Activities and Permitted Uses.
Infrastructure of public significance is an allowed use within a flood hazard zone as long as the design of the feature or the activity meets the requirements of Article V.
Development and structures as set forth in the definitions are only allowed within the flood hazard zone by variance only.
Development Permit Required. A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in Section 15.24.070. The permit shall be for infrastructure of public significance or activities, structures, or uses approved by variance as set forth in the "definitions."
Application for Development Permit. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the City of Black Diamond and may include, but not be limited to, plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions, and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:
Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures recorded on a current elevation certificate (FF 81-31) with Section B completed by the local official;
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been flood-proofed;
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the flood-proofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet flood-proofing criteria in Section 15.24.160(B); and
Description of the extent to which a watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.
(Ord. No. 997, § 2(4.1), 2-7-2013)
The public works director is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
(Ord. No. 997, § 2(4.2), 2-7-2013)
Duties of the public works director shall include, but not be limited to:
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
Review all development permits to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state, or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required.
Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development is located in the floodway. If located in the floodway, assure that the encroachment provisions of Section 15.24.180(A) are met.
Use of Other Base Flood Data (in A and V Zones). When base flood elevation data has not been provided (in A or V zones) in accordance with Section 15.24.070, basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard, the public works director shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source, in order to administer Sections 15.24.160, specific standards, and 15.24.180, floodways.
Information to be Obtained and Maintained.
Where base flood elevation data is provided through the flood insurance study, FIRM, or required as in Section 15.24.130(B), obtain and record the actual (as-built) elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures, whether or not the structure contains a basement and record the information on a current elevation certificate (FF 81-31) with Section B completed by the local official.
For all new or substantially improved flood-proofed nonresidential structures where base flood elevation data is provided through the FIS, FIRM, or as required in Section 15.24.130(B):
Obtain and record the elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was flood-proofed; and
Maintain the flood-proofing certifications required in Section 15.24.110(B)(3).
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
Alteration of Watercourses.
Notify adjacent communities and the department of ecology prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood carrying capacity is not diminished.
Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries. The public works director may make interpretations where needed, as to exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (e.g. where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions). The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation. Such appeals shall be granted consistent with the standards of Section 60.6 of the Rules and Regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program (44 CFR 59-76).
(Ord. No. 997, § 2(4.3), 2-7-2013)
Generally, the only condition under which a variance from the elevation standard may be issued is for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a small or irregularly shaped lot contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level. As the lot size increases the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
Variances shall not be issued within a designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
Variances shall only be issued upon:
A showing of good and sufficient cause; proposals that are not being considered as part of a reasonable use application under the city's sensitive areas ordinance will not be considered as showing good and sufficient cause;
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
Variances as interpreted in the National Flood Insurance Program are based on the general zoning law principle that they pertain to a physical piece of property; they are not personal in nature and do not pertain to the structure, its inhabitants, economic or financial circumstances. They primarily address small lots in densely populated residential neighborhoods. As such, variances from flood elevations should be quite rare.
Variances may be issued for nonresidential buildings in very limited circumstances to allow a lesser degree of flood-proofing than watertight or dry flood-proofing, where it can be determined that such action will have low damage potential, complies with all other variance criteria except subsection A, and otherwise complies with Sections 15.24.150(A), 15.24.150(C), and 15.24.150(D) of the general standards.
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall meet all of the provisions of Article V.
(Ord. No. 997, § 2(4.4), 2-7-2013)