Chapter 15.04
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS1

Sections:

15.04.010    Definitions.

15.04.020    Statement of purpose.

15.04.030    Methods of reducing flood loss.

15.04.040    Special flood hazard areas.

15.04.050    Floodplain permits required.

15.04.060    Floodplain permits – Application.

15.04.070    Certificate of compliance.

15.04.080    Appeals.

15.04.090    Information to be obtained and maintained.

15.04.100    Determination of the base flood elevation.

15.04.110    Protection from inundation – Construction standards.

15.04.120    Standards for manufactured homes.

15.04.130    Development proposals in the special flood hazard area.

15.04.140    Alteration of watercourse.

15.04.150    Protection of the floodway.

15.04.160    Standards for shallow flooding areas (AO and AH zones).

15.04.170    Excavation prohibited.

15.04.180    Procedure for obtaining variances.

15.04.190    Violation – Enforcement.

15.04.200    Violation – Penalties and remedies.

15.04.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter:

Accessory structure” means a structure which is on the same parcel of property as a principal structure and use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure. Accessory structures are buildings such as detached garages, boathouses, small pole barns and storage sheds not to be used for human habitation (including working, sleeping, living, cooking, or restroom areas).

Alteration of a watercourse” means any manmade change to a watercourse which may impede, retard, change the direction of water flow, or in any way reduce the watercourse’s ability to carry a base flood, including, but not limited to, bridges, culverts, embankments, excavations, fills and levees.

Base flood” means a flood having a one percent chance of being equalled or exceeded in any given year.

Base flood elevation” means the elevation of the flood having a one percent chance of being equalled or exceeded in any given year.

Commission” means the Fairbanks North Star Borough planning commission.

Crawlspace” means a shallow, unfinished horizontal space beneath the lowest floor of a building, used to access plumbing, wiring, duct work, storage, etc.

Critical facility” means a facility for which even a slight chance of flooding might be too great. Critical facilities include, but are not limited to, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, police, fire and emergency response installations, and installations which produce, use or store hazardous materials or hazardous waste.

Development” means any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials located within the area of special flood hazard. Soil test bores for the purpose of determining land suitability for development, and that are temporary, involve no permanent structures and will not change the dynamic of the floodplain, are excluded from this definition.

Director” means the director of the Fairbanks North Star Borough department of community planning or his designee.

Elevated building” means a nonbasement building which has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, posts, piers, pilings, or columns.

Exceptional hardship” means an extraordinary circumstance not created by the applicant, and not applying to other persons similarly situated, which makes complying with standards of this chapter unfair, impractical or impossible.

Existing manufactured home park or subdivision” means a manufactured home park subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before the effective date of the adopted floodplain management regulations.

Expansion to an existing manufactured home park or subdivision” means the preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads).

Flood” or “flooding” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from (1) the overflow of inland or tidal waters and/or (2) the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source.

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)” means an official map of the community, on which the Federal Insurance Administrator has delineated both special flood hazard areas and risk premium zones applicable to the community.

Flood Insurance Study” means the official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration that includes flood profiles, the Flood Insurance Rate Map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.

Floodproofing” means any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.

Floodway” means the channel of a river or other watercourse and adjacent land area that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing water surface elevations more than one foot.

Highest adjacent grade” means the highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.

Historic structure” means any structure that is (1) listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior or preliminarily determined by the U.S. Department of Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register; (2) certified or preliminarily determined by the U.S. Department of Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district; (3) individually listed on a state inventory of historic places pursuant to a historic preservation program which has been approved by the U.S. Department of Interior; or (4) individually listed on a local inventory of historic places.

Lowest floor” means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage, in an area other than a basement area, is not considered a building’s lowest floor; provided, that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable nonelevation design requirements of FNSBC 15.04.110.

Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. It does not include recreational vehicles or travel trailers.

Manufactured home park or subdivision” means a parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.

New construction” means structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after May 27, 1971, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

New manufactured home park or subdivision” means a manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

Recreational vehicle” means a vehicle which is (1) built on a single chassis; (2) 400 square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection; (3) designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and (4) designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use (no more than 180 days).

Shall” is interpreted to be mandatory; “may” is interpreted to be permissive; “should” is interpreted to be strongly recommended but not mandatory.

Special flood hazard area” means that portion of the floodplain that is subject to inundation by the base flood and/or flood-related erosion hazards.

