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1. An application for a variance must be submitted to the floodplain administrator on forms provided and include at a minimum the same information required for a development permit and an explanation for the basis for the variance request.
2. Upon receipt of a completed application for a variance, the variance request will be set for a public hearing before the board.
3. Prior to the public hearing, notice of the hearing will be published in the official newspaper at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing. In addition to the newspaper publication, written notice shall be provided to all adjoining property owners by parcel post.
4. The burden to show that the variance is warranted and meets the criteria set out herein is on the applicant.
B. Criteria For Variances:
1. 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 structure constructed below the base flood level. As the lot size increases the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
2. Variances shall not be issued within a designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
3. Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
4. Variances may be issued upon:
a. A showing by the applicant of good and sufficient cause;
b. A determination that failure to grant the variance would 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 and ordinances.
5. Variances 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.
C. Variance Decision: The decision to either grant or deny a variance by the board shall be in writing and shall set forth the reasons for such approval and denial. If the variance is granted, the property owner shall be put on notice along with the written decision that the permitted building will have its lowest floor below the flood protection elevation and that the cost of flood insurance likely will be commensurate with the increased flood damage risk.
D. Appeals: The board shall hear and decide appeals from the interpretations of the administrator.
1. An appeal must be filed with the administrator within fourteen (14) days of the date of any permit denial or interpretation of the administrator. Failure to timely file an appeal shall be considered a failure to exhaust the administrative remedies. The appeal must set out the interpretation of the administrator and a narrative setting forth the facts relied upon by the appellant and the appellant's claim regarding the error in the interpretation.
2. Upon receipt of a completed appeal, the appeal will be scheduled for a public meeting to be heard by the board. The board shall consider the following in ruling on an appeal:
a. All technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, including:
(1) The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
(2) The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
(3) The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effects of such damage on the individual landowner;
(4) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
(5) The necessity of the facility to a waterfront location, where applicable;
(6) The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
(7) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
(8) The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for that area;
(9) The safety of access to the property in times of flooding for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(10) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site;
(11) The cost of providing government services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, and streets and bridges.
E. Decision: The board's decision on appeal shall be in writing and set out the facts, technical information and the legal basis for the decision. (Ord. 2129, 3-3-2015)