooding of the lowest floor, use of the lowest floor must be limited to parking, loading areas, and storage of equipment or materials not appreciably affected by floodwaters. The floors and walls shall be designed and constructed of materials resistant to flooding to an elevation no lower than two feet (2') above the BFE. Walls shall be designed to equalize hydrostatic forces by allowing for entry and exit of floodwaters. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, valves, and other coverings or devices which permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

(2) Buildings whose lowest floors are used for a purpose other than parking, loading, or storage of materials resistant to flooding shall be waterproofed to an elevation no lower than two feet (2') above the BFE. Floodproofing shall include impermeable membranes or materials for floors and walls and watertight enclosures for all windows, doors and other openings. These buildings shall be designed to withstand the hydrostatic pressures and hydrodynamic forces resulting from the base flood.

(3) Floodproofing of electrical, heating and plumbing systems shall be accomplished in accordance with subsection E of this section.

g. Manufactured Homes: All manufactured homes placed in the floodway fringe shall be installed using methods and practices which minimize flood damage and must have the chassis securely anchored to a foundation system that will resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not limited to, over the top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces. The following conditions also apply:

(1) When a manufactured home is: a) altered, b) replaced because of substantial damage as a result of a flood or c) replaced on an individual site, the lowest floor must be elevated two feet (2') above the base flood elevation. The home can be elevated on fill or raised on a permanent foundation of reinforced concrete, reinforced mortared block, reinforced piers, or other foundation elements of at least equivalent strength.

(2) Replacement or substantial improvement of manufactured homes in an existing manufactured home park, site outside a manufactured home park or subdivision, or subdivision must be raised on a permanent foundation. The lowest floor must be two feet (2') above the base flood elevation. The foundation must consist of reinforced concrete, reinforced mortared block, reinforced piers, or other foundation elements of at least equivalent strength.

(3) Manufactured homes proposed for use as commercial or industrial buildings must be elevated and anchored, rather than floodproofed.

h. Fill Material: Fill material placed in the floodway fringe must be stable, compacted, well graded, pervious, generally unaffected by water and frost, devoid of trash or similar foreign matter, devoid of tree stumps or other organic material, and appropriate for the purpose of supporting the intended use and/or permanent structure;

i. Roads, Streets, Highways And Rail Lines: Roads, streets, highways and rail lines shall be designed to minimize any increase in flood heights. Where failure or interruption of transportation facilities would result in danger to the public health or safety, the facility shall be located two feet (2') above the elevation of the 100-year flood;

j. Agricultural Buildings: Agricultural buildings that have a low damage potential, such as sheds, barns, shelters, and hay or grain storage structures must be adequately anchored to prevent flotation or collapse and all electrical facilities shall be placed two feet (2') above the base flood elevation;

k. Recreational Vehicles: Recreational vehicles must meet the following requirements:

(1) Be on the site for fewer than one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days, or

(2) Be fully licensed and ready for highway use, or

(3) Meet the permit requirements of subsection 12-1-7C of this chapter, and the elevation and anchoring requirements for "manufactured homes" in subsection C2g of this section. 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.

3. Prohibited Uses: The following artificial obstructions and nonconforming uses are prohibited within the floodway fringe:

a. Only those wastewater disposal systems that meet the requirements and separation distances under ARM 17.36.101-116 and ARM 17.36.301-345 are allowed;

b. Storage and disposal of solid waste, hazardous waste, toxic, flammable, or explosive materials; and

c. Cemeteries, mausoleums, or any other places of burial of human remains.


D. Standards For Subdivision Proposals:

1. Review subdivision proposals and other development, including manufactured home parks or subdivisions, to determine whether such proposals will be reasonably safe from flooding. If a subdivision or other development proposal is in a flood prone area, assure that such proposals minimize flood damage.

2. Base flood elevation data shall be generated for subdivision proposals and other proposed development including the placement of manufactured home parks and subdivisions which is greater than fifty (50) lots or five (5) acres, whichever is lesser.

3. All subdivision proposals including the placement of manufactured home parks and subdivisions shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards.

4. All subdivision proposals including the placement of manufactured home parks and subdivisions shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage.


E. Floodproofing Requirements:

1. Certification: If the following floodproofing requirements are to be utilized for a particular structure in accordance with these regulations, the methods used must be certified as adequate by a registered professional engineer, architect, or other qualified person.

2. Conformance: Permitted floodproofing systems shall conform to the conditions listed below and the floodproofing standards listed in subsection C2f of this section for commercial and industrial buildings:

a. Electrical Systems:

(1) All incoming power service equipment, including all metering equipment, control centers, transformers, distribution and lighting panels, and all other stationary equipment must be located at least two feet (2') above the elevation of the 100-year flood.

(2) Portable and movable electrical equipment may be placed below the elevation of the 100-year flood, provided that the equipment can be disconnected by a single plug and socket assembly of the submersible type.

(3) The main power service lines shall automatically operate electrical disconnect equipment of manually operated electrical disconnect equipment located at an accessible remote location outside the designated floodplain and above the elevation of the 100-year flood.

(4) All electrical wiring systems installed below the elevation of the 100-year flood shall be suitable for continuous submergence and may not contain fibrous components.

b. Heating Systems:

(1) Float operated automatic control valves must be installed in gas furnace supply lines so that fuel supply is automatically shut off when floodwaters reach the floor level where the furnace is located.

(2) Manually operated gate valves must be installed in gas supply lines. The gate valves must be operable from a location above the elevation of the 100-year flood.

(3) Electric heating systems must be installed in accordance with the provisions of subsection E2a(1) of this section.

c. Plumbing Systems:

(1) Sewer lines, except those to be buried and in sealed vaults, must have check valves installed to prevent sewage backup into permitted structures.

(2) All toilets, stools, sinks, urinals, and drains must be located so the lowest point of possible entry is at least two feet (2') above the 100-year flood elevation. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)

http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=45370#s748756
12-1-10: COMPLIANCE:linklink

Any use, alteration, or construction not in compliance with that authorized shall be deemed a violation of these regulations and punishable as provided in section 12-1-11 of this chapter or enforced as provided in 76-5-109 Montana Code Annotated. An applicant may be required to submit certification by a registered professional engineer, architect, or other qualified person designated by the floodplain administrator, that finished fill, building floor elevations, floodproofing, hydraulic design, or other flood protection measures be accomplished in compliance with these regulations. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)
http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=45370#s748757
12-1-11: PENALTIES:linklink

Violation of the provisions of these regulations or failure to comply with any of the requirements, including failure to obtain permit approval prior to development on the floodplain shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates these regulations or fails to comply with any of its requirements (including the conditions and safeguards established in variances) shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) or imprisoned for not more than ten (10) days or both. Each day's continuance of a violation shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense. (Ord. 325-11, 8-23-2011, eff. 9-1-2011)
http://sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=&chapter_id=45370#s748758