Start of construction” includes substantial improvement, and means the date the floodplain permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The “actual start” means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the “actual start of construction” means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

Structure” means any walled, roofed building that is erected on the ground or attached to the ground, including, but not limited to, houses, factories, sheds, cabins, mobile homes, liquid storage tanks or similar uses.

Substantial damage” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

Substantially improved” or “substantial improvement” means any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of assessed value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. For purposes of this definition, “substantial improvement” is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commences, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure. This includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either (1) any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or (2) any alteration of a historic structure; provided, that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure.

Variance” means a grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.

Violation” means the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the borough’s floodplain ordinance. A structure or other development without an approved floodplain permit, an elevation certificate, other certifications and other evidence of compliance as required by this chapter is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.

Watercourse” means those stream channels, rivers or sloughs that are contained wholly or in part within a designated special flood hazard area as identified on the current Flood Insurance Rate Maps. (Ord. 2014-08 § 2, 2014; Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; amended during 1993 republication; Ord. 92-001 § 2, 1992; Ord. 86-019 § 2, 1986; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.020.)

15.04.020 Statement of purpose.

Special flood hazard areas in the Fairbanks North Star Borough are subject to periodic inundation of floodwaters which can cause loss of life or property, health or safety hazards, the disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the local tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety and welfare.

Flood losses are caused, in part, by cumulative effects of obstructions in areas of special flood hazards which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Structures that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to flood losses.

It is the purpose of this chapter to promote public health, safety and welfare, and to implement the comprehensive plan by minimizing flood losses and maintaining a stable tax base. To accomplish this purpose, it is the intent of this chapter to:

A. Provide for increased public awareness of flood hazards in the Fairbanks North Star Borough;

B. Comply with requirements placed on communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program;

C. Require that land uses vulnerable to flood losses, including public facilities and utilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damages at the time of initial construction or substantial improvement;

D. Restrict or prohibit land uses which are dangerous to health, safety or general welfare in times of flood, or can cause excessive increases in flood heights or velocities;

E. Ensure that subdivision and development of land within the borough is consistent with the need to minimize flood hazards;

F. Ensure that those who occupy special flood hazard areas assume responsibility for their actions. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.010.)

15.04.030 Methods of reducing flood loss.

A. In order to accomplish its purposes, this chapter includes methods and provisions for:

1. Restricting or prohibiting uses which are dangerous to health, safety and property due to water or erosion hazards, or which result in damaging increases in erosion or in flood heights or velocities;

2. Requiring that uses vulnerable to floods, including facilities which serve such uses, be protected against flood damage at the time of initial construction;

3. Controlling the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel flood waters;

4. Controlling filling, grading, dredging, and other development which may increase flood damage; and

5. Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert flood waters or may increase flood hazards in other areas.

B. The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur. Flood heights may be increased by manmade or natural causes. This chapter does not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazards or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages. This chapter shall not create liability on the part of the borough, any officer or employee thereof, or the Federal Insurance Administration, for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder.

C. Nothing in this chapter shall in any way impair/remove the necessity of compliance with any other applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, etc. Where this chapter imposes a greater restriction than any other requirement, the provisions of this chapter shall control. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010. 2004 Code § 15.04.025.)

15.04.040 Special flood hazard areas.

A. This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

B. A special flood hazard area is established as including those lands and properties within the Fairbanks North Star Borough which are designated as Flood Zone A, AE, AH and AO identified by the Federal Insurance Administrator in a scientific engineering report entitled “Flood Insurance Study for the Fairbanks North Star Borough” dated March 17, 2014, and with accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps dated March 17, 2014.

C. Amendments to designated flood hazard maps may be recommended to the commission and approved by the borough assembly after receiving approval of the Federal Insurance Administrator.

D. Precise location of flood hazard areas may be difficult to determine because of the scale of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps. In disputed cases, the director shall determine whether a particular parcel is located in a flood hazard area. (Ord. 2014-08 § 3, 2014; Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.030.)

15.04.050 Floodplain permits required.

No person shall start construction on any new or substantially improved structure, place any movable structure such as a manufactured home, alter or relocate any watercourse, perform any other development as defined in FNSBC 15.04.010 within special flood hazard areas, or excavate or remove material within 250 feet of the centerline of the Tanana Levee structure, without first obtaining a floodplain permit from the department of community planning. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; amended during 2004 republication; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.040.)

