16.52.200   Conditions for variances.
   (a)   Variances may be issued, as follows:
   (1)   For new construction, substantial improvement, and other proposed new development 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, provided that the procedures of Sections 16.52.110, 16.52.120, 16.52.130, 16.52.140, 16.52.150, 16.52.160, 16.52.170 and 16.52.180 of this ordinance shall be fully considered, and, as the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justifications required for issuing the variance shall increase; and
   (2)   For new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use provided that the provisions of subsections (a) through (c) of this section are satisfied and that 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.
   (b)   Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any such increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
   (c)   Variances shall be issued only upon:
   (1)   A showing of good and sufficient cause; and
   (2)   A determination that:
   (A)   The variance is reasonably necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief;
   (B)   The failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
   (C)   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.
   (d)   Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice over the signature of a community official that:
   (1)   The issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the base flood elevation could result in a substantial increase in the cost of flood insurance; and
   (2)   Any construction below the base flood elevation could increase the risk to life and property.
   (e)   A copy of the notice shall be recorded by the floodplain administrator in the office of the Santa Clara county recorder and shall be recorded in a manner so that it appears in the chain of title of the affected parcel of land.
   (f)   The floodplain administrator will maintain a record of all variance actions, including the essential facts supporting their issuance, and the administrator shall report on the variances that are issued in the city of Palo Alto's biennial report that is submitted to the Federal Insurance Administration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
(Ord. 4557 § 13, 1999: Ord. 3795 § 7 (part), 1988)