Chapter 15.16
FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION

Sections:

15.16.010    Methods and purpose.

15.16.020    Definitions.

15.16.030    General provisions.

15.16.040    Establishment of development permit.

15.16.050    General standards.

15.16.010 Methods and purpose.

The flood hazard areas of the city are subject to periodic inundation which results in loss of life and property, health, and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare.

These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazards which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated, or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss.

A. Purpose. It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare, and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas by provisions designed:

1. To protect human life and health;

2. To minimize expenditure of public money and costly flood control projects;

3. To minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding and generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;

4. To minimize prolonged business interruptions;

5. To minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric telephone and sewer lines, streets, and bridges located in areas of special flood hazard; and

6. To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.

B. Methods. 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 floodwaters;

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

5. Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or may increase flood hazards in other areas. (Ord. 90-15 § 1, 1990; Ord. 88-22 § 2, 1988)

15.16.020 Definitions.

Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.

A. “Area of shallow flooding” means a designated AO or AH Zone on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The base flood depths range from one to three feet; a clearly defined channel does not exist; the path of flooding is unpredictable and indeterminate; and velocity flow may be evident. AO is characterized as sheet flow and AH indicates ponding.

B. “Area of special flood hazard” means the land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. Designation on map always includes the letter A or V.

C. “Base flood” means the flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (also referred to as the “100-year flood”). Designated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map by the letter A or V.

D. “Basement” means any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.

E. “Breakaway wall” means a wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces, without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system.

F. “Coastal high hazard area” means an area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources. The area is designated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map as Zone VJ-30, VE or V.

G. “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, installations which produce, use, or store hazardous materials or hazardous waste.

H. “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, drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials located within the area of flood hazard.

I. “Elevated building” means, for insurance purposes, a nonbasement building that has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, post, piers, pilings, or columns.

J. “Elevation certificate” means the official form (FEMA Form 81-31) used to track development, provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, and determine the proper insurance premium rate with Section B completed by community officials.

K. “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 or runoff of surface waters from any source.

L. “Flood Insurance Rate Map” or “FIRM” means the official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

M. “Flood Insurance Study” means the official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration that includes flood profiles, the flood boundary-floodway map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.

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

O. “Increased cost of compliance” or “ICC” means a flood insurance claim payment of up to $30,000 made directly to a property owner for the cost to comply with floodplain management regulations after a direct physical loss caused by a flood. Eligibility for an ICC claim can be through a single instance of “substantial damage” or as a result of “cumulative substantial damage.”

P. “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 this chapter.

Q. “Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use 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. For insurance purposes the term “manufactured home” does not include park trailers, travel trailers, and other similar vehicles.

R. “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.

S. “New construction” means structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

T. “Recreational vehicle” means a vehicle:

1. Built on a single chassis;

2. Four hundred 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.

U. “Start of construction” includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building 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 foundation 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.

V. “Structure” means a walled and roofed building including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.

W. “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.

X. “Substantial improvement” means any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure either:

1. Before the improvement or repair is started; or

2. If the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred. For the 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.

The term does not, however, include either:

1. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct pre-cited existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been previously identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to ensure safe living conditions; or

2. Any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a state inventory of historic places.

Y. “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.

Z. “Water dependent” means a structure for commerce or industry which cannot exist in any other location and is dependent on the water by reason of the intrinsic nature of its operations. (Ord. 2015-28 § 1, 2015: Ord. 2005-05 § 1, 2005: Ord. 2003-22 § 21, 2003; Ord. 88-22 § 2, 1988)

15.16.030 General provisions.

A. Lands to Which This Chapter Applies. This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the city.

B. Basis for Establishing the Areas of Special Flood Hazard. The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Insurance Administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled, “The Flood Insurance Study for Kitsap County and Incorporated Areas” dated February 3, 2017, with accompanying Flood Insurance Maps and any revisions thereto, is adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. The Flood Insurance Study is on file at the office of the city clerk. The best available information for flood hazard area identification as outlined in BIMC 15.16.040.D.2 shall be the basis for regulation until a new FIRM is issued that incorporates data utilized under BIMC 15.16.040.D.2.

C. Penalties for Noncompliance. No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall upon conviction thereof be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both, for each violation, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.

