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(A) Duties and responsibilities of City Engineer.
(1) The City Engineer, (hereinafter “Administrator”) shall administer and enforce the provisions of the “F-M” Floodplain Management District.
(2) Duties and responsibilities of the Administrator shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:
(a) Review all floodplain development permit applications to insure that the provisions of the “F-M” Floodplain Management District have been satisfied;
(b) Review all floodplain development permit applications to ensure that all necessary permits have been obtained from federal, state or local governmental agencies including approval when required from the Department of Natural Resources for floodplain construction;
(c) Record and maintain a record of:
1. The elevation (in relation to city datum) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved buildings; or
2. The elevation to which new or substantially improved structures have been floodproofed.
(d) Notify adjacent communities and/or counties and the Department of Natural Resources prior to any proposed alteration or relocation of a watercourse and submit evidence of such notifications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
(e) Keep a record of all permits, appeals, variances and such other transactions and correspondence pertaining to the administration of said “F-M” Floodplain Management District;
(f) Submit periodic reports as required by the Federal Insurance Administrator concerning the community’s participation, utilizing the report form supplied by the Federal Insurance Administrator;
(g) Notify the Federal Insurance Administrator of any annexations or modifications to the community’s boundaries;
(h) Review subdivision proposals to insure such proposals are consistent with the purposes of said “F-M” Floodplain Management District and advise the City Council of potential conflicts; and
(i) Notify the Department of Natural Resources of any variances applied for from the term of “F-M” Floodplain Management District and of the action taken thereon.
(B) Floodplain development permit.
(1) Permit required. A floodplain development permit issued by the Administrator shall be secured prior to initiation of any floodplain development (any human-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations). For any development subject to the requirements of the Site Planning Code, such permit shall be applied for at or before the time of site plan submittal.
(2) Application for permit. Application for a Floodplain Development Permit shall be made on forms supplied by the Administrator and shall include the following information:
(a) Description of the work to be covered by the permit for which application is to be made;
(b) Legal description of the land on which the proposed work is to be done that will readily identify and locate the work to be done;
(c) Location and dimensions of all buildings and building dimensions;
(d) Elevation of the 100-year flood;
(e) Elevation of the base flood;
(f) For buildings being improved or rebuilt, the estimated cost of improvements and market value of the building prior to the improvements; and
(g) Such other information as the Administrator deems reasonably necessary for the purpose of this Code.
(3) Action on permit application. The Administrator shall, within a reasonable time, make a determination as to whether the proposed floodplain development meets the applicable provisions and standards of this Code and shall approve or disapprove the application. For disapprovals, the applicant shall be informed, in writing, of the specific reasons therefore. The Administrator shall not issue permits for conditional uses or variances except as directed by the Board of Adjustment.
(4) Construction and use to comply with approved application and plans.
(a) Floodplain development permits issued on the basis of approved plans and applications shall be construed to authorize only the use, arrangement and construction set forth in such approved plans and applications, and no other use, arrangement or construction shall be allowed. Any use, arrangement or construction at variance with that authorized shall be deemed a violation of this Code and shall be punishable as provided in § 160.61.
(b) The applicant may be required to submit certification by a professional engineer or land surveyor, as appropriate, registered in the State of Iowa, that the finished fill, building floor elevations, floodproofing or other flood protection measures were accomplished in compliance with the provisions of this Code, prior to the use or occupancy of any structure.
(C) Conditional uses and variances.
(1) Conditional uses. Requests for conditional uses shall be submitted to the Administrator, who shall forward such to the Board of Adjustment for consideration in accordance with § 160.63 of this Code.
(2) Variances. The Board of Adjustment may authorize variances requested from the terms of the “F-M” Floodplain Management District in specific cases that will not be contrary to the public interest, where owing to special conditions a literal enforcement of the provisions of this Code will result in unnecessary hardship. Variances granted shall meet the following applicable standards in addition to all customary standards for the granting of a variance.
(a) No variance shall be granted for any development within the Floodway District which would result in any increase in floods during the occurrence of the base flood.
(b) Variances shall only be granted 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 the 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.
(c) Variances shall only be granted upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(d) In cases where the variance involves a lower level of flood protection for buildings than what is ordinarily required by this code, the applicant shall be notified in writing over the signature of the Administrator that:
1. The issuance of a variance will result in substantially increased premium rates for flood insurance which may be as high as $25 for $100 of insurance coverage; and
2. Such construction increases risks to life and property.
(e) Notification of all variances filed for relief from the requirements of the “F-M” Floodplain Management District shall be forwarded by the Administrator to the Department of Natural Resources within a reasonable time prior to the hearing for approval or concurrence; notification of all such variances granted shall be forwarded by the Administrator to the Department of Natural Resources within ten days after the date of the Board's action.
(3) Decisions by the Board of Adjustment. In granting a conditional use or variance, the Board shall consider such factors as contained in this section and all other relevant sections of this Code and may require the appellant or applicant to provide such information as is reasonably deemed necessary and may request the technical assistance and/or evaluation of a professional engineer or other expert person or agency, including the Department of Natural Resources.
(4) Factors upon which the decision of the Board shall be based. In passing upon applications for conditional uses or requests for variances, the Board shall consider all relevant factors specified in other sections of this Code and all of the following:
(a) The danger to life and property due to increased flood height or velocities caused by encroachments;
(b) The danger that materials may be swept on to other lands or downstream to the injury of others;
(c) The proposed water supply and sanitation systems and the ability of these systems to prevent disease, contamination and unsanitary conditions;
(d) The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
(e) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
(f) The requirements of the facility for a floodplain location;
(g) The availability of alternative locations not subject to flooding for the proposed use;
(h) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing development and development anticipated in the foreseeable future;
(i) The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program;
(j) The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles; and
(k) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood water expected at the site.
(5) Conditions attached to conditional uses or variances. Upon consideration of the factors listed above, the Board may attach such conditions to the granting of conditional uses or variances as it deems necessary to further the purpose of this Code. Such conditions may include, but not necessarily be limited to:
(a) Modifications of waste disposal and water supply facilities;
(b) Limitation on periods of use and operation;
(c) Imposition of operational controls, sureties and deed restrictions;
(d) Requirements for construction of channel modification, dikes, levees and other protective measures, provided such are approved by the Department of Natural Resources and are deemed the only practical alternative to achieving the purposes of this Code; and
(e) Provision of floodproofing measures of such design as is consistent with the flood protection elevation for the particular area, flood velocities, durations, rate of rise, hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces, and other factors associated with the regulatory flood. The Board of Adjustment shall require that the applicant submit a plan or document certified by a registered professional engineer that the floodproofing measures are consistent with the regulatory flood protection elevation and associated flood factors for the particular area.
(D) Penalties for violations. Violations of the provisions of this chapter or failure to comply with any of the requirements shall constitute a municipal infraction. Nothing herein contained prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy violation.
(Am. Ord. 2018-18, passed 1-2-2019)