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(a) Establishment of Development Permit. A Development Permit shall be obtained from the Building Officer before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in Section 1315.03(b), Basis for Establishing the Areas of Special Flood Hazard. Application for a Development Permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Building Officer and may include, but not be limited to: site specific topographic plans drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions, and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing. The following information is required:
(1) Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor, including basement, of all proposed structures located in special flood hazard areas where base flood elevation data are utilized;
(2) Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any proposed structure will be floodproofed in accordance with Section 1315.05(b)(2) where base flood elevation data are utilized;
(3) Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in Section 1315.05(b)(2) where base flood elevation data are utilized;
(4) Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of the proposed development and certification by a registered professional engineer that the flood carrying capacity of the watercourse will not be diminished.
(b) Exemption from Filing a Development Permit. An application for a development permit shall not be required for maintenance work such as roofing, painting, and basement sealing, or for small nonstructural development activities (except for filling and grading) valued at less than $1,000. Any proposed action exempt from filing for a development permit is also exempt from the standards of this chapter.
(c) Designation of the Flood Damage Prevention Administrator. The Building Officer is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
(d) Duties and Responsibilities of the Building Officer. The duties and responsibilities of the Building Officer shall include but are not limited to:
(1) Permit review.
A. Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
B. Review all development permits to assure that all necessary permits have been received from those federal, state or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required. The applicant shall be responsible for obtaining such permits as required including permits issued by the Department of the Army under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
C. Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development is located within a designated floodway. Floodways are delineated in the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map or the Flood Insurance Rate Map of the Flood Insurance Study. Floodways may also be delineated in other sources of flood information. If the proposed development is located within a designated floodway, assure that the encroachment provision of Section 1315.05(c)(1) is met.
(2) Use of other base flood elevation and floodway data. Areas of special flood hazard where base flood elevation data have not been provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in accordance with Section 1315.03(b), Basis for Establishing the Areas of Special Flood Hazard, are designated as Zone A on the community's Flood Insurance Rate Map. Within these areas, the Building Officer shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal state, or other source, including data obtained under Section 1315.05(b)(6), Subdivisions and Large Developments, in order to administer Section 1315.05(b)(1), Specific Standards, Residential Construction; 1315.05(b)(2), Specific Standards, Nonresidential Construction; and 1315.05(c) Floodways.
(3) Information to be obtained and maintained. Where base flood elevation data are utilized within areas of special flood hazard on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map, regardless of the source of such data, the following provisions apply:
A. Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor, including basement, of all new or substantially improved structures, and record whether or not such structures contain an enclosure below the lowest floor;
B. For all new or substantially improved floodproofed nonresidential structures:
1. Verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was floodproofed; and,
2. Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in subsection (a)(3) hereof.
C. Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
(4) Alteration of watercourses.
A. Notify adjacent communities and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water, prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A watercourse is considered to be altered if any change occurs within its banks.
B. Maintain engineering documentation required in subsection (a)(3) hereof that the flood carrying capacity of the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse will not be diminished.
C. Require that necessary maintenance will be provided for the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood carrying capacity will not be diminished.
(5) Interpretation of flood boundaries. Make interpretations, where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions). Where a map boundary and field elevations disagree, the elevations delineated in the flood elevation profile shall prevail. The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in subsection (e), Variance Procedure.
(e) Variance Procedure.
(1) Appeal Board.
A. The Zoning Board of Appeals as established by the City of Portsmouth, Ohio shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
B. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the Building Officer in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
C. Those aggrieved by the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas, as provided in Chapter 2506 of the Ohio Revised Code.
D. In passing upon such applications, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:
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 effect of such damage on the individual owner;
4. The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
5. The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
6. The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
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 flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
10. 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,
11. 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, and streets and bridges.
E. Upon consideration of the factors of subsection (e)(1)D. hereof and the purposes of this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
F. The Building Officer shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency upon request.
(2) Conditions for variances.
A. Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
B. Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
C. Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements 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, providing items 1. to 11. in subsection (e)(1)D. hereof have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
D. Variances may 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.
E. 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 beyond that which is allowed in this chapter, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in subsection (e)(1)D. hereof, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
F. Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.
(Ord. 1998-139. Passed 9-28-98.)