D. Abrogation and Greater Restrictions. This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.

E. Interpretation. In the interpretation and application of this chapter, all provisions shall be:

1. Considered as minimum requirements;

2. Liberally construed in favor of the governing body; and

3. Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes.

F. 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 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 city, 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. (Ord. 2017-04 § 1, 2017; Ord. 2015-28 § 2, 2015; Ord. 2010-38 § 1, 2010: Ord. 2005-05 § 2, 2005; Ord. 90-15 § 2, 1990; Ord. 88-22 § 2, 1988)

15.16.040 Establishment of development permit.

A. Development Permit Required. A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in BIMC 15.16.030.B. The permit shall be for all structures including manufactured homes, as set forth in BIMC 15.16.020, and for all development including fill and other activities, also as set forth in BIMC 15.16.020.

B. Application for Development Permit. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the city building official and may include but 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 the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:

1. Elevation in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures;

2. Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed;

3. Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in BIMC 15.16.050.F.2; and

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

C. Designation of the Building Official. The city building official is appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.

D. Duties and Responsibilities of the Building Official. Duties of the building official shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Permit Review.

a. Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied;

b. Review all development permits to determine that all necessary permits have been obtained from those federal, state, or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required;

c. Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development is located in the floodway. If located in the floodway, assure that the provisions of BIMC 15.16.050.G are met;

2. Uses of Other Base Flood Data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with BIMC 15.16.030.B, the building official 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 BIMC 15.16.050.F and G;

3. Information to Be Obtained and Maintained.

a. Where base flood elevation data is provided through the Flood Insurance Study or required as in subsection D.2 of this section, obtain and record the actual (as-built) elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor, including basement, of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement;

b. For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:

i. Verify and record an actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level); and

ii. Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in subsection B.3 of this section;

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

4. Alteration of Watercourses.

a. Prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, the applicant shall obtain a hydraulic project approval (HPA) from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, notify adjacent communities and the Washington State Department of Ecology, and submit evidence of such notification and the HPA to the Federal Insurance Administration;

b. Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood carrying capacity is not diminished;

5. Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries. Make interpretations where needed, as to exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions). The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in subsection E of this section.

E. Variance Procedure.

1. Appeal Board.

a. Pursuant to BIMC 2.16.100, the hearing examiner shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter, and appeals alleging error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the building official in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.

b. The decision of the hearing examiner shall be final unless, within 21 days after issuance, it is appealed in accordance with Chapter 36.70C RCW.

c. In passing upon such applications, the applicable city official or appeal entity shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:

i. The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;

ii. The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;

iii. The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;

iv. The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;

v. The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;

vi. The availability of alternative locations for the proposed uses which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;

vii. The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;

viii. The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for that area;

ix. The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;

x. 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

xi. 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 and water systems, and streets and bridges.

d. Upon consideration of the above factors and the purposes of this chapter, the applicable official or city entity may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.

e. The building official shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.

2. Conditions for Variances.

a. Generally, 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, providing subsections E.1.c.i through E.1.c.xi of this section have been fully considered. As the lot size increases, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.

b. Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation, or restoration of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places that 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 without regard to the procedures set forth in this section.

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

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

e. Variances shall only be issued upon:

i. A showing of good and sufficient cause;

ii. A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant;

iii. A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in subsection E.1.c of this section, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

f. Variances as interpreted in the National Flood Insurance Program are based on the general zoning law principle that they pertain to a physical piece of property; they are not personal in nature and do not pertain to the structure, its inhabitants, economic or financial circumstances. They primarily address small lots in densely populated residential neighborhoods. As such, variances from the flood elevations should be quite rare.

g. Variances may be issued for nonresidential buildings in very limited circumstances to allow a lesser degree of floodproofing than watertight or dry-floodproofing, where it can be determined that such action will have low damage potential, complies with all other variance criteria except subsection E.2.a of this section, and otherwise complies with BIMC 15.16.050.

h. Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice, signed by the building official, that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation. (Ord. 2015-28 § 3, 2015; Ord. 2005-05 § 3, 2005; Ord. 2003-25 § 5, 2003; Ord. 90-15 §§ 3, 4, 1990; Ord. 88-22 § 2, 1988)

15.16.050 General standards.

In all areas of special flood hazards, the following standards are required:

A. Anchoring.

1. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure.

