Chapter 16.55
NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM

Sections:

16.55.010    General provisions.

16.55.020    Administration.

16.55.030    Standards for flood hazard reduction.

16.55.040    Procedure for appeal or for variance.

16.55.050    Definitions.

16.55.010 General provisions.

(a)    Application. This chapter shall apply to all “special flood hazard areas” and “other flood areas” as depicted on the official flood insurance rate map (FIRM) of the city of Ketchikan, Alaska, dated April 16, 1990, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which flood insurance rate map, and the flood insurance study, are on file in the office of the borough clerk as document No. 90-14 and in the borough department of planning and community development, 1900 First Avenue, Ketchikan, AK 99901, and are available for public inspection and copying and are incorporated herein by reference thereto. Such areas are herein referred to as “flood management area.”

(b)    Interpretation and Application. In the interpretation and application of the requirements of this chapter, all provisions shall be considered to be minimum requirements and be liberally construed in favor of the borough and shall be deemed neither to limit or repeal any powers that are granted the borough under law.

(c)    Abrogation and Greater Restrictions. This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing sections or provisions of the KGB Code, or any easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another section or provision of the KGB Code, state or federal law, or any easement, covenant or deed restriction, conflict or overlap, whichever provision imposes the more stringent restriction shall apply and prevail.

(d)    Warning and Disclaimer of Liability. 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 on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by manmade or natural causes. This chapter and other provisions of the KGB Code do not imply that land outside the flood management area or uses permitted within such area will be free from flooding or flood damage. This chapter shall not create or impose any liability on the part of the city of Ketchikan, or the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, or any officer or employee thereof, or the Federal Insurance Administration, for any flood damage that may result from application or reliance on this chapter or other provisions of the KGB Code, or for any administrative decision made hereunder. [Ord. No. 1541, §7, 11-23-09; Ord. No. 738, §11, 4-23-90. Code 1974 §60.10.076(A).]

16.55.020 Administration.

(a)    Permit Required. A development permit shall be obtained as herein provided before any construction or development begins within any area within the flood management area. Such permit shall be required for all structures, including manufactured homes, and for all development, including fill and other activities. The department of planning and community development shall administer this section and shall grant, modify or deny permit applications in accordance with the standards provided in this section.

(b)    Permit Application. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the department of planning and community development and may include, but need not be limited to, plans in duplicate 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 each of the foregoing. In addition to the foregoing, the following information shall be provided to the department:

(1)    Elevation in relation to mean lower low water of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures.

(2)    Elevation in relation to mean lower low water to which any structure has been flood-proofed.

(3)    Description of the extent to which a watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.

(4)    Certification by a registered professional engineer or licensed architect that the flood-proofing methods for any residential or nonresidential structure meet the flood-proofing standards set forth in KGBC 16.55.030.

(c)    Designation and Responsibilities of Responsible Department.

(1)    The department of planning and community development shall administer this chapter and may grant, modify or deny development permits in accordance with the provisions and standards of this chapter, and shall be authorized to require from the applicant such information as may be necessary to satisfy the standards set forth herein, including requiring that a professional engineer or licensed architect certify the development permit application as to the completeness and accuracy of the information that is submitted and adherence to the standards described in KGBC 16.55.030.

(2)    The duties of the department of planning and community development shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

a.    Permit Review. The department shall review all development permits:

1.    To ensure that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.

2.    To determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from such federal, state or local governments from which prior approval is required.

3.    To determine if the proposed development is located within the floodway. If located within the floodway of the flood management area, the encroachment provisions of KGBC 16.55.030(c) shall be satisfied.

b.    Use of Other Base Flood Elevation Data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in KGBC 16.55.010(a), the department of planning and community development shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state, or other source, in order to administer KGBC 16.55.030(b), Specific Standards, and 16.55.030(c), Floodways.

c.    Information to Be Obtained and Maintained by Department. The department of planning and community development shall:

1.    Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean lower low water) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement.

2.    For all new or substantially improved flood-proofed structures, the department shall verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean lower low water) and maintain the flood-proofing certifications required in KGBC 16.55.030(b)(2)(c).

3.    Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.

d.    Alteration of Watercourses. The department of planning and community development shall:

1.    Notify adjacent communities and the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development prior to the approval of any alteration or relocation of a watercourse affected by the provisions of this chapter, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.

2.    Require that maintenance be provided within the altered or relocated portion of such watercourse so that the flood carrying capacity is not diminished.

e.    Interpretation of Flood Management Area Boundaries. The department of planning and community development may make administrative interpretations where needed regarding the exact location of the boundaries of the flood management area. If an interpretation is contested, the aggrieved party may appeal the interpretation as provided in KGBC 16.55.040, Procedure for appeal or for variance.

f.    Provision of Required Information. The department of planning and community development may require that an applicant for a development permit provide such information as may be deemed necessary to satisfy the requirements of this chapter, including requiring a professional engineer or licensed architect to certify as to the accuracy and completeness of the submitted information and adherence to the standards described in KGBC 16.55.030. [Ord. No. 1541, §7, 11-23-09; Ord. No. 738, §11, 4-23-90. Code 1974 §60.10.076(B).]

