Article II. Definitions

4.08.110 General.

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 it's most reasonable application.

"Accessory structure (appurtenant structure)" means structures that are located on the same parcel of property as the principal structure and the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure. Accessory structures should constitute a minimal investment, may not be used for human habitation, and be designed to have minimal flood damage potential. Examples of accessory structures are detached garages, carports, storage sheds, pole barns, and hay sheds.

"Addition (to an existing building)" means an extension or increase in the floor area or height of a building or structure. Additions to existing buildings shall comply with the requirements for new construction regardless as to whether the addition is a substantial improvement or not. Where a firewall or load-bearing wall is provided between the addition and the existing building, the addition(s) shall be considered a separate building and must comply with the standards for new construction.

"Agricultural structure" means a structure used solely for agricultural purposes in which the use is exclusively in connection with the production, harvesting, storage, drying, or raising of agricultural commodities, including the raising of livestock. Agricultural structures are not exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

"Appeal" means a request for a review of the local floodplain administrator's interpretation of any provision of this chapter.

"Area of shallow flooding" means a designated AO or VO zone on a community's flood insurance rate map (FIRM) with base flood depths of one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate, and where velocity flow may be evident.

"Area of special flood hazard" means the land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Base flood" means the flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

"Basement" means any enclosed area of a building that is below grade on all sides.

"Building." See "structure."

"Coastal high hazard area" means an area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of the primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources.

"Critical development" means development that is critical to the community's public health and safety, is essential to the orderly functioning of a community, store or produce highly volatile, toxic or water-reactive materials, or house occupants that may be insufficiently mobile to avoid loss of life or injury. Examples of critical development include jails, hospitals, schools, fire stations, nursing homes, wastewater treatment facilities, water plants, and gas/oil/propane storage facilities.

"Development" means any man-made 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.

"Elevated building" means a non-basement building built to have the lowest floor elevated above the ground level by means of solid foundation perimeter walls, pilings, columns, piers, or shear walls parallel to the flow of water.

"Executive Order 11988 (floodplain management)" issued by President Carter in 1977, this order requires that no federally assisted activities be conducted in or have the potential to affect identified special flood hazard areas, unless there is no practicable alternative.

"Existing construction" means, for the purposes of determining rates, structures for which the start of construction commenced before February 12, 1980.

"Existing manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision" means a manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before February 26, 1975.

"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 slabs).

"Flood" means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from the overflow of inland or tidal waters, or the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.

"Flood hazard boundary map (FHBM)" means an official map of a community, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard have been defined as zone A.

"Flood insurance rate map (FIRM)" means an official map of a community, on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency has delineated both the areas of special flood hazard and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

"Flood insurance study" means the official report provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency which contains flood profiles, as well as the flood boundary floodway map and the water surface elevation of the base flood.

"Flood-resistant material" means any building material capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact (minimum seventy-two hours) with floodwaters without sustaining damage that requires more than low-cost cosmetic repair. Any material that is water-soluble or is not resistant to alkali or acid in water, including normal adhesives for above-grade use, is not flood-resistant. Pressure-treated lumber or naturally decay-resistant lumbers are acceptable flooring materials. Sheet-type flooring coverings that restrict evaporation from below and materials that are impervious, but dimensionally unstable are not acceptable. Materials that absorb or retain water excessively after submergence are not flood-resistant. Please refer to technical bulletin 2, flood damage-resistant materials requirements, dated 8/08, and available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Class 4 and 5 materials, referenced therein, are acceptable flood-resistant materials.

"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 foot.

"Freeboard" means a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a flood level for purposes of flood plain management. "Freeboard" tends to compensate for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed.

"Functionally dependent use" means a use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. The term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship building and ship repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.

"Highest adjacent grade" means the highest natural elevation of the ground surface, prior to construction, next to the proposed walls of the structure.