15.04.060 Floodplain permits – Application.

A. Application for a floodplain permit shall be made to the director on a form furnished by the department of community planning. The application shall contain the information required by this section.

B. Applications for construction of any new or substantially improved structure or placement of any movable structure in a special flood hazard area shall contain the following information:

1. Elevations (in relation to mean sea level) for:

a. The lowest floor, including basement; and

b. The estimated base flood elevation of the site as determined in accordance with FNSBC 15.04.100.

2. Evidence that the proposed structure will be adequately protected from inundation, in the manner described in FNSBC 15.04.110.

3. Elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which any nonresidential structure has been floodproofed.

4. Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in FNSBC 15.04.110(D).

5. If within the regulatory floodway, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice demonstrating that the proposed development will not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

C. Applications for the alteration or relocation of a watercourse shall include the following:

1. A detailed description of proposed alterations, identifying the extent to which the watercourse will be altered, relocated or impacted; and

2. A report from a registered engineer or certified hydrologist stating that the ability of the channel to adequately carry floodwater will be maintained at the same capacity as prior to alteration, or a certification from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Floodplain Management Section, stating the same.

D. Applications for development other than those included in subsection (B) or (C) of this section (mining, excavation, etc.) shall include:

1. A detailed description of the proposed development, identifying the extent to which the flow of floodwaters will be impeded or impacted; and

2. A report from a registered engineer or certified hydrologist stating that the proposed development will not diminish the movement or withdrawal of floodwaters, or pollute or be polluted by floodwaters, or a certification from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Floodplain Management Section, stating the same.

E. If encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvement, and other development, are within the regulatory floodway, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice must be submitted demonstrating that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge. In Zone AE where no regulatory floodway has been designated, proof must be submitted demonstrating that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point within the community.

F. No floodplain permit will be issued unless:

1. All requirements of this chapter are met;

2. The proposed development is in compliance with FNSBC Titles 17 and 18, and all other ordinances or regulations as are from time to time established or amended; however, the ordinance codified in this chapter shall control in the event of any conflict unless specifically stated otherwise; and

3. The applicant has received all necessary permits from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law, including Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 33 USC 1344 (wetlands regulations).

G. A permit shall be granted or denied within 30 days from receiving the application. If additional information is required, the director shall act within 30 days of receipt of such additional requested information. A denial of a permit shall be accompanied with written findings. Transmittal by certified mail shall be sufficient notice. (Amended during 2016 republication; Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.050.)

15.04.070 Certificate of compliance.

A. Once the applicant’s proposed development has been substantially completed, the applicant shall apply to the director for a certificate of compliance. This application shall be accompanied by a certified statement or report from a registered engineer, architect, certified hydrologist or land surveyor, whichever is applicable, stating that the applicant’s development complies with applicable requirements and standards set forth in this chapter. At a minimum, this will include an elevation certificate certifying the elevation of the lowest finished floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved buildings. If the applicant’s floodplain permit required floodproofing measures, these shall be certified by a registered professional engineer or registered architect. An application for a certificate of compliance shall be made no later than 60 days after obtaining an elevation certificate or floodproofing certificate, if required.

B. Upon submission of the required certification(s), the director shall issue the certificate of compliance to the applicant. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010. 2004 Code § 15.04.055.)

15.04.080 Appeals.

The commission shall consider and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, condition, decision or determination made by the director regarding approval or denial of a floodplain permit or certificate of compliance.

A. The appellant shall file an appeal with the commission clerk within 10 calendar days after the director’s decision. The appellant shall include their name or names, their interest in the matter, their address, and which order, requirement, condition, decision or determination made is being appealed.

B. The commission may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or modify the order, requirement, condition, decision or determination under appeal, so long as such action is in conformity with this chapter. The commission shall make its decision in writing, setting forth its findings of fact, reasons for its decisions and corrective actions to be taken, if necessary.

C. Appeals from commission decisions are made to the assembly using the appeal process as required in FNSBC 4.24.030(C) through (L).

D. Either the appellant or appellee may appeal the assembly’s decision to superior court. Appeals may be made in accordance with the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 92-001 § 3, 1992; Ord. 86-019 § 4, 1986; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.060.)

