Chapter 14.09
FLOOD HAZARD REGULATIONS*

Sections:

14.09.010    Definitions.

14.09.020    Findings.

14.09.030    Purpose.

14.09.040    Policies and standards for reducing flood losses.

14.09.050    Lands to which this chapter applies.

14.09.060    Basis for establishing the special flood hazard areas.

14.09.070    Penalties for noncompliance.

14.09.080    Abrogation and greater restrictions.

14.09.090    Interpretation.

14.09.100    Warning and disclaimer of liability.

14.09.110    Repealed.

14.09.120    Permits and licenses.

14.09.130    Procedural requirements.

14.09.140    Use of other base flood data.

14.09.150    Designation of local administrator.

14.09.160    General standards.

14.09.170    Specific standards.

14.09.175    Compensatory storage.

14.09.180    Floodways.

14.09.190    Wetlands management.

14.09.200    Standards for shallow flooding areas (AO zones).

14.09.210    Appeals.

14.09.220    Variances.

*Cross reference(s) – Improvement plan approval and inspection fees, ch. 6.03; environmental policy, ch. 11.03; mobile home parks, ch. 12.05; recreational vehicle parks, ch. 12.06; buildings, ch. 14.09.

State law reference(s) – Environmental policy act, RCW 43.21C.010 et seq.; flood ordinances, RCW 86.16.010 et seq.

14.09.010 Definitions.

The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

A. Appeal means a request for review of any final action pursuant to this chapter, or of the interpretation of any provision of this chapter by any city official.

B. Area of shallow flooding means the land within the floodplain where 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.

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.

D. Base flood elevation means the actual elevation (in mean sea level) of the water surface of the base flood determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or other qualified person or agency as described in this chapter.

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

F. Best available data means: (1) the data provided by FEMA in a scientific and engineering report entitled Flood Insurance Study for King County, Washington and Incorporated Areas, dated May 16, 1995, along with the accompanying flood insurance rate map (FIRM), including any subsequent revisions thereto; or (2) hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice and in accordance with FEMA standards contained in 44 C.F.R. Part 65.

G. Compensatory flood storage means any new, excavated flood storage volume equivalent to any flood storage capacity which has been or would be eliminated by filling or grading within the special flood hazard area. The compensatory flood storage must be provided within the special flood hazard area and be free draining.

H. 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; and public and private facilities which produce, use, or store hazardous materials or hazardous waste as defined by the State Department of Ecology.

I. Development means any proposed or actual manmade changes to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation, drilling operations located within the special flood hazard area and other site preparation activities, storage of materials or equipment, subdivision of land, removal of substantial amounts of vegetation, or alteration of natural site characteristics.

J. Director means the city of Kent economic and community development director or the director’s designee.

K. Fill means the addition of soil, sand, rock, gravel, sediment, walls, structures and their associated internal volume, or other material by artificial means.

L. 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;

2. The unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface water from any source.

M. Flood fringe means the portion of the special flood hazard area outside of the floodway which is generally covered by floodwaters during the base flood.

N. Flood insurance rate map (FIRM) means the official map on which FEMA has delineated both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

O. Flood insurance study means the official report provided by FEMA that includes flood profiles, the FIRM, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.

P. Flood protection elevation means a minimum of two feet above the base flood elevation.

Q. Flood season means the period from October 1st to March 31st during which, historically, the frequency, distribution, and volume (inches of rainfall) of storms in the Green River Basin have been the largest and all known major floods have occurred.

R. Floodplain means that portion of a river or stream channel and adjacent lands which are subject to the base flood flooding.

S. Floodway means the channel of the stream and that portion of the adjoining special flood hazard area which is necessary to contain and discharge the base flood flow without increasing the base flood elevation more than one foot.

T. 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.

U. Manufactured home means a structure, used for residential or commercial purposes, 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.

V. 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.

W. No net fill means that if any fill is brought on to a site for the construction of a structure or access road then an equal amount of soil/material will be removed from the site. Earthen fill must be obtained from the same site, to the extent practicable. The soil removed must be from within the boundaries of the site, to the extent practicable, and from within the special flood hazard area. If not practical, soil could be removed from property in the immediate vicinity and within the special flood hazard area. The area from which the soil is removed must be able to drain completely into the adjoining watercourse following a flood.

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

Y. Recreational vehicle means a vehicle which is:

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.