2. All manufactured homes must likewise be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement, and shall be installed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage. Anchoring methods may include, but are not limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors (Reference FEMA’s “Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas” guidebook for additional techniques).

B. Construction Materials and Methods.

1. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage.

2. All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage.

3. 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.

C. Utilities.

1. All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system. Water wells shall be located on high ground that is not in the floodway;

2. New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharge from the systems into floodwaters; and

3. On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.

D. 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 systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage;

3. All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage; and

4. Where base flood elevation data has not been provided or is not available from another authoritative source, it shall be generated for subdivision proposals and other proposed developments which contain at least 50 lots or five acres (whichever is less).

E. Review of Building Permits. Where elevation data is not available either through the Flood Insurance Study or from another authoritative source, applications for building permits shall be reviewed to assure that proposed construction will be reasonably safe from flooding. The test of reasonableness is a local judgment and includes use of historical data, high water marks, photographs of past flooding, etc., where available. Failure to elevate at least two feet above grade in these zones may result in higher insurance rates.

F. Specific Standards. In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in BIMC 15.16.030.B or 15.16.040.D.2, the following provisions are required:

1. Residential Construction.

a. New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot or more 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. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:

i. 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.

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

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

2. Nonresidential Construction. New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot or more above the level of the base flood elevation; or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:

a. Be floodproofed 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 architect that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this subsection based on their development and/or review of the structural design, specifications and plans. Such certifications shall be provided to the official as set forth in BIMC 15.16.040.D.3.b;

d. Nonresidential structures that are elevated, not floodproofed, must meet the same standards for space below the lowest floor as described in subsection F.1 of this section;

e. Applicants floodproofing nonresidential buildings shall be notified that flood insurance premiums will be based on rates that are one foot below the floodproofed level (e.g., a building floodproofed to one foot above the base flood level will be rated as at the base flood level).

3. Critical Facility. Construction of new critical facilities shall be, to the extent possible, located outside the limits of the base floodplain. Construction of new critical facilities shall be permissible within the base floodplain if no feasible alternative site is available. Critical facilities constructed within the base floodplain shall have the lowest floor elevated to three feet or more above the level of the base flood elevation at the site, or to the height of the 500-year flood, whichever is higher. Access to and from the critical facility should also be protected to the height utilized above. Floodproofing and sealing measures must be taken to ensure that toxic substances will not be displaced by or released into floodwaters. Access routes elevated to or above the level of the base floodplain shall be provided to all critical facilities to the extent possible.

4. Manufactured Homes. All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within the floodplain shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is one foot or more above the base flood elevation; and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system in accordance with the provisions of subsection A.2 of this section.

5. Recreational Vehicles. All recreational vehicles placed on sites are required to either:

a. Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days; or

b. Be fully licensed and ready for highway use, on wheels or jacking system, attached to the site only by quick-disconnect type utilities and security devices, and have no permanently attached additions; or

c. Meet the requirements of subsection F.4 of this section and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes.

G. Floodways. Located within areas of special flood hazard established in BIMC 15.16.030.B 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 apply:

1. Prohibit encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other development unless certification by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed encroachments would not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

2. Construction or reconstruction of residential structures is prohibited within designated floodways, except for:

a. Repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure which do not increase the ground floor area; and

b. Repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure, the cost of which does not exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure as determined:

i. Before the repair or reconstruction is started; or

ii. Before damage occurred if the structure is being restored;

c. 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 structures identified as historic places, may be excluded in the 50 percent limitation of subsection G.2.b of this section.

3. If subsection G.1 of this section is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of this section.

H. Wetlands Management. To the maximum extent possible, avoid the short and long term adverse impacts associated with the destruction or modification of wetlands, especially those activities which limit or disrupt the ability of the wetland to alleviate flooding impacts. The following process should be implemented:

1. Review proposals for development within base floodplains for their possible impacts on wetlands located within the floodplain;

2. Ensure that development activities in or around wetlands do not negatively affect public safety, health, and welfare by disrupting the wetlands’ ability to reduce flood and storm drainage;

3. Request technical assistance from the Department of Ecology in identifying wetland areas. Existing wetland map information from the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) can be used in conjunction with the community’s FIRM to prepare an overlay zone indicating critical wetland areas deserving special attention.