15.04.090 Information to be obtained and maintained.

The director shall obtain and maintain records of the following as they pertain to individual floodplain permit applications and certificates of compliance:

A. Permits issued pursuant to FNSBC 15.04.050;

B. The lowest floor and floodproofing elevations (in relation to mean sea level) of new or substantially improved structures as required in FNSBC 15.04.060(B);

C. All certifications, certifying reports, floodproofing certificates, variance actions, plans, schematic designs, evidence of other required governmental permits, and all pertinent written records including appeal proceedings either before the commission or the Federal Emergency Management Agency;

D. All records maintained above shall be kept open for public inspection. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010. 2004 Code § 15.04.065.)

15.04.100 Determination of the base flood elevation.

The base flood elevation is the elevation of the one percent annual chance flood as identified on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Flood Insurance Rate Maps. In those cases where said maps do not identify an elevation, the director shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation data and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source, including base flood elevation data developed as a requirement for submitting a new subdivision or other development proposal under this title. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.070.)

15.04.110 Protection from inundation – Construction standards.

A. No person shall construct or substantially improve any structure within a special flood hazard area that is not in compliance with this section.

B. General Construction Standards. All new construction or substantial improvements to a structure shall be constructed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage and comply with the following standards:

1. Structures shall be constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities that are designed or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.

2. Fuel storage tanks and other liquid storage tanks shall be secured to prevent disturbance by floodwater. Buried tanks shall be secured to a concrete base slab of sufficient volume to prevent flotation or otherwise adequately secured. Both fill and vent pipes shall extend at least one foot above the base flood elevation.

3. On-site waste disposal systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharges from the systems into floodwaters and shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination to them during flooding.

4. All new construction and substantial improvements (including the placement of prefabricated buildings and manufactured homes) shall be designed (or modified) and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy.

5. All new construction and substantial improvements below the base flood elevation shall be constructed with materials resistant to flood damage.

6. New and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems.

C. Residential Structures. All new construction of and substantial improvements to residential structures shall have:

1. The lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the base flood elevation; and

2. Other fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor, such as crawl spaces, that are subject to flooding, and that are usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access, or limited storage, shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following criteria:

a. A minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided.

b. The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.

c. Openings shall be equipped with screens, louvers, valves, or other coverings or devices; provided, that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

D. Nonresidential Structures.

1. All new construction of and substantial improvements to nonresidential structures shall have either:

a. The lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the base flood elevation; or

b. Together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, be designed so that below the base flood level the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.

2. Where a nonresidential structure is intended to be made watertight below the base flood level:

a. A registered professional engineer or architect shall develop and/or review structural designs, specifications, and plans for the construction, and shall certify that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the applicable provisions of subsection (D)(1) of this section; and

b. A record of such certificates which includes the specific elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which such structures are floodproofed shall be maintained by the department of community planning.

3. Other fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement and which are subject to flooding shall comply with the requirements of subsection (C)(2) of this section.

E. Accessory Structures. Accessory structures shall be constructed and placed on the building site so as to offer minimum resistance to the flow of floodwaters, and shall be anchored to prevent flotation which may result in damage to other structures. Services utilities such as electrical and heating equipment shall be elevated or floodproofed.

F. Recreational Vehicles. In a special flood hazard area, a recreational vehicle must be licensed and titled as a recreational vehicle or park model (not as a permanent residence) and ready for highway use (i.e., on its wheels or jacking system, have no attached deck, porch or shed, and have quick-disconnect sewage, water and electrical connectors) or be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days. Recreational vehicles that do not meet these conditions must obtain a permit and meet the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes.

G. Critical Facilities. The following additional standards apply to critical facilities:

1. Construction of new critical facilities shall be, to the extent possible, located outside the limits of the special flood hazard area. Construction of new critical facilities shall be permissible within the special flood hazard area if no feasible alternative site is available.

2. Critical facilities constructed within the special flood hazard area shall have the lowest floor elevated three feet above the base flood elevation or to the height of the 500-year flood, whichever is higher.

3. Access to and from the critical facility should be protected to the height utilized above.

4. Floodproofing and sealing measures must be taken to ensure that toxic substances will not be displaced by or released into floodwaters.

5. Access routes elevated to or above the level of the base flood elevation shall be provided to all critical facilities to the extent possible. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 92-001 §§ 4, 5, 1992; Ord. 86-019 § 5, 1986; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.080.)

15.04.120 Standards for manufactured homes.

A. Manufactured homes that are placed or substantially improved within a special flood hazard area on any of the following sites must be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is elevated to or above the base flood elevation and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement:

1. Outside of a manufactured home park or subdivision;

2. In a manufactured home;

3. In an expansion to an existing manufactured home park or subdivision; or

4. In an existing manufactured home park or subdivision on which a manufactured home has incurred substantial damage as the result of a flood.

B. Manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved on sites in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision within the special flood hazard area that are not subject to the provisions of subsection (A) of this section must be elevated so that either:

1. The lowest floor of the manufactured home is at or above the base flood elevation; or

2. The manufactured home chassis is supported by reinforced piers or other foundation elements of at least equivalent strength that are no less than 36 inches in height above grade and is securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010. 2004 Code § 15.04.085.)

15.04.130 Development proposals in the special flood hazard area.

Subdivision proposals or other proposed new developments in the special flood hazard area, including manufactured home parks or subdivisions, shall be reviewed to determine whether such proposals will be reasonably safe from flooding. If only a portion of the proposed development is within the special flood hazard area, only that portion needs to comply with the standards of this section.

A. All private and public suppliers of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems shall:

1. Design, locate and construct utilities and facilities in such a way as to minimize or eliminate flood damage;

2. Design new and replacement water supply systems to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems;

3. Design new and replacement sanitary sewage systems to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems and discharges from the systems into flood waters;

4. All designs and specifications for public utilities located in the flood hazard area must be certified as to their compliance with this section by a registered engineer.

B. Adequate drainage must be provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards. A drainage plan that will result in minimizing exposure to floodwaters for the subdivision or development shall be submitted by the subdivider(s) with the preliminary and final plats required by FNSBC Title 17. The plan shall show:

1. The expected drainage route that will carry floodwaters away from each lot or parcel (via natural contours, natural drainage, ditches, or culverts).

2. The impact on drainage caused by road construction.

3. The location of culverts, ditches, retention ponds, bridges or other factors minimizing the impact on drainage caused by road construction.

C. Each new subdivision proposal and each proposed new development greater than 50 lots or five acres, including replats and planned unit developments, shall include with such proposal the base flood elevation for each lot with such elevation being noted prominently on the preliminary and final plats.

D. All subdivisions which are located, in part or in total, in the flood hazard area shall have a note placed on the preliminary and final plats stating:

This property has been determined, in whole or in part, to be located within a flood hazard area as identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. All development shall be required to comply with federal regulations and FNSBC Title 15.

E. Storage of Materials and Equipment. A permit is required for the storage of materials and equipment in the special flood hazard area and includes any alteration, such as the use of fill, that affects drainage patterns or the flood-carrying capacity of a watercourse.

1. Within a special flood hazard area, all persons shall store, except for incidental use, those materials which have a low ignition point, burn intensely, explode violently, spread widely or otherwise are likely to cause injury, death and property damage including, but not limited to, those substances identified in 40 CFR 116 (which designates hazardous materials under Section 311(b)(2)(A) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act), according to the following:

a. All storage structures and containers shall be either:

i. Elevated to one foot above the base flood elevation; or

ii. Adequately floodproofed to prevent flotation or leakage due to aging or damage.

b. All pipelines necessary for the storage and transfer of hazardous materials shall have anti-backflow valves to prevent contamination during flooding.

2. Storage of other materials or equipment may be allowed below the base flood elevation if readily removable from the area within the time available after a flood warning or if firmly anchored, restrained or enclosed to prevent damage during a flood event. Any storage activity shall meet the no-rise floodway and cumulative encroachment standards set forth in FNSBC 15.04.150. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 86-019 § 3, 1986; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.090.)

15.04.140 Alteration of watercourse.

A. No person shall alter, relocate or obstruct a watercourse within a flood hazard area such that the ability of that watercourse to carry the base flood is diminished.

B. The borough mayor shall notify adjacent communities and the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit copies of such notifications to the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Amended during 2016 republication; Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.100.)

15.04.150 Protection of the floodway.

Located within areas of special flood hazard are areas designated as floodways. The floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential; therefore the following provisions apply:

A. No person shall construct or cause the construction of a new structure including fill, substantial improvements or other development in a regulatory floodway unless certification is provided by a registered professional engineer, hydrologist, architect or other registered professional’s statement demonstrating that such encroachments will not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

B. In Zone AE where no regulatory floodway has been designated, no new construction, substantial improvements, or other development (including fill) shall be permitted unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point within the community.

C. If subsection (A) or (B) of this section is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable construction standards in FNSBC 15.04.110. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 92-001 § 6, 1992; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.110.)

