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(A) Variances. The City Engineer shall hear and decide requests for variances from the requirements of §§ 14-5-1-1 et seq.
(B) Appeals. The Mayor shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the City Engineer in the enforcement or administration of §§ 14-5-1-1 et seq.
(C) Review Considerations for Variances and Appeals.
(1) In passing upon applications for variances and appeals, the City Engineer or the Mayor shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of §§ 14-5-1-1 et seq. and:
(a) The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
(b) The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
(c) The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
(d) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
(e) The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
(f) The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
(g) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
(h) The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program of that area;
(i) The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(j) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the flood waters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and
(k) The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, water systems, and streets and bridges.
(2) Upon consideration of the factors of division (C)(1) and the purposes of §§ 14-5-1-1 et seq., conditions to the granting of variances may be attached to approvals as deemed necessary to further the purposes of §§ 14-5-1-1 et seq.
(3) The City Engineer shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.
(D) Conditions for Variances.
(1) Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level and not in a designated floodway, providing items in division (C)(1) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
(2) Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed on the New Mexico Cultural Properties Register, without regard to the procedures set forth in the remainder of this section.
(3) Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels or adverse realignment during the base flood discharge would occur as a result of allowing such discharge variances.
(4) Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(5) Variances shall only be issued upon:
(a) A showing of good and sufficient cause;
(b) A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
(c) 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 as identified in division (C) above or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
(6) Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with the lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.
(7) Variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use provided that:
(a) The criteria outlined in this division (D) are met; and
(b) The structure or other development is protected by methods that minimize flood damages during the base flood and create no additional threats to public safety.
('74 Code, § 7-3-6D-G) (Ord. 99-1981; Am Ord. 66-1987)