Z. Special flood hazard area means the total area subject to inundation by the base flood identified by FEMA in a report entitled The Flood Insurance Study for King County, Washington and Incorporated Areas, dated May 16, 1995, with accompanying pages on file with King County or the city of Kent department of economic and community development.

AA. Start of construction includes substantial improvement, and means the date a building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement, or other improvement was within 180 days after the permit issuance 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 submission of an application for development or land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets 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.

BB. Structure means that which is built or constructed, or an edifice or building of any kind or any piece of work composed of parts joined together in some definite manner, and includes posts for fences and signs. It specifically includes buildings that are not fully enclosed on all sides where the orientation may affect the flow of floodwaters, but does not include mounds of earth or debris.

CC. Substantial improvement means any repair, remodeling, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the structure either:

1. Before the improvement or repair is started; or

2. If the structure has been damaged, regardless of whether or not it is determined to be substantial damage, 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:

a. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct an existing violation of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications, as identified by the local code enforcement official, and which is the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or

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

DD. 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.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 1(14.22.040), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 3909, § 1, 2-3-09; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15; Ord. No. 4218, § 1, 11‑1‑16. Formerly Code 1986, §§ 14.22.040 – 14.22.062)

Cross reference(s) – Definitions and rules of construction generally, KCC 1.01.030.

14.09.020 Findings.

The city council finds that:

1. The flood hazard areas of the city are subject to periodic inundation which endangers life and property, presents health and safety hazards, disrupts commerce and governmental services, and necessitates extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare; and

2. These flood losses are caused by the natural accumulation and ponding of floodwaters and the cumulative effect of obstructions in flood hazard areas which increase flood heights and velocities. Uses inadequately floodproofed, elevated, or protected from flood damage or that otherwise encroach on the natural holding capacity of the floodplain also contribute to the flood loss.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 1(14.22.010), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly Code 1986, § 14.22.010)

14.09.030 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 enacting provisions designed to:

1. Protect life and property by preventing the hazardous use of flood-prone lands;

2. Protect downstream or surrounding property from higher velocities or higher flood levels which may be caused by loss of holding capacity in the floodplain;

3. Minimize turbidity and pollution from upstream or surrounding development during a flood;

4. Minimize the expenditure of public money for remedial flood control measures;

5. Minimize the need for rescue and relief efforts associated with flooding which are generally undertaken at the expense of the general public;

6. Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains, electric, telephone, and sewer lines, streets, and bridges located in flood hazard areas;

7. Alert appraisers, assessors, owners, potential buyers, and lessees to the natural limitations of flood-prone land;

8. Ensure that those who occupy or seek to develop in flood hazard areas assume responsibility for their actions;

9. Qualify the city and existing homes and businesses for participation in the Federal Flood Insurance Program; and

10. Implement local, state, and federal flood protection programs.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 1(14.22.020), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly Code 1986, § 14.22.020)

14.09.040 Policies and standards for reducing flood losses.

In order to accomplish its purpose, this chapter includes policies and standards to:

1. Restrict, condition, or prohibit uses which are dangerous to health, safety, and property due to water or erosion hazards, or which result in damaging increases in erosion, flood heights, or velocities;

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

3. Control the alteration of natural floodplains, stream channels, and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel floodwaters;

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

5. Prevent or regulate the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert flood- waters or which may increase flood hazards in other areas.

(Ord. No. 2282, § 3; Ord. No. 2867, § 1(14.22.030), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly Code 1986, § 14.22.030)

14.09.050 Lands to which this chapter applies.

This chapter shall apply to all special flood hazard areas within the jurisdiction of the city.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.050), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.060 Basis for establishing the special flood hazard areas.

The special flood hazard areas are identified by FEMA in a scientific and engineering report entitled Flood Insurance Study for King County, Washington and Incorporated Areas, dated May 16, 1995, along with the accompanying FIRM, including any subsequent revisions thereto (the flood insurance study), which is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter as if stated verbatim; or the use of best available data as defined in this chapter. The flood insurance study is on file and available for examination at the office of the department of public works.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.060), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3228, § 1, 5-16-95; Ord. No. 3232, § 1, 6-20-95; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 3909, § 2, 2-3-09; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.070 Penalties for noncompliance.