I. Habitat Impact Assessment. Unless allowed under subsection K of this section, a permit application to develop in the regulatory floodplain shall include an assessment of the impact of the project on federal, state or locally protected species and habitat, water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat. The assessment shall be performed by a qualified professional as defined by Chapter 16.20 BIMC. The assessment shall be:

1. A biological evaluation or biological assessment developed per 50 CFR 402.12 to initiate federal interagency consultation under Endangered Species Act Section 7(a)(2); or

2. Documentation that the activity fits within Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act; or

3. Documentation that the activity fits within a habitat conservation plan approved pursuant to Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, where any such assessment has been prepared or is otherwise made available; or

4. An assessment prepared in accordance with Floodplain Habitat Assessment and Mitigation Draft Regional Guidance, 2011, FEMA Region 10. The assessment shall determine if the project would adversely affect:

a. Species that are federal, state, or local listed as threatened or endangered,

b. The primary constituent elements for critical habitat, when designated,

c. Essential fish habitat designated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),

d. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas,

e. Other protected areas and elements necessary for species conservation.

J. Habitat Mitigation Plan.

1. If the assessment conducted under subsection I of this section concludes the project is expected to have an adverse effect on water quality and/or aquatic or riparian habitat or habitat functions, the applicant shall provide a plan to mitigate those impacts, in accordance with Floodplain Habitat Assessment and Mitigation Draft Regional Guidance, 2011, FEMA Region 10.

a. If the USFWS or NMFS issues an incidental take permit under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, or biological opinion under this section, the permit can be considered to qualify as a plan to mitigate those impacts.

b. If the project is located outside the protected area, the mitigation plan shall include such avoidance, minimization, restoration, or compensation measures so that indirect adverse effects of development in the floodplain (effects to stormwater, riparian vegetation, bank stability, channel migration, hyporheic zones, wetlands, large woody debris, etc.) are mitigated such that equivalent or better habitat protection is provided.

c. No new stream crossings are allowed outside the protected area unless approval has been obtained as stated in subsection J.1.a of this section.

d. If the project is located in the protected area, the mitigation plan shall stipulate avoidance measures as are needed to ensure that there is no adverse effect during any phase of the project.

2. The plan’s habitat mitigation activities shall be incorporated into the proposed project. The floodplain development permit shall be based on the redesigned project and its mitigation components.

3. As required in BIMC 15.16.040, the building official shall not issue a certification of use or a certificate of occupancy until all work identified in the habitat assessment and mitigation plan has been completed or the applicant has provided the necessary assurance that unfinished portions of the project will be completed, in accordance with BIMC 15.16.030.E.

K. The following activities do not require the habitat impact assessment required under subsection I of this section; provided, that all other requirements are met, including federal, state, and local requirements:

1. Repair or remodel of an existing structure, if the repair or remodel is not a substantial improvement or a repair of substantial damage.

2. Expansion of an existing structure that is not greater than 10 percent beyond its existing footprint; provided, that the repair or remodel is not a substantial improvement or a repair of substantial damage. This measurement is counted cumulatively from September 22, 2011.

3. Activities with the sole purpose of creating, restoring, or enhancing natural functions associated with floodplains, streams, lakes, estuaries, marine areas, habitat, and riparian areas, provided the activities do not include structures, grading, fill, or impervious surfaces.

4. Development of open space and recreational facilities, such as parks and trails, that do not include structures, fill, impervious surfaces or removal of more than five percent of the native vegetation on that portion of the property in the regulatory floodplain.

5. Repair to on-site septic systems provided the ground disturbance is the minimal necessary.

6. Alterations in response to emergencies which threaten the public health, safety and welfare or which pose an imminent risk of damage to private property consistent with the requirements of BIMC 16.12.060.B.

7. Routine maintenance of landscaping that does not involve grading, excavation, or filling.

8. Removal of noxious weeds and replacement of nonnative vegetation with native vegetation, provided no earth movement occurs.

9. Removal of hazard trees consistent with the requirements of BIMC 18.15.010, Chapter 16.18 BIMC, and BIMC 16.12.030.

10. Normal maintenance of structures, such as reroofing and replacing siding, provided such work does not qualify as a substantial improvement.

11. Normal maintenance of above-ground utilities and facilities, such as replacing downed power lines and utility poles.

12. Normal street and road maintenance, including filling potholes, repaving, and installing signs and traffic signals, but not including expansion of paved areas.

