Chapter 15.28


15.28.010    Statutory authorization.

15.28.020    Findings of fact.

15.28.030    Statement of purpose.

15.28.040    Methods of reducing flood losses.

15.28.050    Definitions.

15.28.060    Lands to which this chapter applies.

15.28.070    Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard.

15.28.080    Compliance.

15.28.090    Abrogation and greater restrictions.

15.28.100    Interpretation.

15.28.110    Warning and disclaimer of liability.

15.28.120    Severability.

15.28.130    Development permit.

15.28.140    Designation of the floodplain administrator.

15.28.150    Duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator.

15.28.160    Standards of construction.

15.28.170    Standards for utilities.

15.28.180    Standards for subdivisions.

15.28.190    Standards for manufactured homes and recreational vehicles.

15.28.200    Floodways.

15.28.210    Appeal board.

15.28.220    Conditions for variances.

15.28.010 Statutory authorization.

The legislature of the state of California has in Government Code Sections 65302, 65560 and 65800 conferred upon local government units authority to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.020 Findings of fact.

A.    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.

B.    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 from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.030 Statement of 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:

A.    To protect human life and health;

B.    To minimize expenditure of public money for costly flood control projects;

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

D.    To minimize prolonged business interruptions;

E.    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;

F.    To help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the second use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas;

G.    To ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and

H.    To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.040 Methods of reducing flood losses.

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

A.    Restrictions 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 flood heights or velocities;

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

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

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

E.    Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert flood waters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.050 Definitions.

Unless specifically defined in this chapter, 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.

1.    “Appeal” means a request for a review of the floodplain administrator’s interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.

2.    Area of Special Flood Hazard. See special flood hazard area.

3.    “Base flood” means the flood having a one percent chance of being equalled or exceeded in any given year (also called the one hundred-year flood)

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

5.    “Breakaway walls” are any type of walls, whether solid or lattice, and whether constructed of concrete, masonry, wood, metal, plastic or any other suitable building material which is not part of the structural support of the building and which is designed to break away under abnormally high tides or wave action without causing any damage to the structural integrity of the building on which they are used or any buildings to which they might be carried by flood waters. A breakaway wall shall have a safe design loading resistance of not less than ten and no more than twenty pounds per square foot. Use of breakaway walls must be certified by a registered engineer or architect and shall meet the following conditions:

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

b.    The elevated portion of the building shall not incur any structural damage due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously in the event of the base flood.

6.    “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.

7.    “Flood or flooding” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

a.    The overflow of flood waters;

b.    The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; and/or

c.    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 flash flood or an abnormal tidal surge, or by some similarly unusual and unforeseeable event which results in flooding as defined in this definition.

8.    “Flood boundary and floodway map” means the official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency or Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of flood hazard and the floodway.

9.    “Flood insurance rate map (FIRM)” means the official map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency or Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

10.    “Flood insurance study” means the official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration that includes flood profiles, the FIRM, the flood boundary and floodway map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.

11.    “Floodplain or flood-prone area” means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source (see definition of “flooding”).

12.    “Floodplain management” means the operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including but not limited to emergency preparedness plans, flood control works and floodplain management regulations.

13.    “Floodplain management regulations” means zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as floodplain ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other applications of police power. The term describes such state or local regulations in any combination thereof, which provide standards for the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.

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

15.    “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. Also referred to as “regulatory floodway.”

16.    “Functionally dependent use” means a use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. The term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and shipbuilding and ship repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.

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

18.    “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; or

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

19.    “Lowest floor” means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or floodresistant 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.

20.    “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 one hundred eighty consecutive days.

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

22.    “Mean sea level” means, for purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929, North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988, or other datum, to which base flood elevations shown on a community’s flood insurance rate map are referenced.

23.    “New construction” means, for floodplain management purposes, structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by this community.

24.    “One-hundred-year” or “100-year flood” means a flood which has a one percent annual probability of being equaled or exceeded. It is identical to the base flood, which will be the term used throughout this chapter.

25.    “Person” means an individual or his agent, firm, partnership, association or corporation, or agent of the aforementioned groups, or the state or its agencies or political subdivisions.

26.    “Recreational 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.

27.    “Remedy a violation” means to bring the structure or other development into compliance with state or local floodplain management regulations, or, if this is not possible, to reduce the impacts of its noncompliance. Ways that impacts may be reduced include protecting the structure or other affected development from flood damages, implementing the enforcement provisions of this chapter or otherwise deterring future similar violations, or reducing federal financial exposure with regard to the structure or other development.

