Chapter 17.56


17.56.010    Established.

17.56.020    Purpose.

17.56.030    Definitions.

17.56.040    Determination of areas subject to flooding.

17.56.050    Standards.

17.56.060    Limits of implication.

17.56.010 Established.

A. A flood hazard district (FH) is established in the city. This district shall apply to those areas of the city which are subject to flooding. This district shall only apply to those areas where sufficient information is available to properly implement these regulations.

B. This district is an “overlay zone” which shall always apply in addition to any zoning district. Where regulations conflict the more stringent shall apply. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.56.020 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter and this district to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to minimize flood losses by provisions designed to:

A. Restrict or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety or property in times of flood or cause increased flood heights or velocities;

B. Require that uses vulnerable to floods, including public facilities which serve such uses, be provided with protection at the time of initial construction;

C. Advise individuals, as much as possible, of lands which are unsuited for intended purposes because of flood hazard. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.56.030 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to this district:

A. “Base flood elevation” means the elevation, expressed in feet above the adjacent grade, determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to which floodwater can be expected to rise on a frequency of once in every 100 years.

B. “Development” means any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavating or drilling operations.

C. “Flood” means a temporary rise in steam flow or stage that results in water overtopping its banks and inundating areas adjacent to the channel.

D. “Floodproofing” means a combination of structural provisions, changes or adjustments to properties and structures subject to flooding primarily for the reduction or elimination of flood damages to properties, water and sanitary facilities, structures and contents.

E. “Habitable floor” means any floor usable for living purposes, which includes working, sleeping, eating, cooking or recreation, or a combination thereof. A floor used only for storage purposes is not a habitable floor.

F. “Mobile home” means a structure transportable in one or more sections which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities; recreation vehicles and travel trailers are not considered mobile homes for the purposes of this chapter.

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

H. “Person” means any natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or governmental unit.

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

J. “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 before the improvement or repairs are started or, if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage has occurred. This definition does not apply to (1) any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local health, sanitary or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure 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. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.56.040 Determination of areas subject to flooding.

The FH district shall apply to only those areas of the city where detailed hydrological studies have been prepared by a competent agency concerned with such studies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Soil Conservation Service, or studies conducted under the auspices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.56.050 Standards.

The FH district shall be applied in those areas which are subject to periodic inundation from stream flows and in which only the outer limits of the inundation area shall have been described by the agency of competent expertise.

A. Permitted uses: All those allowed by the underlying zoning district.

B. Development proposals: All development proposals submitted shall be subject to the site plan review process, Chapter 17.80 EWMC, and shall be examined to determine whether the development will be reasonably safe from flooding. The city shall require the following:

1. That all necessary permits have been received as required by Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act amendment of 1972, 33 U.S.C. 1334, Section 10, the Rivers and Harbors Act;

2. That all new development proposals, including subdivisions, be reviewed to ensure that:

a. All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage within the flood prone area,

b. All public utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems,

c. Adequate drainage is provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards,

d. Any new or replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems,

e. Any new or replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharges from the systems into floodwater. If on-site waste disposal systems are employed they shall be so located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding,

f. All mobile home parks and mobile home subdivisions shall file an evacuation plan indicating alternate vehicular access and escape routes with appropriate disaster preparedness authorities. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)

17.56.060 Limits of implication.

This chapter does not imply that the land outside the areas of special flood hazards or uses permitted within such areas shall be free from flooding or flood damage, nor does this chapter imply that compliance herewith or with related ordinances will in all instances protect property from flood damage. This chapter shall not create liability on the city or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damage that results from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder; it being a legislative determination of the city that any such administrative decision is a discretionary determination as the same is defined by the laws of the state. (Ord. 91-5 § 2, 1991)