(A)   The Board of Zoning Appeals (the “Board”) as established by the Common Council of the city shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from requirements of this chapter.
   (B)   The Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged an error in any requirement, decision, or determination is made by the Floodplain Administrator in the enforcement or administration of this chapter. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board may appeal such decision to the Jackson County Circuit Court.
   (C)   In considering such applications, the Board shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, all standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:
      (1)   The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
      (2)   The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
      (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 necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
      (6)   The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
      (7)   The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which arc not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
      (8)   The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
      (9)   The expected height, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment of transport of the floodwaters 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, and streets and bridges.
   (D)   A written report addressing each of the above factors shall be submitted with the application for a variance.
   (E)   Variances from the provisions of this chapter shall only be granted when the Board can make positive findings of fact based on evidence submitted at the hearing for the following:
      (1)   A showing of good and sufficient cause.
      (2)   A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship as defined in § 155.05.
      (3)   A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing laws or ordinances.
   (F)   No variance for a residential use within a floodway subject to §§ 155.45(A), (C)(1) or (D) may be granted.
   (G)   Any variance granted in a floodway subject to §§ 155.45(A), (C)(1) or (D) will require a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Variances shall not be issued within any designated regulatory floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
   (H)   Variances to the provisions for flood hazard reduction of §§ 155.45 through 155.48 may be granted only when a new structure is to be located on a lot of one-half acre or less in size, contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the flood protection grade.
   (I)   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 an “historic structure” and the variance is the minimum to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
   (J)   Variances may be issued for new construction, substantial improvements, and other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use.
   (K)   Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
   (L)   Upon consideration of the factors listed above and the purposes of this chapter, the Appeal Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
   (M)   Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice specifying the difference between the flood protection grade and the elevation to which the lowest floor is to be built and stating that the cost of the flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.
   (N)   The Floodplain Administrator shall maintain the records of appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Indiana Department of Natural Resources upon request.
(Ord. 30, 2014, passed 10-27-2014; Am. Ord. 27, 2023, passed 10-23-2023)