No structure or land shall hereafter be developed, constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation 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 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, for each violation, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. In addition, nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from issuing notices of violation pursuant to Chapter 1.04 KCC to any person or entity responsible for acts or omissions contrary to the regulations contained in this chapter, nor prevent the city from taking any other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.070), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 3880, § 5, 5-6-08; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.080 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. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.080), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.090 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.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.090), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.100 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 special flood hazard areas or uses permitted within such area will be free from flooding or flood damages. This chapter shall not create liability on the part of the city, its elected officials or any officer or employee thereof, or the Federal Insurance Administration, for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administration decision lawfully made hereunder.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.110), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.110 Green River flood control zone number 2.

Repealed by Ord. No. 4158.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.120), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05)

14.09.120 Permits and licenses.

No permit or license for structures or the development or use of land shall be issued by the city within a special flood hazard area unless approved by the director. Such approval shall be based on a review of the provisions set forth in this chapter and the technical findings and recommendations of city departments and divisions, including, but not limited to, building, fire, and planning. Compliance with this chapter does not obviate the need to obtain other permits which may be required pursuant to state or federal law including but not limited to approvals required from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the State Departments of Social and Health Services and Ecology relating to water and sewer systems which ensure that water and sewer systems will be designed to avoid infiltration, inflow, or impairment.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.130), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly Code 1986, § 14.22.130)

14.09.130 Procedural requirements.

City permits or licenses which relate to the development and use of land within the special flood hazard areas shall be referred to the department of economic and community development by the issuing department for approval. If it can be determined from information at hand that the property is not located in a special flood hazard area, the issuing department may approve the permit or license directly. If it appears that any portion of the property may be located in a special flood hazard area, the department of economic and community development shall require its owner to submit information necessary to determine if in fact any portion of the property is located within the floodway or flood fringe. If it is determined that any portion of the property is located within the floodway or within the flood fringe, the applicant shall be required by the department of economic and community development to submit such surveys, plans, and supporting documents as are necessary to determine the applicability of city regulations to the proposed structure, development, or use. The department of economic and community development shall consider not only the individual structure, development, or use, but shall also consider it in combination with existing and future similar structures, developments, and uses. Whenever technical information is furnished to the city by an applicant, the city shall consider such report in acting upon the requested permit. In performing such review, the department of economic and community development may request additional applicant information, including the preparation and submission of an environmental checklist under the State Environmental Policy Act or a supplement thereto if already submitted to an issuing department. The director shall, within a reasonable time, indicate approval or disapproval of the requested permit or license; and if approved, the director shall transmit all conditions of approval in a letter to the issuing department, with copies to the applicant, the issuing department, commenting departments, other agencies, and other known parties of record.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.140), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly Code 1986, § 14.22.160)

14.09.140 Use of other base flood data.

In order to administer this chapter when base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with sections herein, the director shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state, or other source determined by the director to provide accurate and detailed flood related information. Such information shall supplement special flood hazard area information and maps and shall be retained on file with the department of public works, including information under KCC 14.09.150.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.150), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.150 Designation of local administrator.

The director is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.

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

3. Review all permits to determine if the proposed development is located within a floodway. If proposed development is located within a floodway, ensure that KCC 14.09.180 is enforced.

B. Use of other base flood data (in A and V zones).

1. When base flood elevation data has not been provided (A and V zones) in accordance with KCC 14.09.060, the director shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any best available data, base flood elevation, and floodway data available from a federal, state, or other source to administer this title.

C. Information to be obtained and maintained.

1. Where base flood elevation data is provided through a flood insurance study, FIRM, or pursuant to KCC 14.09.140, the director shall obtain and record the actual 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.

2. For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures where base flood elevation data is provided through a flood insurance study, FIRM, or pursuant to KCC 14.09.140, the director shall:

a. Obtain and record the elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was floodproofed; and

b. Maintain floodproofing certifications required pursuant to this chapter.

3. The director shall maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to this chapter, to the extent required by Chapter 1.05 KCC and Chapter 42.56 RCW.

D. Alteration of watercourses.

1. Notify adjacent communities and the Department of Ecology prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.

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

E. Interpretations of FIRM boundaries. Make interpretations, where needed, as to exact location of boundaries of the special flood hazard areas (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions). The person contesting the location of the actual boundary shall be given reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided for in KCC 14.09.210.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.160), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 3909, § 3, 2-3-09; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly Code 1986, § 14.22.090)

14.09.160 General standards.

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

1. Anchoring.

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

b. 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).

2. Construction materials and methods.

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

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

c. Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed, constructed, or otherwise elevated or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.

3. Utilities.

a. All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system;

b. 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;

c. Onsite waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding; and

d. Proposed water wells shall be located on high ground that is not located within a special flood hazard area.

