Chapter 22E.020
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT

Sections:

Article I. Purpose

22E.020.010    Statement of purpose.

Article II. General Provisions

22E.020.020    Lands to which this chapter applies.

22E.020.030    Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard.

22E.020.040    Penalties for noncompliance.

22E.020.050    Abrogation and greater restrictions.

22E.020.060    Interpretation.

22E.020.070    Warning and disclaimer of liability.

Article III. Administration

22E.020.080    Establishment of development permit.

22E.020.090    Designation of the building official.

22E.020.100    Duties and responsibilities of building official.

Article IV. Variance Procedure

22E.020.110    Appeal board.

22E.020.120    Conditions for variances.

Article V. Provisions for Flood Hazard Protection

22E.020.130    General standards.

22E.020.140    Review of building permits.

22E.020.150    Specific standards.

22E.020.160    Encroachments.

22E.020.170    Manufactured homes.

22E.020.180    Recreational vehicles.

22E.020.190    Floodways.

22E.020.200    Critical facility.

22E.020.210    Severability.

Article I. Purpose

22E.020.010 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:

(1) To protect human life and health;

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

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

(4) To minimize prolonged business interruptions;

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

(6) To help maintain a stable tax base by providing for the sound use and development of areas of special flood hazard so as to minimize future flood blight areas;

(7) To ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in an area of special flood hazard; and

(8) To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

Article II. General Provisions

22E.020.020 Lands to which this chapter applies.

This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazard within the jurisdiction of the city of Marysville. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.030 Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard.

The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Insurance Administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled, “The Flood Insurance Study for Snohomish County and Incorporated Areas” dated September 16, 2005, as amended, with accompanying flood insurance rate maps (FIRM), as amended, is adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. The flood insurance study is on file at the Marysville Community Development Department, 80 Columbia Avenue, Marysville, Washington. The best available information for flood hazard area identification as outlined in MMC 22E.020.100(2) shall be the basis for regulation until a new FIRM is issued which incorporates the data utilized under MMC 22E.020.100(2). (Ord. 2955, 2014; Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.040 Penalties for noncompliance.

No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both, for each violation, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.050 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 chapter, easement, covenant, or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.060 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;

(3) Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.070 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 hazard 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. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

Article III. Administration

22E.020.080 Establishment of development permit.

A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in MMC 22E.020.030. The permit shall be for all structures, including manufactured homes, as set forth in Chapter 22A.020 MMC, Definitions, and for all other development, including fill and other activities, also as set forth in Chapter 22A.020 MMC, Definitions. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the building official and may include, but not be limited to: plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials; drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:

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

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

(3) Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in MMC 22E.020.150; and

(4) Description of the extent to which a watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of the proposed development. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.090 Designation of the building official.

The building official is appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.100 Duties and responsibilities of building official.

Duties of the building official shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Permit Review.

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

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

(c) Review all development permits in the area of special flood hazard, except in the coastal high hazard area, to determine if the proposed development adversely affects the flood-carrying capacity of the area of special flood hazard. For the 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 increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point.

(2) Use of Other Base Flood Data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with MMC 22E.020.030, Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard, the building official shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation data available from a federal, state or other source, in order to administer MMC 22E.020.150, Specific standards, MMC 22E.020.170, Manufactured homes, MMC 22E.020.180, Recreational vehicles, and MMC 22E.020.190, Floodways.

(3) Information to Be Obtained and Maintained.

(a) Where base flood elevation data is provided through the flood insurance study or required as in subsection (2) of this section, 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;

(b) For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:

(i) Verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was floodproofed; and

(ii) Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in MMC 22E.020.080(3);

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

(4) Alteration of Watercourses.

(a) Notify adjacent communities and the Washington State Department of Ecology prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration;

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

(5) Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries. Make interpretations, where needed, as to exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard (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 MMC 22E.020.110. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

Article IV. Variance Procedure

22E.020.110 Appeal board.

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

(2) 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 building official in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.

(3) Those aggrieved by the decision of the city council, or any taxpayer, may appeal such decision to the Snohomish County superior court, as provided by law.

(4) 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:

(a) The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;

(b) The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;

(c) The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such on the individual owner;

(d) The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;

(e) The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;

(f) The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;

(g) The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;

(h) The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for that area;

(i) The safety or access to the property in times of flood for ordinary emergency vehicles;

(j) The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood waters and the effects of the wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and

(k) 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.

(5) Generally, the only condition under which a variance from elevation standard may be issued is for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing subsections (4)(a) through (4)(k) of this section have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.

(6) Upon consideration of the factors of subsection (4) 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.