28.    “Riverine” means relating to, formed by, or resembling a river (including tributaries), stream, brook, etc.

29.    “Special flood hazard area (SFHA)” is the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The one percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or one-hundred-year flood. SFHAs are labeled on a FIRM as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30.

30.    “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 one hundred eighty 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.

31.    “Structure” means a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.

32.    “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 fifty percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

33.    “Substantial improvement” means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty 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 or 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 an “historic structure”; provided, that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as an “historic structure.”

34.    “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.

35.    “Violation” means the failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community’s floodplain management regulations. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in this chapter is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided. (Ord. 13-002 §§ 1, 2, 2013; Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.060 Lands to which this chapter applies.

This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the city. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.070 Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard.

The areas of special flood hazard, identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Federal Insurance Administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled “Flood Insurance Study for the City of San Pablo,” dated April 16, 2004, as it may be amended from time to time, with an accompanying flood insurance rate map (FIRM) and flood boundary and floodway maps (FBFM), letter of map revision (LOMR) dated November 24, 2010, and all subsequent amendments and/or revisions, are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. This flood insurance study is on file at the office of public works of the city of San Pablo. This flood insurance study is the minimum area of applicability of this chapter and may be supplemented by studies for other areas which allow implementation of this ordinance and which are recommended to the city council by the floodplain administrator. (Ord. 13-002 § 3, 2013: Ord. 04-006 § 1, 2004: Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.080 Compliance.

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. Violations 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. Nothing in this section shall prevent the city council from taking such lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.090 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. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.100 Interpretation.

In the interpretation and application of this chapter all provisions shall be:

A.    Considered as minimum requirements;

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

C.    Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.110 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 the 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 thereunder. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.120 Severability.

If any sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases or portions of this chapter are for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The city council hereby declares that it would have passed this and each section, subsection, phrase or clause of this chapter whether or not any one or more sections, subsections, phrases or clauses may be declared invalid or unconstitutional on their face or as applied. (Ord. 13-002 § 4, 2013: Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.130 Development permit.

A development permit shall be obtained before any construction or other development, including manufactured homes, within any area of special flood hazard established in Section 15.28.070. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the city of San Pablo. The applicant shall provide the following minimum information:

A.    Plans in duplicate, drawn to scale, showing:

1.    Location, dimensions, and elevation of the area in question, existing or proposed structures, storage of materials and equipment and their location;

2.    Proposed locations of water supply, sanitary sewer, and other utilities;

3.    Grading information showing existing and proposed contours, any proposed fill, and drainage facilities;

4.    Location of the regulatory floodway when applicable;

5.    Base flood elevation information as specified in Section 15.28.070 or 15.28.150(B);

6.    Proposed elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures; and

7.    Proposed elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any nonresidential structure will be floodproofed, as required in Section 15.28.160(C)(2) and detailed in FEMA Technical Bulletin TB 3-93.

B.    Certification from a registered civil engineer or architect that the nonresidential floodproofed building meets the floodproofing criteria in Section 15.28.160(C)(2).

C.    For a crawl-space foundation, location and total net area of foundation openings as required in Section 15.28.160(C)(3) and detailed in FEMA Technical Bulletins 1-93 and 7-93.

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

E.    All appropriate certifications listed in Section 15.28.150(D). (Ord. 13-002 § 5, 2013: Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.140 Designation of the floodplain administrator.

The chief building inspector is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permits in accordance with its provisions. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.150 Duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator.

The duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator shall include, but not be limited to:

A.    Permit Review.

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

2.    All other required state and federal permits have been obtained;

3.    The site is reasonably safe from flooding;

4.    The proposed development does not adversely affect the carrying capacity of the floodway. For purposes of this chapter, “adversely affects” means that the cumulative effect of the proposed development when combined with all other existing and anticipated development will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point.

B.    Use of Other Base Flood Data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with Section 15.28.070, the floodplain administrator 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 Sections 15.28.160 through 15.28.200. Any such information shall be submitted to the city council for adoption.

C.    Whenever a watercourse is to be altered or relocated:

1.    Notify adjacent communities and the California Department of Water Resources prior to such alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration. Notify FEMA of changes in the base flood elevation by submitting technical or scientific data or insurance and floodplain management can be based on current data. New technical data is required to be submitted within six months.

