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Municipal Code

Chapter 26. Floodplain Ordinance

Sec. 26-02. General Provisions

(1) Areas to be regulated. This ordinance regulates all areas that would be covered by the regional flood or base flood.

Note:  Base flood elevations are derived from the flood profiles in the Flood Insurance Study.  Regional flood elevations may be derived from other studies.  Areas covered by the base flood are identified as A-Zones on the Flood Insurance Rate Map.

(2)   Official Maps & Revisions. The boundaries of all floodplain districts are designated as floodplains or A‑Zones on the maps listed below and the revisions in the City of Marshfield Floodplain Appendix.  Any change to the base flood elevations (BFE) in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) or on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) must be reviewed and approved by the DNR and FEMA before it is effective.  No changes to regional flood elevations (RFE's) on non-FEMA maps shall be effective until approved by the DNR.  These maps and revisions are on file in the office of the Planning and Economic Development Department, City of Marshfield.  If more than one map or revision is referenced, the most restrictive information shall apply. 

Official maps: Based on the FIS:

(a) Wood County Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), panel numbers 55141C0040G, 55141C0045G, 55141C0065G, dated February 17, 2010; with corresponding profiles that are based on the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) dated February 17, 2010, volume 55141CV000A;

(b)  Marathon County Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), panel numbers 55073C0780F, 55073C0785F, 55073C0795F, dated July 22, 2010; with corresponding profiles that are based on the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) dated July 22, 2010, volume 55073CV000A;

(3) Establishment of Districts. The regional floodplain areas are divided into three districts as follows:

(a) The Floodway District (FW) is the channel of a river or stream and those portions of the floodplain adjoining the channel required to carry the regional floodwaters.

(b) The Floodfringe District (FF) is that portion of the floodplain between the regional flood limits and the floodway.

(c) The General Floodplain District (GFP) is those areas that have been or may be covered by floodwater during the regional flood.

(4) Locating floodplain boundaries. Discrepancies between boundaries on the official floodplain zoning map and actual field conditions shall be resolved using the criteria in paragraphs (a) or (b) below. If a significant difference exists, the map shall be amended according to Sec. 26-10. The zoning administrator can rely on a boundary derived from a profile elevation to grant or deny a land use permit, whether or not a map amendment is required. The zoning administrator shall be responsible for documenting actual pre-development field conditions and the basis upon which the district boundary was determined and for initiating any map amendments required under this section. Disputes between the zoning administrator and an applicant over the district boundary line shall be settled according to Sec. 26-09 (7) (c) and the criteria in (a) and (b) below.

(a) If flood profiles exist, the map scale and the profile elevations shall determine the district boundary. The regional or base flood elevations shall govern if there are any discrepancies.

(b) Where flood profiles do not exist, the location of the boundary shall be determined by the map scale, visual on‑site inspection and any information provided by the Department.

Note: Where the flood profiles are based on established base flood elevations from a FIRM, FEMA must also approve any map amendment pursuant to Sec. 26-10 (1) (f).

(5) Removal of lands from floodplain. Compliance with the provisions of this ordinance shall not be grounds for removing land from the floodplain unless it is filled at least two feet above the regional or base flood elevation, the fill is contiguous to land outside the floodplain, and the map is amended pursuant to Sec. 26-10.

Note:  This procedure does not remove the requirements for the mandatory purchase of flood insurance.  The property owner must contact FEMA to request a Letter of Map Change (LOMC).

(6) Compliance. Any development or use within the areas regulated by this ordinance shall be in compliance with the terms of this ordinance, and other applicable local, state, and federal regulations.

(7) Municipalities and state agencies regulated. Unless specifically exempted by law, all cities, villages, towns, and counties are required to comply with this ordinance and obtain all necessary permits. State agencies are required to comply if s. 13.48(13), Stats., applies. The construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of state highways and bridges by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is exempt when s.30.2022, Stats., applies.

(8) Abrogation and greater restrictions.

(a) This ordinance supersedes all the provisions of any municipal zoning ordinance enacted under s.62.23 for cities; or s.87.30, Stats., which relate to floodplains. If another ordinance is more restrictive than this ordinance, that ordinance shall continue in full force and effect to the extent of the greater restrictions, but not otherwise.

(b) This ordinance is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing deed restrictions, covenants or easements. If this ordinance imposes greater restrictions, the provisions of this ordinance shall prevail.

(9) Interpretation. In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this ordinance are the minimum requirements liberally construed in favor of the governing body and are not a limitation on or repeal of any other powers granted by the Wisconsin Statutes. If a provision of this ordinance, required by ch. NR 116, Wis. Adm. Code, is unclear, the provision shall be interpreted in light of the standards in effect on the date of the adoption of this ordinance or in effect on the date of the most recent text amendment to this ordinance.

(10) Warning and disclaimer of liability. The flood protection standards in this ordinance are based on engineering experience and scientific research. Larger floods may occur or the flood height may be increased by man‑made or natural causes. This ordinance does not imply or guarantee that non-floodplain areas or permitted floodplain uses will be free from flooding and flood damages. Nor does this ordinance create liability on the part of, or a cause of action against, the municipality or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damage that may result from reliance on this ordinance.

(11) Severability. Should any portion of this ordinance be declared unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected.

(12) Annexed areas for cities. The Wood County floodplain zoning provisions in effect on the date of annexation shall remain in effect and shall be enforced by the municipality for all annexed areas until the municipality adopts and enforces an ordinance which meets the requirements of ch.NR116, Wis. Adm. Code and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These annexed lands are described on the municipality's official zoning map. County floodplain zoning provisions are incorporated by reference for the purpose of administering this section and are on file in the office of the municipal zoning administrator. All plats or maps of annexation shall show the regional flood elevation and the location of the floodway.

(13) General development standards. The community shall review all permit applications to determine whether proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding. If a proposed building site is in a flood-prone area, all new construction and substantial improvements shall be designed or modified and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads; be constructed with materials resistant to flood damage; be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damages; and be constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding. Subdivisions shall be reviewed for compliance with the above standards. All subdivision proposals (including manufactured home parks) shall include regional flood elevation and floodway data for any development that meets the subdivision definition of this ordinance.

(Ord. No. 1169, 1, 1-12-2010; Ord. No. 1180, 1, 6-8-2010)