13. Normal maintenance of a levee or other flood control facility prescribed in the operations and maintenance plan for the levee or flood control facility are allowed in the regulatory floodplain without need for a floodplain development permit. Normal maintenance does not include repair from flood damage, expansion of the prism, expansion of the face or toe or addition for protection on the face or toe with rock armor.

14. Normal maintenance, operation or repair of publicly improved recreation areas as long as any such activity does not include expansion of uses and/or facilities into a previously unimproved portion of the regulatory floodplain and is consistent with the standards of Chapter 16.20 BIMC, Critical Areas, best available science or adaptive management plans as recognized by the city.

15. Site investigative work and studies necessary for preparing land use applications.

L. Coastal High Hazard Areas. Located within areas of special flood hazard established in BIMC 15.16.030.B are coastal high hazard areas, designated as Zones V1-30, VE and/or V. These areas have special flood hazards associated with high velocity waters from surges, and therefore, in addition to meeting all provisions in this code, the following provisions shall also apply:

1. All new construction and substantial improvements in Zones V1-30 and VE (and V if base flood elevation data is available) on the community’s FIRM shall be elevated on pilings and columns so that:

a. The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the pilings or columns) is elevated one foot or more above the base flood level; and

b. The pile or column foundation and structure attached thereto is anchored to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components. Wind and water loading values shall each have a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (100-year mean recurrence interval).

A registered professional engineer or architect shall develop or review the structural design, specifications, and plans for the construction, and shall certify that the design and methods of construction to be used are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of subsections L.1.a and b of this section.

2. A registered professional engineer or surveyor shall obtain and certify the elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the bottom of the lowest structural member of the lowest floor (excluding pilings and columns) of all new and substantially improved structures in Zones V1-30, VE, and V on the community’s FIRM and whether or not such structures contain a basement. The local administrator shall maintain a record of all such information.

3. All new construction within Zones V1-30, VE, and V on the community’s FIRM shall be located landward of the reach of mean high tide.

4. All new construction and substantial improvements within Zones V1-30, VE, and V on the community’s FIRM shall have the space below the lowest floor either free of obstruction or constructed with nonsupporting breakaway walls, open wood lattice-work, or insect screening intended to collapse under wind and water loads without causing collapse, displacement, or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. For the purposes of this section, a breakaway wall shall have a design safe loading resistance of not less than 10 and no more than 20 pounds per square foot. Use of breakaway walls which exceed a design safe loading resistance of 20 pounds per square foot (either by design or when so required by local or state codes) may be permitted only if a registered professional engineer or architect certifies that the design proposed meets the following conditions:

a. Breakaway wall collapse shall result from water load less than that which would occur during the base flood; and

b. The elevated portion of the building and supporting foundation system shall not be subject to collapse, displacement, or other structural damage due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components (structural and nonstructural). Maximum wind and water loading values to be used in this determination shall each have a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (100-year mean recurrence interval).

If breakaway walls are utilized, such enclosed space shall be useable solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or storage. Such space shall not be used for human habitation.

5. Use of fill for structural support of buildings within Zones V1-30, VE, and V on the community’s FIRM is prohibited.

6. Person-made alteration of sand dunes within Zones V1-30, VE, and V on the community’s FIRM which would increase potential flood damage is prohibited.

7. All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within Zones V1-30, V, and VE on the community’s FIRM on sites:

a. Outside of a manufactured home park or subdivision;

b. In a new manufactured home park or subdivision;

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

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

shall meet the standards of subsections L.1 through 6 of this section, and manufactured homes placed or substantially improved on other sites in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision within Zones V1-30, V, and VE on the community’s FIRM shall meet the requirements of subsection F.4 of this section.

8. Recreational vehicles placed on sites within Zones V1-30, V, and VE on the community’s FIRM shall either:

a. Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days;

b. Be fully licensed and ready for highway use, on its wheels or jacking system, attached to the site only by quick disconnect type utilities and security devices, and have no permanently attached additions; or

c. Meet the requirements of subsections F.5 and L.1 through 6 of this section. (Ord. 2017-04 § 3, 2017; Ord. 2015-28 §§ 4 – 6, 2015; Ord. 2005-05 §§ 4, 5, 2005; Ord. 90-15 § 5, 1990; Ord. 88-22 § 2, 1988)