Morrisville, North Carolina
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Floodplains, Buffers & Wetlands
Floodplain Management
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 to protect public safety and property and reduce the financial burden from flood related disasters.  The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the three primary program components include the production of flood maps, provision of flood insurance within participating communities and local level regulation of development in designated flood areas.   Development in or adjacent to identified floodway or special flood hazard areas (SFHA) within the Town of Morrisville are regulated through the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (FDPO) within Article 5 of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).  

The Town currently verifies that development meets the FDPO standards through the requirement of preliminary (pre-construction) and post-construction elevation certificates (ECs) during the building permit submittal process for any property located within a regulated SFHA as identified on a regulatory digital flood insurance rate map (DFIRM) or locally prepared flood study.  The Town also is responsible for review of "no-rise" certification and Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) engineering studies performed for any development within a regulatory floodway.  Digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs), which identify flood prone areas subject to flood insurance and flood regulations requirements, are available for download and viewing from the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program website. 

Town of Morrisville Flood Resources
New FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC) form
Town Map of Areas Subject to High Water Conditions

Flood Map Updates
Flood Map Updates

Nutrients and Riparian Buffers
Neuse River & Jordan Lake Nutrient Sensitive Waters Management Strategies
To protect nutrient sensitive waters, the town previously voluntarily enforced and implemented the Jordan Lake performance standards throughout the Town’s jurisdiction (including the Neuse River Basin areas), which include limits on Nitrogen and Phosphorus.   Recent state legislation, SL 2015-241 and SL 2015-246 has suspended nutrient limits until August 2020.  The Town is also delegated by NCDEQ to implement the state's riparian buffer program in both the Neuse and Jordan watersheds.  Nutrient limits and Riparian Buffers for residential and non-residential development are regulated through Article 6 of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).  Impacts and disturbances to riparian buffers are regulated and enforced by the Town.  The Town is delegated by NCDEQ to perform stream buffer determinations, and issue determinations for No Practical Alternatives-Request for Buffer Authorizations within the Town.  Additional information on the state rules can be obtained from the NCDEQ Neuse Nutrient Strategy and the NCDEQ Jordan Nutrient Strategy websites.

Additional Resources
Town of Morrisville River Basin Map
Riparian Buffer Informational Brochure
Town of Morrisville Stream Buffer Determination Request Form
No Practical Alternatives Determination / Buffer Authorization Request Form

Streams & Wetlands
Streams and wetlands are important environmental features that protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat within a community.  Streams and wetlands are regulated at the federal level under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), and at the state level under Section 401.  The Section 404 regulatory definition of a wetland is:

"Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water (hydrology) at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation (hydrophytes) typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions (hydric soils). Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas (40 CFR 232.2(r)). "

Jurisdictional streams and wetlands as defined above are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Water Resources Division of the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) under Section 401/404 of the CWA.  Impacts and disturbance to jurisdictional streams and wetlands require a permit directly through the USACE  and NCDEQ; and may require mitigation for impacted streams wetland areas.  Impacts to non-jurisdictional and/or isolated wetlands are regulated by the State and require an isolated wetland permit from the NCDEQ.

Additional Resources
National Wetland Inventory Map

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