15.04.160 Standards for shallow flooding areas (AO and AH zones).

A. No person shall obstruct the natural overflow areas designated as AO zones on the FIRM in order to maintain downstream base flood elevations.

B. New construction or substantial improvement to residential structures within the AO zone shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated above the highest adjacent grade at the building site, to or above the depth number specified on the flood hazard map (at least two feet if no depth number is specified).

C. New construction or substantial improvements to nonresidential structures within the AO zone shall either:

1. Comply with subsection (B) of this section; or

2. Together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, be completely floodproofed to or above the depth number specified on the FIRM (at least two feet if no depth number is specified) so that any space below is watertight with walls impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components able to resist the hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy. Compliance with this section shall be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect.

D. Adequate drainage paths around structures to guide floodwaters around and away shall be required for any new proposed construction in the AO and AH zones. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 92-001 § 7, 1992. 2004 Code § 15.04.115.)

15.04.170 Excavation prohibited.

No person may excavate or remove any material from lands within 250 feet of the centerline of the Tanana Levee structure; except, that excavation and removal for the purpose of constructing foundations for buildings or other structures upon the excavation is permitted. Such excavation shall be backfilled to original ground elevation within 90 days from the date excavation began. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.130.)

15.04.180 Procedure for obtaining variances.

A. Variances to this chapter may be granted by the planning commission only in accordance with the standards set forth in this section. The planning commission must consider the fact that every newly constructed building adds to the local government’s responsibilities and remains a part of the community for the indefinite future.

B. Variances may be issued for:

1. 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; or

2. 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, in conformance with the procedures of subsection (C) of this section; if the variance is on a lot exceeding one-half acre, it should be presumed that the lot is large enough to be developed without the variance and the technical justification for issuing the variance increases; or

3. New construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use (that is, the use of the building is absolutely dependent on its close proximity to water); provided, that (a) the criteria of subsection (C) of this section are met, and (b) 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; or

4. Agricultural structures located in wide, expansive floodplains and used for temporary storage of equipment, crops or shelter for livestock upon demonstration that such structures are designed to result in minimal damage to the structure and its contents and will create no additional threats to public safety during periods of flooding.

C. Procedures for the granting of variances by the planning commission are as follows:

1. Variances shall not be issued within any designated regulatory floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result;

2. Variances shall only be issued 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 or extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances;

3. Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief;

4. The applicant shall be notified in writing by the director that (a) the issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the base flood level will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance commensurate with the increased risk and (b) such construction below the base flood level increases risks to life and property. Such notification shall be maintained with a record of all variance actions as required in subsection (C)(5) of this section;

5. The department of community planning shall (a) maintain a record of all variance actions, including justification for their issuance, and (b) report such variances issued in its annual or biennial report submitted to the Federal Insurance Administrator; and

6. An appeal from a decision made under this section may be made to the board of adjustment in accordance with the procedures set forth in FNSBC Title 18. (Ord. 2014-08 § 4, 2014; Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.140.)

15.04.190 Violation – Enforcement.

A. The director will administer and enforce this chapter. An administrative official designated to enforce or administer this chapter may order the discontinuance of unlawful uses of land, buildings or structures; the removal or abatement of unlawful buildings or structures or any unlawful additions or alterations thereto; the discontinuation of construction or preparatory activity leading to an unlawful structure or use of land; or any other action necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.

B. Any person who permits or causes a violation of a provision of this title is subject to the provisions of Chapter 1.20 FNSBC.

C. The borough mayor is authorized to delegate administrative and enforcement matters to incorporated cities’ public works departments and their respective building permitting personnel. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.150.)

15.04.200 Violation – Penalties and remedies.

A. Civil Remedies. If there is a violation of the terms of any section within this chapter, the administrative official or any aggrieved citizen may institute or cause to be instituted by any appropriate civil action to enjoin this violation. An action to enjoin any violation of this chapter may be brought notwithstanding the availability of any other remedy.

B. Other Remedies. Every person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00.

C. Each unlawful act or condition, and every 90 days such violation continues after notice of the violation is given by the administrative officer, shall constitute a separate violation. (Ord. 2009-55 § 2, 2010; Ord. 85-124 § 3, 1985. 2004 Code § 15.04.160.)


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    For provisions authorizing the assembly to provide area-wide zoning regulations, see AS 29.35 and 29.40. See also FNSBC Title 17, Subdivisions. Pursuant to Ord. 72-20 and Section 49.20.070 of the previous borough code.