4. Subdivision proposals.

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

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

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

d. For all proposed subdivisions or other developments that contain at least 50 lots or encompass five or more acres, whichever is less, when base flood elevation data has not been provided, or is not available from another authoritative source, the base flood elevation shall be determined through a hydrologic study completed by a qualified professional and submitted by the applicant to the city for the director’s approval. The director may accept, reject, or require the applicant to submit additional documentation that the director reasonably deems necessary for review of the hydrologic study; and

e. Subdivision approval should depict or state what portions of the development are within special flood hazard areas.

5. 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 by both the issuing department and department of economic and community development to assure that proposed construction will be reasonably safe from flooding. The test of reasonableness is a judgment based, in part, on local engineering practices, and includes use of historical data, high-water marks, photographs of past flooding, and other similar evidence, where available.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.180), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly § 14.09.170; Code 1986, § 14.22.120)

14.09.170 Specific standards.

In all special flood hazard areas where base flood elevation data has been provided pursuant to KCC 14.09.060 or 14.09.140, 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 to the flood protection 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 placed on at least two separate walls and having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed areas 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 to the flood protection elevation; or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:

a. Be floodproofed to the flood protection elevation so that 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 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 KCC 14.09.150(C)(2);

d. Nonresidential structures that are elevated, not floodproofed, must meet the same standards for space below the lowest floor as described in subsection (1)(b) 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 floodplain. Construction of new critical facilities shall be permissible within the floodplain if no feasible alternative site is available. Critical facilities constructed within the floodplain shall have the lowest floor elevated to three feet or more above the level of the base flood elevation at the site. Below the lowest floor, 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 flood elevation shall be provided to all critical facilities to the extent possible.

4. Manufactured homes. All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within zones A1 – 30, AH, and AE on the community’s FIRM shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at the flood protection elevation; and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system in accordance with KCC 14.09.160(1)(b). Openings in accordance with subsection (1) of this section are required in rigid skirting attached to frames or foundations of manufactured homes to relieve hydrostatic loads and minimize transferring loads that can damage homes and their supporting foundation systems. Installation of skirting does not trigger the requirement for flood openings if the skirting does not provide structural support and will collapse, without causing structural damage to the elevated home or the foundation, under wind and water loads that are less than those expected during the base flood event.

5. Recreational vehicles. Recreational vehicles placed on sites are required to meet all applicable provisions of this code. If allowed by code, recreational vehicles are required to either:

a. Be onsite for fewer than 180 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 KCC 14.09.160(1) and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes.

6. Drainage around structures. Adequate drainage paths are required around structures on slopes to guide waters around and away from proposed structures.

7. Standards for AE and A1 – 30 zones with base flood elevations but no floodways. In areas with base flood elevations, if a regulatory floodway has not been designated, no new construction, substantial improvements, or other development, including fill, shall be permitted within Zones AE and A1 – 30 on the community’s FIRM, unless it is demonstrated 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 within the community.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.190), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3232, § 2, 6-20-95; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 3909, § 4, 2-3-09; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly § 14.09.180)

14.09.175 Compensatory storage.

A. Except as provided in subsection (B) of this section, within special flood hazard areas, the following provisions apply:

1. Applicants shall provide onsite replacement of 100 percent of the storage area lost to encroachments so that there is no increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge. Encroachments include fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development. No net fill in a special flood hazard area shall be allowed.

2. If an applicant seeks to provide offsite replacement of 100 percent of the storage area lost to encroachments so that there is no increase in flood levels during the occurrence of base flood discharge, the applicant must submit certification by a registered professional engineer or architect demonstrating that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge, and the offsite replacement location must be located within the same watershed that the encroachment is occurring.

3. If subsection (A)(1) or (2) of this section is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of KCC 14.09.170.

B. Within the lower Mill Creek floodplain delineated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map Panels 969, 1232, and 1251 as a floodway:

1. Applicants shall provide onsite replacement of 100 percent of the storage area lost to encroachments so that there is no increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge. An alternative is to construct such that no net fill is placed onsite.

2. If an applicant seeks to provide offsite replacement of 100 percent of the storage area lost to encroachments so that there is no increase in flood levels during the occurrence of base flood discharge, the applicant must submit certification by a registered professional engineer or architect demonstrating that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge, and the offsite replacement location must be located within the same watershed that the encroachment is occurring.

