Chapter 15.12


Article I. General Provisions

15.12.010    Statutory authorization.

15.12.020    Statement of purpose.

Article II. Definitions

15.12.100    Definitions.

Article III. General Provisions

15.12.200    Lands to which this chapter applies.

15.12.210    Basis for establishing flood-prone areas.

15.12.220    Compliance.

15.12.230    Abrogation and greater restrictions.

15.12.240    Interpretation.

15.12.250    Warning and disclaimer of liability.

15.12.260    Severability.

Article IV. Administration

15.12.300    Permit.

15.12.310    Designation of the floodplain administrator.

15.12.320    Duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator.

Article V. Provisions for Flood Hazard Reduction

15.12.400    Standards of construction.

15.12.410    Standards for subdivisions or other proposed new development.

15.12.420    Standards for utilities.

15.12.430    Floodways.

Article I. General Provisions

15.12.010 Statutory authorization.

The Legislature of the State of California has in Government Code Sections 65302, 65560, and 65800 conferred upon local governments the authority to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the city council of the city of Hughson does hereby adopt the following floodplain management regulations. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.020 Statement of 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 in specific areas by provisions designed to:

A. Protect human life and health;

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

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

D. Minimize prolonged business interruptions;

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

F. 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 blighted areas caused by flood damage;

G. Ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and

H. Ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

Article II. Definitions

15.12.100 Definitions.

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

A. “Area of special flood hazard” means the land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.

B. “Base flood” means a flood which has a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (also called the “100-year flood”). “Base flood” is the term used throughout this chapter.

C. Building. See “structure.”

D. “Development” means any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.

E. “Flood” or “flooding” means:

1. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from: the overflow of inland or tidal waters; the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding as defined herein and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.

2. The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusual and unforeseeable event which results in flooding as defined in this definition.

F. “Floodplain” or “flood-prone area” means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source – see “flooding.”

G. “Floodplain administrator” is the individual appointed to administer and enforce the floodplain management regulations.

H. “Floodplain management” means the operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage and preserving and enhancing, where possible, natural resources in the floodplain, including but not limited to emergency preparedness plans, flood control works, floodplain management regulations, and open space plans.

I. “Floodplain management regulations” means this chapter and other zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as grading and erosion control) and other application of police power which control development in flood-prone areas. This term describes federal, state or local regulations in any combination thereof which provide standards for preventing and reducing flood loss and damage.

J. “Governing body” is the local governing unit, i.e., county or municipality, that is empowered to adopt and implement regulations to provide for the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry.

K. “Historic structure” means any structure that is:

1. Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;

2. Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;

3. Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or

4. Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either by an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior or directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states with approved programs.

L. “Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The term “manufactured home” does not include a “recreational vehicle.”

M. “Manufactured home park or subdivision” means a parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.

N. “New construction,” for floodplain management purposes, means structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of floodplain management regulations adopted by this community, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

O. One-Hundred-Year Flood or 100-Year Flood. See “base flood.”

P. “Recreational vehicle” means a vehicle which is:

1. Built on a single chassis;

2. Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;

3. Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck; and

4. Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.

Q. “Start of construction” includes substantial improvement and other proposed new development and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement, or other improvement was within 180 days from the date of the permit. 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.

R. “Structure” means a walled and roofed building that is principally above ground; this includes a gas or liquid storage tank or a manufactured home.

S. “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 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

T. “Substantial improvement” means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other proposed new development of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the “start of construction” of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred “substantial damage,” regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:

1. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations or 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.” (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

Article III. General Provisions

15.12.200 Lands to which this chapter applies.

This chapter shall apply to all areas identified as flood-prone within the jurisdiction of the city of Hughson. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.210 Basis for establishing flood-prone areas.

The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS), Stanislaus County, California, and Incorporated Areas with accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps (FBFMs), dated August 1, 1980, and all subsequent amendments and/or revisions, are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be part of this chapter. This FIS and attendant mapping are the minimum area of applicability of this chapter and may be supplemented by studies for other areas which allow implementation of this chapter and which are recommended to the city council by the floodplain administrator. The floodplain administrator shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood data available from other federal or state agencies or other source to identify flood-prone areas within the jurisdiction of city of Hughson. This data will be on file at the city of Hughson, City Hall, 7018 Pine Street, Hughson, California, 95326. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.220 Compliance.

No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation of the requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall constitute a misdemeanor. Nothing herein shall prevent the city council from taking such lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.230 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. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.240 Interpretation.

In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be considered as minimum requirements, liberally construed in favor of the governing body, and deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.250 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 hazards 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 council, city of Hughson, any officer or employee thereof, the state of California, the Federal Insurance Administration, or Federal Emergency Management Agency for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.260 Severability.

This chapter and the various parts thereof are hereby declared to be severable. Should any section of this chapter be declared by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole, or any portion thereof other than the section so declared to be unconstitutional or invalid. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

Article IV. Administration

15.12.300 Permit.

Prior to issuance of any permit obtained for all proposed construction or other development in the community, including the placement of manufactured homes, a determination shall be made as to whether such construction or other development is within flood-prone areas. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.310 Designation of the floodplain administrator.

The community development director, as the floodplain administrator, is hereby appointed to administer, implement, and enforce this chapter by granting or denying development permits in accord with its provisions. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.320 Duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator.

The duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

A. Permit Review. Review all development permit applications to determine:

1. Permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied;

2. All other required state and federal permits have been obtained; and

3. The site is reasonably safe from flooding.

B. Review and Use of Any Other Base Flood Data. The floodplain administrator shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood data available from other federal or state agency or other source.

C. Notification of Other Agencies.

1. Alteration or Relocation of a Watercourse.

a. Notify adjacent communities and the California Department of Water Resources prior to alteration or relocation;

b. Submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and

c. Assure that the flood carrying capacity within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse is maintained.

2. Changes in Corporate Boundaries.

a. Notify FEMA in writing whenever the corporate boundaries have been modified by annexation or other means and include a copy of the map of the community clearly delineating the new corporate limits. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

Article V. Provisions for Flood Hazard Reduction

15.12.400 Standards of construction.

If a proposed building site is in a flood-prone area, all new construction and substantial improvements, including manufactured homes, shall:

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.

B. Be constructed:

1. With materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage;

2. Using methods and practices that minimize flood damage;

3. 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. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.410 Standards for subdivisions or other proposed new development.

If a subdivision proposal or other proposed new development, including manufactured home parks or subdivisions, is in a flood-prone area, any such proposals shall be reviewed to assure that:

A. All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage within the flood-prone area;

B. All public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage; and

C. Adequate drainage is provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.420 Standards for utilities.

A. All new and replacement water supply and sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate:

1. Infiltration of flood waters into the systems; and

2. Discharge from the systems into flood waters.

B. On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them, or contamination from them during flooding. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020; Ord. 16-05 § 1, 2016)

15.12.430 Floodways.

Until a regulated floodway is adopted, no new construction, substantial development, or other development (including infill) shall be permitted within Zone A unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point within the lands under the jurisdiction of the city of Hughson. (Ord. 20-02 § 1, 2020)