For applications for reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of existing buildings or structures subject to the technical codes and located in a flood hazard area as established by the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the code official shall examine or cause to be examined the construction documents and shall prepare a finding with regard to the value of the proposed work. For buildings that have sustained damage of any origin, the value of the proposed work shall include the cost to repair the building or structure to its pre-damage condition. If the code official finds that the value of proposed work equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building or structure before the damage has occurred or the improvement is started, a determination of substantial improvement or substantial damage shall be issued and the applicable requirements of the Building Code or Residential Code shall be applied.
The term substantial improvement shall not include:If the building or structure has sustained substantial damage, all repairs are considered substantial improvement regardless of the actual repair work performed.
The term substantial improvement shall not include:
- Improvements of a building or structure required to correct existing health, sanitary or safety code violations identified by the code official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
- Any alteration of an historic building or structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the continued designation as an historic building or structure. For the purposes of this exclusion, an historic building is:
- Listed or preliminarily determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; or
- Determined by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined to qualify as an historic district; or
- Designated as historic under Chapter 14-1000 of The Philadelphia Code.