(a)   Appeals.  Whenever any person is aggrieved by a decision of the Floodplain Administrator with respect to the provision of this article, it is the right of that person to appeal to the Charles Town Planning Commission, which shall be known as the Appeals Authority. Such appeal must be filed, in writing, within thirty (30) days after the determination by the Floodplain Administrator.  Upon receipt of such appeal, the Appeals Authority shall set a time and place not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty (30) days for the purpose of hearing the appeal. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given to all parties at which time they may appear and be heard.  The determination by the Appeals Authority shall be final in all cases.
   (b)   Appeal and Review Criteria.  All appeals contesting only the permit fee established by the Floodplain Administrator may be handled at the discretion of the Appeals Authority. All decisions on appeals to all other provisions of this article shall adhere to the following criteria:
      (1)   Affirmative decisions shall only be issued by the Appeals Authority upon:
         A.   A showing of good and sufficient cause;
         B.   A determination that failure to grant the appeal would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
         C.   A determination that the granting of an appeal 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.
      (2)   An affirmative decision shall be issued only upon determination that it is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
      (3)   An affirmative decision may not be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
      (4)   The Appeals Authority shall notify the applicant in writing over the signature of a community official that:
         A.   The issuance of a decision to allow construction of a structure below the Base Flood Elevation will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance;
         B.   Such construction below the Base Flood Elevation increases risk to life and property. Such notifications shall be maintained with a record of all decisions as required in subsection (b)(5) hereof; and
      (5)   The Appeals Authority shall:
         A.   Maintain a record of all decisions including justification for the issuance, and
         B.   Report such decisions issued in its biennial report submitted to the Federal Insurance Administration.
      (6)   An affirmative decision shall not be granted for any construction, development, use or activity within any floodway area that would cause any increase in the Base Flood Elevation.
      (7)   No variance shall be granted for any construction, development, use, or activity within any Special Floodplain Area that would, together with all other existing and anticipated development, increase the one hundred (1 00) year flood elevation more than one (1) foot at any point.
   (c)   Penalties.  Any person who fails to comply with any or all of the requirements or provisions of this article or direction of the Floodplain Administrator or duly authorized representative shall be guilty of an offense and, upon conviction, shall pay a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus cost of prosecution. In default of such payment such person shall be imprisoned in the Jefferson County prison for a period not to exceed 10 days. Each day during which any violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to the above penalties all other actions are hereby reserved including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of this article. The imposition of a fine or penalty for any violation of, or non-compliance with, this article shall not excuse the violation or non-compliance with this article or permit it to continue; and all such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violations or non-compliances within a reasonable time. Any structure constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered or relocated in non-compliance with this article may be declared by the City of Charles Town Council to be a public nuisance and abatable as such. 
(Passed 9-19-16.)