3. If subsection (B)(1) or (2) of this section is satisfied, all residential construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of KCC 14.09.170.

(Ord. No. 3909, § 5, 2-3-09; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15)

14.09.180 Floodways.

Within the floodway of special flood hazard areas, the following provisions apply:

1. Prohibit encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development, unless certification by a registered professional engineer or architect is provided demonstrating through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that encroachments shall 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: repairs, reconstruction, or improvements to a structure which do not increase the ground floor area; and repairs, reconstruction, or improvements to a structure, the cost of which does not exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure either before the repair, reconstruction, or improvement is started or, if the structure has been damaged, and is being restored, before the damage occurred. Work done to correct an existing violation of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications, as identified by the local code enforcement official, and which is the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions, or work done to structures identified as historic places, shall not be included in the 50 percent determination.

3. Projects specifically designed for the enhancement of fish habitat are allowed within the floodway when they have been designed to minimize their impact on base flood elevations, keep any rise in the 100-year flood levels as close to zero as practically possible, and do not affect any insurable structures.

4. If subsection (1) of this section is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of KCC 14.09.170.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.200), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 3909, § 6, 2-3-09; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly § 14.09.190)

14.09.190 Wetlands management.

To the extent possible adverse impacts to wetlands should be avoided as such:

1. Proposals for development within floodplains shall be reviewed by the department of economic and community development for their probable effects on wetlands located within the floodplain.

2. Development activities in or around wetlands shall not negatively affect public safety, health, and welfare by disrupting the wetlands’ ability to reduce flood and storm drainage.

3. Assistance from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, State Department of Ecology, or qualified professional as defined in Chapter 11.06 KCC shall be sought in identifying wetland areas.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.210), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746 § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly § 14.09.200)

14.09.200 Standards for shallow flooding areas (AO zones).

Shallow flooding areas appear on FIRMs as AO zones with depth designations. The base flood depths in these zones range from one to three feet above ground where a clearly defined channel does not exist, or where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is usually characterized as sheet flow. In these areas, the following provisions apply:

1. New construction and substantial improvements of residential structures within AO zones shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated above the highest grade adjacent to the building, one foot or more above the depth number specified on the FIRM (at least two feet if no depth number is specified).

2. New construction and substantial improvements or nonresidential structures within AO zones shall either:

a. Have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated above the highest adjacent grade of the building site, one foot or more above the depth number specified on the FIRM (at least two feet if no depth number is specified); or

b. Together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, be completely floodproofed to or above that level so that any space below that level is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy. If this method is used, compliance shall be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect as in KCC 14.09.170(2).

3. Require adequate drainage paths around structures on slopes to guide floodwaters around and away from proposed structures.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.200), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly § 14.09.210)

14.09.210 Appeals.

The decision of the director to approve, to approve with conditions, or to disapprove a permit or license for work in a special flood hazard area shall be in writing, and may be appealed to the hearing examiner. The requested permit or license shall not be issued during the appeal period. Appeals from the director’s decision regarding proposals within a special flood hazard area shall be governed by the procedures set forth in KCC 12.01.190 and Chapter 2.32 KCC.

(Ord. No. 2867, § 2(14.22.230), 8-1-89; Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15. Formerly § 14.09.220)

14.09.220 Variances.

Applications for variances from the strict application of the terms of this chapter to a specific property may be submitted to the city. All variances shall be considered by the hearing examiner as a Process III application, pursuant to Chapter 12.01 KCC. Approval of variances from the strict application of flood hazard regulations shall be consistent with the following criteria:

1. There are unique physical conditions peculiar and inherent to the affected property that make it difficult or infeasible to strictly comply with the provisions of this chapter.

2. The variance is the minimum necessary to accommodate the building or structure footprint and access.

3. The proposed variance would preserve the functions and values of the flood hazard area, and the proposal does not create or increase a risk to the public health, safety, and general welfare, or to public or private property.

4. The proposed variance would not adversely affect properties surrounding the subject site.

5. Adverse impacts to flood hazard areas resulting from the proposal are minimized.

6. The special circumstances of conditions affecting the property are not a result of the actions of the applicant or previous owner.

7. The variance shall not constitute a grant of special privilege.

8. No variance shall be approved within a floodway that would cause an increase in the base flood elevation.

(Ord. No. 3746, § 5, 4-19-05; Ord. No. 4158, § 1, 7-21-15; Ord. No. 4218, § 2, 11‑1‑16)