FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION ORDINANCE

SECTION 1.0

STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION, FINDINGS OF FACT, PURPOSE AND METHODS

ARTICLE I. AUTHORITY, PURPOSE AND TITLE

SECTION 1.1 STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION

In A.R.S. §§ 48-3603 through 48-3627, the Arizona State Legislature has delegated the responsibility to each county flood control district to adopt regulations consistent with criteria adopted by the Director of Arizona Department of Water Resources pursuant to A.R.S. § 48-3605, designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Pinal County Flood Control District of Pinal County, Arizona, does ordain as follows:

FINDINGS OF FACT

A.  The flood hazard areas of Pinal County are subject to periodic inundation which may result 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 may be caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazards which increase flood heights and velocities and, when inadequately anchored, cause damage in other areas. Uses that are inadequately flood proofed, elevated or otherwise protected from flood damage, also contribute to the flood loss.

C.  Pursuant to the authority granted in A.R.S. §48-3609 (B), judicious floodplain management requires the permitting of development within a watercourse or contributing watershed that have flows greater than 200 cfs (cubic feet per second) during a 100-year flood event so as not to cause obstruction retardation or diversion of flows.

SECTION 1.2 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

It is the purpose of this ordinance to comply with the directive of A.R.S. §48-3609 and 44 CFR Ch.1. et seq. (pertaining to the National Flood Insurance Program) to promote and protect the health, peace, safety, comfort, convenience, and general welfare of the residents within the jurisdictional area of Pinal County, Arizona, to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas, and to enable Pinal County and its residents to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, receive Federal Disaster Assistance, obtain flood insurance and reduce the cost of flood insurance by provisions designed:

A.  To protect human life and health, and property of County residents;

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

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

D.  To minimize prolonged business interruptions;

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

F.  To help maintain a stable tax base by regulating development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas;

G.  Take all reasonable action so that potential buyers have notice that property is in an area of special flood hazard;

H.  Take all reasonable action so that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions;

I.  Minimize flood damages and reduce the height and violence of floods which are caused by obstructions restricting the capacity of floodways;

J.  Prevent unwise encroachment and building development within floodplain areas;

K.  Reduce the financial burden imposed on the community, its governmental units and its residents when such land is flooded;

L.  Protect the natural and beneficial function of the floodplains; and

M.  To maintain eligibility for disaster relief.

SECTION 1.3 TITLE

This Ordinance may be referred to as the Pinal County Floodplain Ordinance.

SECTION 1.4 METHODS OF REDUCING FLOOD LOSSES

In order to accomplish its purposes, this ordinance includes methods and provisions for:

A.  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;

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

C.  Controlling the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel flood waters;

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

E.  Preventing or regulating the construction of obstructions which will unnaturally divert flood waters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.

F.  Protecting the integrity of the floodplains, by making it necessary to regulate development in the unincorporated county which would affect the delineated floodplains, by requiring a Floodplain Use Permit of Clearance for development within a watercourse or contributing watershed that has flows greater than 200 cfs (cubic feet per second) during a 100-year flood event, unless a drainage clearance has been issued.