Chapter 18.170
FLOODPLAIN DISTRICTS AND REGULATIONS

Sections:

18.170.010    General provisions.

18.170.020    Severability.

18.170.030    Penalty for violations.

18.170.040    Definitions.

18.170.050    Establishments of zoning districts.

18.170.060    Submitting technical data.

18.170.070    District provisions.

18.170.080    Standard for subdivision proposals.

18.170.090    Variances – Factors to be considered.

18.170.100    Existing structures in floodplain districts.

18.170.010 General provisions.

(1) Statutory Authorization and Purpose. These provisions are adopted pursuant to the authority granted to localities by Section 15.2-2280 of the Code of Virginia for the purpose of preventing the loss of life and property, the creation of health and safety hazards, the disruption of commerce and governmental services, the extraordinary and unnecessary expenditure of public funds for flood protection and relief, and the impairment of the tax base by:

(a) Regulating uses, activities, and development which, acting alone or in combination with other existing or future uses, activities, and development, will cause unacceptable increases in flood heights, velocities, and frequencies.

(b) Restricting or prohibiting certain uses, activities, and development from locating within areas subject to flooding.

(c) Requiring all those uses, activities, and developments that do occur in flood-prone areas to be protected and/or floodproofed against flooding and flood damage.

(d) Protecting individuals from buying land and structures which are unsuited for intended purposes because of flood hazards.

(2) Applicability. These provisions shall apply to all lands within the jurisdiction of the city of Staunton and identified as being flood prone.

(3) Compliance and Liability.

(a) No land shall hereafter be developed and no structure shall be located, relocated, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, or structurally altered except in full compliance with the terms and provisions of this chapter and any other applicable ordinances and regulations which apply to uses within the jurisdiction of this title.

(b) The degree of flood protection sought by the provisions of this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on acceptable engineering methods of study. Larger floods may occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by manmade or natural causes, such as ice jams and bridge openings restricted by debris. This chapter does not imply that districts outside the floodplain district, or that land uses permitted within such district, will be free from flooding or flood damages.

(c) Records of actions associated with administering these provisions shall be kept on file and maintained by the floodplain administrator.

(d) This chapter shall not create liability on the part of the city of Staunton or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.

(4) Abrogation and Greater Restrictions. The ordinance codified in this chapter supersedes any ordinance currently in effect in flood-prone areas. However, any underlying ordinance shall remain in full force and effect to the extent that its provisions are more restrictive than this chapter. (Ord. 2009-26. Zoning ordinance Art. 5, § 14).

18.170.020 Severability.

If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions. The remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect, and for this purpose, the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable. (Ord. 2009-26).

18.170.030 Penalty for violations.

(1) Any person who fails to comply with any of the requirements or provisions of this chapter, or directions of the zoning administrator, or any authorized employee of the city of Staunton pursuant to this chapter, shall be subject to the penalties as set forth in Chapter 18.225 SCC for violation.

(2) In addition to any penalties, all other actions are hereby reserved, including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of this chapter. The imposition of a fine or penalty for any violation of, or noncompliance with, this chapter shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance or permit it to continue, and all such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violation or noncompliance within a reasonable time. Any structure constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered, or relocated in noncompliance with this chapter may be declared by the city of Staunton to be a public nuisance and abated as such. Flood insurance may be withheld from structures constructed in violation of this chapter. (Ord. 2009-26).

18.170.040 Definitions.

(1) “Base flood/100-year flood” means a flood that, on the average, is likely to occur, or be exceeded, once every 100 years (i.e., that has a one percent chance of occurring each year, although the flood may occur in any year).

(2) “Base flood elevation (BFE)” means the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated 100-year water surface elevation.

(3) “Basement” means any area of the building having its sub-grade (below ground level) on all sides.

(4) “The Staunton board of zoning appeals” means the board appointed to review appeals made by individuals with regard to decisions of the administrator in the interpretation of this chapter.

(5) “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.

(6) “Elevated building” means a nonbasement building built to have the lowest floor elevated above the ground level by means of fill, solid foundation perimeter walls, pilings, or columns (posts and piers).

(7) “Encroachment” means the advance or infringement of uses, plant growth, fill, excavation, buildings, permanent structures or development into a floodplain, which may impede of alter the flow capacity of a floodplain.

