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(A) General. The Planning and Zoning Board, as established by the city, shall hear and decide on requests for appeals and requests for variances from the strict application of this chapter. Pursuant to F.S. § 553.73(5), the Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide on requests for appeals and requests for variances from the strict application of the flood resistant construction requirements of the Florida Building Code.
(B) Appeals. The Planning and Zoning Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the Floodplain Administrator in the administration and enforcement of this chapter. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Planning and Zoning Board may appeal such decision to the Circuit Court, as provided by Florida Statutes.
(C) Limitations on authority to grant variances. The Planning and Zoning Board shall base its decisions on variances on technical justifications submitted by applicants, the considerations for issuance in § 152.07(G)of this chapter, the conditions of issuance set forth in § 152.07(H) of this chapter, and the comments and recommendations of the Floodplain Administrator and the Building Official. The Planning and Zoning Board has the right to attach such conditions as it deems necessary to further the purposes and objectives of this chapter.
(D) Restrictions in floodways. A variance shall not be issued for any proposed development in a floodway if any increase in base flood elevations would result, as evidenced by the applicable analyses and certifications required in § 152.05(C) of this chapter.
(E) Historic buildings. A variance is authorized to be issued for the repair, improvement, or rehabilitation of a historic building that is determined eligible for the exception to the flood resistant construction requirements of the Florida Building Code, Existing Building, Chapter 12 Historic Buildings, upon a determination that the proposed repair, improvement, or rehabilitation will not preclude the building's continued designation as a historic building and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the building. If the proposed work precludes the building's continued designation as a historic building, a variance shall not be granted and the building and any repair, improvement, and rehabilitation shall be subject to the requirements of the Florida Building Code.
(F) Functionally dependent uses. A variance is authorized to be issued for the construction or substantial improvement necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use, as defined in this chapter, provided the variance meets the requirements of § 152.07(D), is the minimum necessary considering the flood hazard, and all due consideration has been given to use of methods and materials that minimize flood damage during occurrence of the base flood.
(G) Considerations for issuance of variances. In reviewing requests for variances, the Planning and Zoning Board shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, all other applicable provisions of the Florida Building Code, this chapter, and the following:
(1) The danger that materials and debris may be swept onto other lands resulting in further injury or damage;
(2) The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
(3) The susceptibility of the proposed development, including contents, to flood damage and the effect of such damage on current and future owners;
(4) The importance of the services provided by the proposed development to the community;
(5) The availability of alternate locations for the proposed development that are subject to lower risk of flooding or erosion;
(6) The compatibility of the proposed development with existing and anticipated development;
(7) The relationship of the proposed development to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for the area;
(8) The safety of access to the property in times of flooding for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(9) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and debris and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and
(10) 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 systems, streets and bridges.
(H) Conditions for issuance of variances. Variances shall be issued only upon:
(1) Submission by the applicant of a showing of good and sufficient cause that the unique characteristics of the size, configuration, or topography of the site limit compliance with any provision of this chapter or the required elevation standards;
(2) Determination by the Planning and Zoning Board that:
(a) Failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship due to the physical characteristics of the land that render the lot undevelopable. Increased costs to satisfy the requirements or inconvenience do not constitute hardship;
(b) The granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, nor create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing local laws and ordinances; and
(c) The variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief;
(3) Receipt of a signed statement by the applicant that the variance, if granted, shall be recorded in the Office of the Clerk of the Court in such a manner that it appears in the chain of title of the affected parcel of land; and
(4) If the request is for a variance to allow construction of the lowest floor of a new building, or substantial improvement of a building, below the required elevation, a copy in the record of a written notice from the Floodplain Administrator to the applicant for the variance, specifying the difference between the base flood elevation and the proposed elevation of the lowest floor, stating that the cost of federal flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced floor elevation (up to amounts as high as $25 for $100 of insurance coverage), and stating that construction below the base flood elevation increases risks to life and property.
(Ord. 1465, passed 5-17-12; Am. Ord. 1521, passed 12-4-14; Am. Ord. 1584, passed 4-5-18)