17.28.190 VARIANCE PROCEDURE.
   The intent of section is to prohibit development that may increase flood levels which, in turn, could increase potential flood damage to the development and to structures of other property owners. In most cases, alternative locations for the proposed development are available outside the limits of the special flood hazard area. Other actions may also be taken or required as a condition of approval to compensate for increased flood levels. For applications of Variances within the special flood hazard areas, the following provisions apply:
   .010   The City Engineer or Planning Director, or their designees, shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
   .020   The City Council shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
   .030   The City Council decision shall be final and conclusive.
   .040   In passing upon such applications, the City Engineer or Planning Director, or their designees, shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter; and
   .0401   The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
   .0402   The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
   .0403   The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
   .0404   The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
   .0405   The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
   .0406   The availability of alternative locations, for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
   .0407   The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
   .0408   The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and flood plain management program for that area;
   .0409   The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
   .0410   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
   .0411   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, and water system, and streets and bridges.
   .050   Upon consideration of the factors of Section 17.28.190.040 and the purposes of this chapter, the City Council may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
   .060   The City Clerk shall maintain a record of all variance actions, including justifications for their issuance.
   .070   Conditions for Variances.
   .0701   Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that (a) the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure, and (b) the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
   .0702   Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
   .0703   While the granting of variances generally is limited to a lot size less than one-half acre, deviations from that limitation may occur. However, as the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing a variance increases. Variances, in conformance with the procedures of .0704, .0705, .0706, and .0707 of this section,  may be issued by the City for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half (1/2) acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level. Variance requests on one or more lots resulting in a project area larger than one-half (1/2) acre in size may require certification of data by a registered professional engineer or architect demonstrating that no technically feasible methods are available to alleviate or mitigate drainage issues to the development or adjacent properties and structures and justification demonstrating no alternative location is feasible.
   .0704   Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
   .0705   Variances shall only be issued upon:
   (1)   A showing of good and sufficient cause;
   (2)   A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
   (3)   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.
   .0706   Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice by the Planning Director, or designee, that the issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the base flood level will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance up to $25.00 for $100.00 of insurance coverage.  A copy of the notice shall be recorded by the Planning Director, or designee, in the office of the Orange County Clerk Recorder and shall be recorded in the title of the affected parcel of land. (Ord. 4138 § 1 (part); June 3, 1980:  Ord. 5217 § 9; May 7, 1991:  Ord. 5547 § 11; December 19, 1995: Ord. 5681 § 8; May 11, 1999:  Ord. 6512 § 17; August 24, 2021.)