(8) “Flood” or “flooding” means:

(a) A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

(i) The overflow of inland or tidal waters;

(ii) The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; and

(iii) Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding as defined in subsection (8)(a)(ii) of this section and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.

(b) The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusually high water level in a natural body of water, accompanied by a severe storm, or by an unanticipated force of nature, such as a flash flood or by some similarly unusual and unforeseeable event which results in flooding as defined in subsection (8)(a)(i) of this section.

(9) “Flood insurance rate map (FIRM)” means an official map of a community, on which the administrator has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community. A FIRM that has been made available digitally is called a digital flood insurance rate map (DFIRM).

(10) “Flood insurance study (FIS)” means an examination, evaluation and determination of flood hazards and, if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations, or an examination, evaluation and determination of mudflows and/or flood- related erosion hazards.

(11) “Flood-prone area” means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source.

(12) “Floodplain” means:

(a) A relatively flat or low land area adjoining a river, stream, or watercourse which is subject to partial or complete inundation.

(b) An area subject to the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface water from any source.

(13) “Floodway” means the designated area of the floodplain required to carry and discharge flood waters of a given magnitude. For the purposes of this chapter, the floodway shall be capable of accommodating a flood of the 100-year magnitude without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot.

(14) “Freeboard” means a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a flood level for purposes of floodplain management. “Freeboard” tends to compensate for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization in the watershed. When a freeboard is included in the height of a structure, the flood insurance premiums will be less.

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

(16) “Historic structure” means any structure that is:

(a) Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register.

(b) Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district.

(c) Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

(d) Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either: (i) by an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, or (ii) directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.

(17) “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 Federal Code 44 CFR Section 60.3.

(18) “Manufactured home” means a structure subject to federal regulations, which is transportable in one or more sections; is eight body feet or more in width and 40 body feet or more in length in the traveling mode, or is 320 or more square feet when erected on site; is built on a permanent chassis; is designed to be used as a single-family dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. For floodplain management purposes, the term “manufactured home” also includes park trailers, travel trailers, and other similar vehicles placed on a site for greater than 180 consecutive days, but does not include a recreational vehicle.

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

(20) “New construction” means, for the purposes of determining insurance rates, structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after December 16, 1988, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures. For floodplain management purposes, “new construction” means structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

(21) “Recreation vehicle” means a vehicle which is:

(a) Built on a single chassis;

(b) Four hundred square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;

(c) Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and

(d) Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational camping, travel, or seasonal use.

(22) “Shallow flooding area” means a special flood hazard area with base flood depths from one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate, and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.

(23) “Special flood hazard area” means the land in the floodplain subject to a one percent or greater chance of being flooded in any given year as determined in SCC 18.170.050(3).

(24) “Start of construction” means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, 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 on any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not the alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

(25) “Structure” for floodplain management purposes means a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home. “Structure” for insurance purposes means:

(a) A building with two or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured roof, that is affixed to a permanent site; or

(b) A “manufactured home,” also known as a mobile home, is a structure built on a permanent chassis, transported to its site in one or more sections, and affixed to a permanent foundation; or

(c) “Travel trailer” means a trailer without wheels, built on a chassis and affixed to a permanent foundation, that is regulated under any chapter of the Staunton City Code as well as the Uniform Statewide Building Code; however, for this purpose “structure” does not mean a recreational vehicle or park trailer or other similar vehicle, except as described in this subsection (25)(c), or a gas or liquid storage tank.

(26) “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.

(27) “Substantial improvement” means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the “start of construction” of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred “substantial damage” regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:

(a) 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

(b) Any alteration of a “historic structure”; provided, that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a “historic structure.”

(28) “Violation” means the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with this chapter. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in 44 CFR Section 60.3(b)(5), (c)(4), (c)(10), (d)(3), (e)(2), (e)(4), or (e)(5) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.

(29) “Watercourse” means a lake, river, creek, stream, wash, channel or other topographic feature on or over which waters flow at least periodically. “Watercourse” includes specifically designated areas in which substantial flood damage may occur. (Ord. 2009-26; Ord. 2009-04; Ord. 2007-19. Zoning ordinance Art. 5, § 14. Formerly 18.170.020).

18.170.050 Establishments of zoning districts.

(1) Description of Districts.

