Chapter 17.10
REGULATORY DATA

Sections:

17.10.010    Basis for establishing special flood hazard area.

17.10.020    Flood hazard data.

17.10.030    New regulatory data.

17.10.010 Basis for establishing special flood hazard area.

A. The areas of special flood hazard identified by FEMA in a scientific and engineering report entitled “Flood Insurance Study for Whatcom County, Washington (All Jurisdictions)” dated November 16, 2007, and any revisions thereto, with an accompanying flood insurance rate map (FIRM) for “Whatcom County, Washington (All Jurisdictions)” dated January 16, 2004, and November 16, 2007, and any revisions thereto, are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this title. The flood insurance study and the FIRM are on file at the department of public works.

B. The administrator shall make interpretations where needed as to the exact location of the boundaries of the SFHA where there appears to be a conflict between the mapped SFHA boundary and actual field conditions, as determined by the base flood elevation and ground elevations. The applicant may appeal the administrator’s interpretation of the location of the boundary in accordance with WCC 17.12.060.

C. The applicant may officially have a structure or property removed from the SFHA by obtaining a letter of map amendment (LOMA) with FEMA. A LOMA establishes a structure or property’s location in relation to the SFHA. LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation. (Ord. 2017-056 Exh. A).

17.10.020 Flood hazard data.

A. The base flood elevation for the SFHAs of Whatcom County, Washington, shall be as delineated on the 100-year flood profiles in the “Flood Insurance Study for Whatcom County, Washington (All Jurisdictions).”

B. The base flood elevation for each SFHA delineated as a “Zone AH” or “Zone AO” shall be that elevation (or depth) delineated on the flood insurance rate map. Where base flood depths are not available in Zone AO, the base flood elevation shall be considered to be two feet above the highest grade adjacent to the structure.

C. The base flood elevation for all other SFHAs shall be as defined in subsection F of this section and WCC 17.10.030(C).

D. The flood protection elevation shall be the base flood elevation plus one foot.

E. The floodway shall be as delineated on the flood insurance rate map or in accordance with subsection F of this section and WCC 17.10.030(C).

F. Where base flood elevation and floodway data have not been provided in special flood hazard areas, the administrator shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state, local, or other source. In cases where the administrator is unable to obtain any base flood elevation the flood protection elevation shall be two feet above the highest adjacent grade. (Ord. 2017-056 Exh. A).

17.10.030 New regulatory data.

A. All requests to revise or change the flood hazard data, including requests for a letter of map revision and a conditional letter of map revision shall be reviewed by the administrator.

1. The administrator shall not sign the community acknowledgment form for any requests based on filling or other development, unless the applicant for the letter documents that such filling or development is in compliance with this title.

2. The administrator shall not approve a request to revise or change a floodway delineation until FEMA has issued a conditional letter of map revision (CLOMR) that approves the change.

B. If an applicant disagrees with the regulatory data prescribed by this title, he/she may submit a detailed technical study needed to replace existing data with better data in accordance with FEMA mapping guidelines. If the data in question are shown on the published FIRM, the submittal must also include a request to FEMA for a conditional letter of map revision.

C. Where base flood elevation or floodway delineation is not available in accordance with WCC 17.10.020, applicants for approval of new subdivisions and other proposed developments (including proposals for manufactured home parks and subdivisions) greater than 50 lots or five acres, whichever is the lesser, shall include such data with their permit applications, unless waived by the administrator. This provision does not apply to applications for permits for small projects on large lots, such as constructing a single-family home. (Ord. 2017-056 Exh. A).