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(A) Rules. The Board of Adjustment shall adopt rules for the conduct of business and may exercise all of the powers conferred on such Boards by state law.
(B) Administrative review. The Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
(C) Variance applications. The Board of Adjustment may authorize upon appeal a variance to the provisions of this chapter in accordance with M.S. § 462.357, Title XV, § 155.219 of the city code, and the requirements of this section.
(D) Adherence to state floodplain management standards. A variance must not allow a use that is not allowed in that district, permit a lower degree of flood protection than the regulatory flood protection elevation for the particular area, or permit standards lower than those required by state law.
(E) Additional variance criteria. The following additional variance criteria of the Federal Emergency Management Agency must be satisfied:
(1) Variances must not be issued by a community within any designated regulatory floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
(2) Variances may only be issued by a community upon:
(a) A showing of good and sufficient cause;
(b) A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
(c) 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 on or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
(3) Variances may only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(F) Flood insurance notice. The Zoning Administrator must notify the applicant for a variance that:
(l) The issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the base flood level will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance up to amounts as high as $25 for $100 of insurance coverage; and
(2) Such construction below the base or regional flood level increases risks to life and property. Such notification must be maintained with a record of all variance actions.
(G) General considerations. The community may consider the following factors in granting variances and imposing conditions on variances and conditional uses in floodplains:
(1) The potential danger to life and property due to increased flood heights or velocities caused by encroachments;
(2) The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands or downstream to the injury of others;
(3) The proposed water supply and sanitation systems, if any, and the ability of these systems to minimize the potential for disease, contamination and unsanitary conditions;
(4) The susceptibility of any proposed use and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
(5) The importance of the services to be provided by the proposed use to the community;
(6) The requirements of the facility for a waterfront location;
(7) The availability of viable alternative locations for the proposed use that are not subject to flooding;
(8) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing development and development anticipated in the foreseeable future;
(9) The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive land use plan and flood plain management program for the area;
(10) The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(11) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood waters expected at the site.
(H) Submittal of hearing notices to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Zoning Administrator must submit hearing notices for proposed variances to the DNR sufficiently in advance to provide at least ten days' notice of the hearing. The notice may be sent by electronic mail or U.S. Mail to the respective DNR area hydrologist.
(I) Submittal of final decisions to the DNR. A copy of all decisions granting variances must be forwarded to the DNR within ten days of such action. The notice may be sent by electronic mail or U.S. Mail to the respective DNR area hydrologist.
(J) Record-keeping. The Zoning Administrator must maintain a record of all variance actions, including justification for their issuance, and must report such variances in an annual or biennial report to the Administrator of the National Flood Insurance Program, when requested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
(Ord. 1079, passed 4-14-14)