(a) Basis of District. The various floodplain districts shall include areas subject to inundation by waters of the 100-year flood. The basis for the delineation of these districts shall be the Flood Insurance Study for Augusta County and the City of Staunton prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, dated December 1, 1978, and revised September 28, 2007, and January 6, 2010, as amended.

(i) The floodway district is delineated, for purposes of this chapter, using the criterion that a certain area within the floodplain must be capable of carrying the waters of the 100-year flood without increasing the water surface elevation of that flood more than one foot at any point. These areas included in this district are specifically defined in Table 2 of the above referenced flood insurance study and shown on the accompanying flood boundary and floodway map or flood insurance rate map.

(ii) The special flood hazard area shall be that area of the 100-year floodplain not included in the floodway district. The basis for the outermost boundary of this district shall be the 100-year flood elevations contained in the flood profiles of the above referenced flood insurance study and as shown on the accompanying flood boundary and floodway map or flood insurance rate map.

(iii) The approximated floodplain district shall be that floodplain area for which no detailed flood profiles or elevations are provided, but where a 100-year floodplain boundary has been approximated. Such areas are shown as zone A on the maps accompanying the flood insurance study. For these areas, the 100-year flood elevations and floodway information from federal, state, and other acceptable sources shall be used, when available. Where the specific 100-year flood elevation cannot be determined for this area using other sources of data, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Floodplain Information Reports, U.S. Geological Survey Flood-Prone Quadrangles, etc., then the applicant for the proposed use, development and/or activity shall determine this elevation in accordance with hydrologic and hydraulic engineering techniques. Hydrologic and hydraulic analyses shall be undertaken only by professional engineers or others of demonstrated qualifications, who shall certify that the technical methods used correctly reflect currently accepted technical concepts. Studies, analyses, computations, etc., shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow a thorough review by the city of Staunton.

(2) Overlay Concept.

(a) The floodplain districts described above shall be overlays to the existing underlying districts as shown on the official zoning ordinance map, and as such, the provisions for the floodplain districts shall serve as a supplement to the underlying district provisions.

(b) Any conflict between the provisions or requirements of the floodplain districts and those of any underlying district, the more restrictive provisions and/or those pertaining to the floodplain districts shall apply.

(c) In the event any provision concerning a floodplain district is declared inapplicable as a result of any legislative or administrative actions or judicial decision, the basic underlying provisions shall remain applicable.

(3) Official Zoning Maps. The boundaries of the floodplain districts are established as shown on the flood boundary and floodway map and/or flood insurance rate map which is declared to be part of this chapter and which shall be kept on file at the office of the zoning administrator of the city of Staunton.

(4) District Boundary Change. The delineation of any of the floodplain districts may be revised by the Staunton city council where natural or manmade changes have occurred and/or where more detailed studies have been conducted or undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or other qualified agency, or an individual documents the need for such change. However, prior to any change, approval must be obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(5) Interpretation of District Boundaries. Initial interpretations of the boundaries of the floodplain districts shall be made by the administrator. Should a dispute arise concerning the boundaries of any of the districts, the Staunton board of adjustment shall make the necessary determination. The person questioning or contesting the location of the district boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to present his case to the board and to submit his own technical evidence if he so desires. (Ord. 2009-26; Ord. 2007-19. Zoning ordinance Art. 5, § 14. Formerly 18.170.030).

18.170.060 Submitting technical data.

The base flood elevation may increase or decrease resulting from physical changes affecting flooding conditions. As soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the date such information becomes available, the city shall notify the Federal Insurance Administrator of the changes by submitting technical or scientific data. Such a submission is necessary so that upon confirmation of those physical changes affecting flooding conditions, flood prevention rates and floodplain management requirements will be based upon current data. (Ord. 2009-26).

18.170.070 District provisions.

(1) General Provisions.

(a) Permit Requirement. All uses, activities, and development occurring within any floodplain district shall be undertaken only upon the issuance of a zoning permit. Such development shall be undertaken only in strict compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with all other applicable codes and ordinances such as the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and SCC Title 17. Prior to the issuance of any such permit, the zoning officer shall require all applications to include compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and shall review all sites to assure they are reasonably safe from flooding. Under no circumstances shall any use, activity, and/or development adversely affect the capacity of the channels or floodway of any watercourse, drainage ditch, or any other drainage facility or system.