2.    Require that the flood carrying capacity of the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse is maintained.

D.    Obtain and maintain for public inspection and make available as needed:

1.    The certificate required in Section 15.28.160(C)(1) (floor elevations);

2.    The certification required in Section 15.28.160(C)(2)(c) (elevation or floodproofing of nonresidential structures);

3.    The certification required in Section 15.28.160(C)(3)(a) or (C)(3)(b) (wet floodproofing standard);

4.    The certified elevation required in Section 15.28.180(B) (subdivision standards);

5.    The certification required in Section 15.28.200(A) (floodway encroachments).

E.    Make interpretations where needed as to the 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 Sections 15.28.210 and 15.28.220.

F.    Take action to remedy violations of this chapter as specified in Section 15.28.080. (Ord. 13-002 § 6, 2013; Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.160 Standards of construction.

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 resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy.

2.    All manufactured homes shall meet the anchoring standards of Section 15.28.190.

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

C.    Elevation and Floodproofing.

1.    New construction and substantial improvement of any structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to or above the base flood elevation. Nonresidential structures may meet the standards in subsection (C)(2) of this section. Upon the completion of the structure the elevation of the lowest floor, including basement, shall be certified by a registered professional engineer or surveyor, or verified by the community building inspector to be properly elevated. Such certification or verification shall be provided to the floodplain administrator.

2.    Nonresidential construction shall either be elevated in conformance with subsection (C)(1) of this section or together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities:

a.    Be floodproofed so that below 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; and

c.    Be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the standards of this section are satisfied. Such certifications shall be provided to the floodplain administrator.

3.    Require, for all new construction and substantial improvements, that fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of flood waters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:

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

b.    Be certified to comply with a local floodproofing standard approved by the Federal Insurance Administration.

4.    Manufactured homes shall also meet the standards in Section 15.28.190. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.170 Standards for utilities.

A.    All new and replacement water supply and sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the system and discharge from systems into flood waters.

B.    On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.180 Standards for subdivisions.

A.    All subdivision proposals or other developments greater than fifty lots or five acres shall identify the flood hazard area and the base flood elevation data.

B.    All final subdivision plans will provide the elevation of proposed structure(s) and pads. If the site is filled above the base flood, the final pad elevation shall be certified by a registered professional engineer or surveyor and provided to the floodplain administrator.

C.    All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.

D.    All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage.

E.    All subdivisions shall provide adequate drainage to reduce exposure to flood hazards. (Ord. 13-002 § 7, 2013; Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.190 Standards for manufactured homes and recreational vehicles.

A.    All new and replacement manufactured homes and additions to manufactured homes shall be elevated so that the lowest floor is at or above the base flood elevation, and shall be securely anchored to a permanent foundation system to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement.

B.    All recreational vehicles placed in Zones A1-30, AH, and AE shall either:

1.    Be on the site for fewer than one hundred eighty consecutive days; or

2.    Be fully licensed and ready for highway use. 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; or

3.    Meet the permit requirements of Section 15.28.150 and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes in this section. (Ord. 13-002 § 8, 2013: Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.200 Floodways.

Located within areas of special flood hazard established in Section 15.28.070 are areas designated as floodways. Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of flood waters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential, the following provisions apply:

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

B.    If subsection A of this section is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all other applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of Sections 15.28.160 through 15.28.200. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.210 Appeal board.

A.    The city council of the city shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.

B.    The city council shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the floodplain administrator in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.

C.    In passing upon such applications, the city council shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:

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

2.    The danger of 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 developments;

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

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

10.    The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the flood waters 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, and water systems, and streets and bridges.

D.    Generally, variances may be issued 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 (C)(1) through (11) of this section have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.

E.    Upon consideration of the factors of subsection C of this section and the purposes of this chapter, the city council may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.

F.    The floodplain administrator shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request. (Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)

15.28.220 Conditions for variances.

A.    Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of “historic structures” upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as an historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.

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

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

D.    Variances shall only be issued upon:

1.    A showing of good and sufficient cause;

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

3.    A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

E.    Variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use provided that the provisions of subsections A through D of this section are satisfied and that 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.

F.    Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the regulatory flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation. A copy of the notice shall be recorded by the city in the office of the Contra Costa County recorder and shall be recorded in a manner so that it appears in the chain of title of the affected parcel of land. (Ord. 13-002 § 9, 2013; Ord. 87-009 § 1 (part), 1987)