"Historic structure" means any structure that is:


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


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;


Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places;


Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified (1) by an approved state program as determined by the secretary of interior, or (2) directly by the secretary of interior in states without approved programs. Some structures or districts listed on the state or local inventories MAY NOT be "Historic" as cited above, but have been included on the inventories because it was believed that the structures or districts have the potential for meeting the "Historic" structure criteria of the DOI. In order for these structures to meet NFIP historic structure criteria, it must be demonstrated and evidenced that the South Carolina Department of Archives and History has individually determined that the structure or district meets DOI historic structure criteria.

"Increased cost of compliance (ICC)" applies to all new and renewed flood insurance policies effective on and after June 1, 1997. The NFIP shall enable the purchase of insurance to cover the cost of compliance with land use and control measures established under Section 1361. It provides coverage for the payment of a claim to help pay for the cost to comply with state or community floodplain management laws or ordinances after a flood event in which a building has been declared substantially or repetitively damaged.

"Limited storage" means an area used for storage and intended to be limited to incidental items that can withstand exposure to the elements and have low flood damage potential. Such an area must be of flood resistant or breakaway material, void of utilities except for essential lighting and cannot be temperature controlled. If the area is located below the base flood elevation in an A, AE and A1-A30 zone it must meet the requirements of subsection 4.08.170(4) of this chapter. If the area is located below the base flood elevation in a V, VE and V1-V30 zone, [which is not applicable to Travelers Rest,] it must meet the requirements of of this chapter.

"Lowest adjacent grade (LAG)" is an elevation of the lowest ground surface that touches any deck support, exterior walls of a building or proposed building walls.

"Lowest floor" means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor; provided, that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable non-elevation design requirements of this chapter.

"Manufactured home" means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation when connected 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 or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.

"Mean sea level" means, for the purpose of this chapter, the nation's geodetic vertical datum (NGVD) of 1929, North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988, or other datum, to which the base flood elevations shown on a community's flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) are shown.

"National geodetic vertical datum (NGVD) of 1929" as corrected in 1929, elevation reference points set by national geodetic survey based on mean sea level.

"North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988" means vertical control, as corrected in 1988, used as the reference datum on flood insurance rate maps.

"New construction" means a structure for which the start of construction commenced on or after February 26, 1975. The term also includes any subsequent improvements to such structure.

"New 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 slabs) is completed on or after February 26, 1975.

"Primary frontal dune" means a continuous or nearly continuous mound or ridge of sand with relatively steep seaward and landward slopes immediately landward and subject to erosion and overtopping from high tides and waves during 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 which is:


Built on a single chassis;


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


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


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

"Repetitive loss" means a building covered by a contract for flood insurance that has incurred flood-related damages on two occasions during a ten year period ending on the date of the event for which a second claim is made, in which the cost of repairing the flood damage, on the average, equaled or exceeded twenty-five percent of the market value of the building at the time of each such flood event.

"Section 1316 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968." The act provides that no new flood insurance shall be provided for any property found by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to have been declared by a state or local authority to be in violation of state or local ordinances.

"Stable natural vegetation" means the first place on the oceanfront where plants such as sea oats hold sand in place.

"Start of construction" means that for other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. 97-348), includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or improvement was within one hundred and eighty days of the permit date. The actual start means the first placement of permanent construction of a structure (including a manufactured home) on a site, such as the pouring of slabs or footings, installation of piles, 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 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 the building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

"Structure" means a walled and roofed building, a manufactured home, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.

"Substantial damage" means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to it's before damaged condition would equal or exceed fifty percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. Such repairs may be undertaken successively and their costs counted cumulatively. Please refer to the definition of "substantial improvement".

"Substantial improvement" means any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty percent of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures that have incurred repetitive loss or substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:


Any project of improvement to 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


Any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.

Permits shall be cumulative for a period of five years. If the improvement project is conducted in phases, the total of all costs associated with each phase, beginning with the issuance of the first permit, shall be utilized to determine whether "substantial improvement" will occur.

"Substantially improved existing manufactured home park or subdivision" means that where the repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation or improvement of the streets, utilities and pads equals or exceeds fifty percent of the value of the streets, utilities and pads before the repair, reconstruction, or improvement commenced.

"Variance" is a grant of relief from a term or terms of this chapter.

"Violation" means the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with these regulations.

(Ord. No. O-10-14, 8-14-2014)