(b) Alteration or Relocation of Watercourse. Prior to any proposed alteration or relocation of any channels or of any watercourse, stream, etc., within this jurisdiction, a permit shall be obtained from the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the Virginia State Water Control Board, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (a joint permit application is available from any of these organizations). Furthermore, notification of the proposal shall be given by the applicant to all affected adjacent jurisdictions, the Division of Dam Safety and Floodplain Management (Department of Conservation and Recreation), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(c) New construction or substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial, or nonresidential building (or manufactured home) shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated above the base flood elevation. Buildings located in all A zones may be floodproofed in lieu of being elevated; provided, that all areas of the building components below the elevation corresponding to the BFE plus one foot are watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water, and use structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and the effect of buoyancy. A registered professional engineer or architect shall certify that the standards of this subsection are satisfied.

(d) Site Plans and Permit Applications. All applications for development in the floodplain district and all building permits issued for the floodplain shall incorporate the following information:

(i) For structures to be elevated, the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement).

(ii) For structures to be floodproofed (nonresidential only), the elevation to which the structure will be floodproofed.

(iii) The elevation of the 100-year flood.

(iv) Topographic information showing existing and proposed ground elevations.

(e) Manufactured Homes. Manufactured homes that are placed or substantially improved on sites shall 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.

(f) Recreational Vehicles. Recreational vehicles placed on sites either shall: (i) be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days, and be fully licensed and ready for highway use; or (ii) meet the permit requirements for placement and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes in subsection (1)(e) of this section. A recreational vehicle is ready for highway use if it is on its wheels or jacking system, is attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices, and has no permanently attached additions.

(2) Floodway District. In the floodway district, no encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, or other development, shall be permitted unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in the 100-year flood elevation.

(3) Permitted Uses in the Floodway District. The following uses and activities are permitted; provided, that they are in compliance with the provisions of the underlying area and are not prohibited by any other ordinance; and provided, that they do not require structures, fill, or storage of materials and equipment:

(a) Agricultural uses, such as general farming, pasture, grazing, outdoor plant nurseries, horticulture, truck farming, forestry, sod farming, and wild crop harvesting.

(b) Public and private recreational uses and activities, such as parks, day camps, picnic grounds, golf courses, boat launching and swimming areas, horseback riding and hiking trails, wildlife and nature preserves, game farms, fish hatcheries, trap and skeet game ranges, and hunting and fishing areas.

(c) Accessory residential uses, such as yard areas, gardens, play areas, and pervious loading areas.

(d) Accessory industrial and commercial uses, such as yard areas, pervious parking and loading areas, airport landing strips, etc.

(4) Special Flood Hazard Areas and Approximated Floodplain Districts. In the flood-fringe and approximated floodplain districts, the development and/or use of land shall be permitted in accordance with the regulations of the underlying district; provided, that all such uses, activities, and/or development shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the floodproofing and related provisions contained in the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and all other applicable codes and ordinances.

Within the approximated floodplain district, the applicant shall also delineate a floodway area based on the requirement that all existing and future development not increase the 100-year flood elevation more than one foot at any one point. The engineering principle, equal reduction of conveyance, shall be used to make the determination of increased flood heights. Within the floodway area delineated by the applicant, the provision of subsection (2) of this section shall apply.

(5) Design Criteria for Utilities and Facilities.

(a) Sanitary Sewer Facilities. All new or replacement sanitary sewer facilities and private package sewage treatment plants (including all pumping stations and collector systems) shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems and discharges from the systems into the flood waters. In addition, they should be located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage and impairment.

(b) Water Facilities. All new or replacement water facilities shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the system and be located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damages.

(c) Drainage Facilities. All storm drainage facilities shall be designed to convey the flow of surface waters without damage to persons or property. The systems shall ensure drainage away from buildings and on-site waste disposal sites. The city council of the city of Staunton may require a primarily underground system to accommodate frequent floods and a secondary surface system to accommodate larger, less frequent floods. Drainage plans shall be consistent with local and regional drainage plans. The facilities shall be designed to prevent the discharge of excess runoff onto adjacent properties.