16.55.030 Standards for flood hazard reduction.

(a)    General Standards. In the flood management area the following general standards shall be satisfied:

(1)    Anchoring. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure. All manufactured homes must likewise be anchored to prevent flotation, using methods and practices that minimize flood damage.

(2)    Construction, Materials and Methods. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage. Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or otherwise elevated or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.

(3)    Utilities. All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system. New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwater into the system and discharge from the system into floodwaters. On-site waste disposal systems shall be located in such a manner as to avoid impairment to the system or contamination from the system during flooding.

(4)    Subdivisions. All new subdivisions shall follow and comply with the requirements of KGBC 17.05.030, Subdivisions within flood management area.

(5)    Review of Permits. Where elevation data is not available either through the flood insurance study or from another authoritative source, applications for building and zoning permits shall be reviewed to assure that the proposed construction will be reasonably safe from flooding. The test of reasonableness may be based upon a local judgment and includes use of historic data, high water marks, photographs of past flooding, etc., where available. If the department of planning and community development determines that the proposed construction may be affected by flooding, the department may require that some or all of the procedures and standards of this section be satisfied before issuing a zoning permit.

(b)    Specific Standards. In the flood management area where base flood elevation data has been provided, the following standards apply:

(1)    Residential Construction.

a.    New construction and substantial improvements of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to or above base flood elevation.

b.    Fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding are prohibited, or shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. A registered professional engineer or licensed architect shall certify that the design complies with the foregoing requirements or that the design meets or exceeds the following requirements:

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; further, the bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers or other coverings or devices; provided, that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

Such certification shall be provided to the department of planning and community development.

(2)    Nonresidential Construction. New construction and substantial improvements to any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to the level of the base flood elevation, or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:

a.    Be flood-proofed, so that below one foot above the base flood level the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water.

b.    Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.

c.    Be certified by a registered professional engineer or licensed architect that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting provisions of this section based on their development and/or review of the structural design, specifications and plans. Such certification shall be provided to the department of planning and community development.

d.    Nonresidential structures that are elevated, not flood-proofed, must meet the same standards for space below the lowest floor as described in subsection (b)(1)(b) of this section.

(3)    Manufactured Homes. All manufactured homes to be placed, or substantially improved, within zones A1 – 30, AH, and AE depicted on the official flood insurance rate map shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at or above the base flood elevation and is securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system in accordance with the provision of subsection (a)(1) of this section, Anchoring.

(c)    Floodways. Located within the flood management area are areas designated as floodways. Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)    Prohibit encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development unless certification by a registered professional engineer or licensed architect is provided demonstrating that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

(2)    If the above is satisfied, and certification is provided, construction may proceed provided all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of this section. [Ord. No. 1541, §7, 11-23-09; Ord. No. 738, §11, 4-23-90. Code 1974 §60.10.076(C).]

16.55.040 Procedure for appeal or for variance.

(a)    Procedure. The procedure provided in KGBC 18.55.040 shall be followed when it is alleged there is an error in application of any requirement, decision or determination made by the department of planning and community development in the administration or enforcement of this section, or for processing a request for a variance from the application of the requirements for a development permit.

(b)    Standards. In the event a request for a variance from the requirements for a development permit is filed with the planning commission, within the time allowed in KGBC 18.55.040, the planning commission shall, in addition to the standards for approval described in KGBC 18.55.040(b), consider all hydrologic and engineering technical evaluations pertinent to the project, the standards set forth in this chapter, and the following:

(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 necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;

(6)    The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;

(7)    The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;

(8)    The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and flood 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 floodwaters 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, water systems, and streets and bridges.

(c)    Standards for Approval of Variance. The only condition under which a variance from the elevation standard may be issued is 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, provided items in subsection (b) of this section have also been fully considered. As the area increases the degree of justification that is required for granting the variance shall also increase.

(d)    Conditions of Approval of Variance. In granting a variance, the planning commission may impose such conditions as may be considered necessary to ensure adherence to the standards and procedures of this chapter.

(e)    Records. The department of planning and community development shall maintain records of all variance actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request. [Ord. No. 1726, §5, 8-4-14; Ord. No. 1541, §7, 11-23-09; Ord. No. 738, §11, 4-23-90. Code 1974 §60.10.076(D).]

16.55.050 Definitions.

Specific technical definitions of the words used in this chapter and in the report entitled, “Flood Insurance Rate Map for the City of Ketchikan,” dated April 16, 1990, are available to the public at the department of planning and community development, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, 1900 First Avenue, Ketchikan, Alaska. [Ord. No. 1541, §7, 11-23-09; Ord. No. 738, §11, 4-23-90. Code 1974 §60.10.076(E).]