(d) Utilities. All utilities, such as gas lines, electrical and telephone systems being placed in flood-prone areas should be located, elevated (where possible), and constructed to minimize the chance of impairment during a flood occurrence.

(e) Streets and Sidewalks. Streets and sidewalks should be designed to minimize their potential for increasing and aggravating the levels of flood flow. Drainage openings shall be required to sufficiently discharge flood flows without unduly increased flood heights. (Ord. 2009-26; Ord. 2007-19. Zoning ordinance Art. 5, § 14. Formerly 18.170.040).

18.170.080 Standard for subdivision proposals.

(1) All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.

(2) All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water system located and constructed to minimize flood damage.

(3) All subdivisions proposed shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards.

(4) Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed development proposals (including manufactured home parks and subdivisions) that exceed 50 lots or five acres, whichever is the lesser. (Ord. 2009-26).

18.170.090 Variances – Factors to be considered.

(1) Factors to be considered in review of a request for variance from the provisions of this chapter shall be determined consistent with the following provisions:

(a) Variances shall be issued only upon a showing of good and sufficient cause, and after the board of zoning appeals has determined that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant, and that the granting of such variance will not result in unacceptable or prohibited increases in flood height, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, and will not create nuisances, cause fraud or victimization of the public, or conflict with local laws or ordinances.

(b) While the granting of variances generally is limited to a lot size less than one-half acre, deviation from the limitation may occur. However, as the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing a variance increases. Variances may be issued by the board of zoning appeals 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 in conformance with the provisions of this section.

(c) Variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements and for the development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent uses; provided, that the criteria of this section are met and 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.

(2) In passing upon applications for variances, the Staunton board of zoning appeals shall satisfy all relevant factors and procedures specified in other sections of this title and consider the following additional factors:

(a) The danger to life and property due to increased flood heights or velocities caused by encroachments. No variance shall be granted for any proposed use, development, or activity within any floodway district that will cause any increase in the 100-year flood elevation.

(b) The danger that materials may be swept onto 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 owners.

(e) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community.

(f) The requirements of the facility for a waterfront 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 for the area.

(j) The safety of access by ordinary and emergency vehicles to the property in time of flood.

(k) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the flood waters expected at the site.

(l) The repair on 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 necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.

(m) Such other factors which are relevant to the purposes of this chapter.

(3) The Staunton board of adjustment may refer any application and accompanying documentation pertaining to any request for a variance to any engineer or other qualified person or agency for technical assistance in evaluating the proposed project in relation to flood heights and velocities, and the adequacy of the plans for flood protection and other related matters.

(4) Variances shall be issued only after the Staunton board of adjustment has determined that the granting of such will not result in unacceptable or prohibited increases in flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense; and will not create nuisances, cause fraud or victimization of the public, or conflict with local laws or ordinances.

(5) Variances shall be issued only after the Staunton board of adjustment has determined that variance will be the minimum required to provide relief from any exceptional hardship to the applicant.

(6) The Staunton board of adjustment shall notify the applicant for a variance, in writing, that the issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the 100-year flood elevation increases the risks to life and property, and will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.

(7) A record shall be maintained of the above notification as well as all variance actions, including justification for the issuance of the variances. Any variances which are issued shall be noted in the annual or biennial report submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (Ord. 2009-26; Ord. 2007-19. Zoning ordinance Art. 5, § 14. Formerly 18.170.050).

18.170.100 Existing structures in floodplain districts.

A structure or use of a structure or premises which lawfully existed before the enactment of these provisions, but which is not in conformity with these provisions, may be continued subject to the following conditions:

(1) Existing structures in the floodway district shall not be expanded or enlarged unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed expansion would not result in any increase in the 100-year flood elevation.

(2) Any modification, alteration, repair, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind to a structure and/or use located in any floodplain area to an extent or amount of less than 50 percent or more of its market value shall be elevated and/or floodproofed to the greatest extent possible within the provisions of this code and the Uniform Statewide Building Code for the portion being repaired, altered or added.

(3) The modification, alteration, repair, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind to a structure and/or use, regardless of its location in a floodplain area, to an extent or amount of 50 percent or more of its market value shall be undertaken only in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code for the entire structure. (Ord. 2009-26; Ord. 2007-19. Zoning ordinance Art. 5, § 14. Formerly 18.170.060).