(7) The building official shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.120 Conditions for variances.

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

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

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

(4) Variances shall only be issued upon:

(a) A showing of good and sufficient cause;

(b) A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant;

(c) 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 as identified in MMC 22E.020.110(4), or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

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

(6) Variances may be issued for nonresidential buildings in very limited circumstances to allow a lesser degree of floodproofing than watertight or dry-floodproofing, where it can be determined that such action will have low damage potential, complies with all other variance criteria except MMC 22E.020.110(5), and otherwise complies with MMC 22E.020.130(1) and (2) of the general standards.

(7) 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 base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

Article V. Provisions for Flood Hazard Protection

22E.020.130 General standards.

In all areas of special flood hazard, 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 shall be installed using methods and practices which minimize flood damage. For purposes of this requirement, manufactured homes must be elevated and anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces;

(c) An alternative method of anchoring may involve a system designed to withstand a wind force of 90 miles per hour or greater. Certification must be provided to the building official that this standard has been met.

(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 and/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 flood waters into the system;

(b) New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems and discharge from the systems into flood waters;

(c) On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding; and

(d) The proposed water well shall be located on high ground that is not in the floodway (WAC 173-160-171).

(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; and

(d) Where base flood elevation data has not been provided or is not available from another authoritative source, it shall be generated for subdivision proposals and other proposed development which contains at least 50 lots or five acres (whichever is less). (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.140 Review of building permits.

Where elevation data is not available either through the flood insurance study or from another authoritative source (MMC 22E.020.100(2)), applications for building permits shall be reviewed to assure that proposed construction will be reasonably safe from flooding. The test of reasonableness is a local judgment and includes use of historical data, high water marks, photographs of past flooding, etc., where available. Failure to elevate at least two feet above the highest adjacent grade in these zones may result in higher insurance rates. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.150 Specific standards.

In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in MMC 22E.020.030, Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard, or MMC 22E.020.100(2), Use of Other Base Flood Data, the following provisions are required:

(1) Construction or reconstruction of residential structures is prohibited within designated floodways except for:

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

(b) Repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure, the cost of which does not exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure either:

(i) Before the repair, reconstruction or improvement is started; or

(ii) If the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred.

Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions or to structures identified as historic places shall not be included in the 50 percent.

(2) New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot above the base flood elevation.

(3) Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.

(4) New construction and substantial improvement of any nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to or above the base flood elevation; or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:

(a) Be floodproofed so that for up to one foot above the base flood elevation 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 design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this subsection based on their development and/or review of the structural design, specifications and plans. Such certifications shall be provided to the building official as set forth in MMC 22E.020.100(3)(b).

(i) Nonresidential structures that are elevated, not floodproofed, must meet the same standards for space below the lowest floor as described in subsection (6) of this section;

(ii) 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 the base flood level will be rated as one foot below).

(5) Encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements and other developments, shall be prohibited in any floodway unless a technical evaluation demonstrates that the encroachments will not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

(6) For all new construction and substantial improvements, 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 must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria: 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, louvres or other coverings or devices; provided, that they permit the automatic entry and exit of flood waters. (Ord. 2955, 2014; Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.160 Encroachments.

The cumulative effect of any proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, shall not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.170 Manufactured homes.

(1) All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved on sites:

(a) Outside of a manufactured home park or subdivision;

(b) In a new manufactured home park or subdivision;

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

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

shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is elevated one foot above the base flood elevation and be securely anchored to an adequately designed foundation system to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement.

(2) Manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved on sites in an existing manufactured home park or subdivision that are not subject to the above manufactured home provisions shall be elevated so that either:

(a) The lowest floor of the manufactured home is elevated one foot above the base flood elevation; or

(b) The manufactured home chassis is supported by reinforced piers or other foundation elements of at least equivalent strength that are no less than 36 inches in height above grade and is securely anchored to an adequately designed foundation system to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.180 Recreational vehicles.

Recreational vehicles placed on sites are required to either:

(1) Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days;

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

(3) Meet the requirements of MMC 22E.020.170 and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.190 Floodways.

Located within areas of special flood hazard established in MMC 22E.020.030 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:

(1) Prohibit encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development, unless certification by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating 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:

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

(b) Repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure, the cost of which does not exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure either:

(i) Before the repair or reconstruction is started; or

(ii) If the structure has been damaged, and is being restored, before the damage occurred.

Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions or to structures identified as historic places shall not be included in the 50 percent.

(3) If subsection (1) of this section is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of Article V, Provisions for Flood Hazard Protection, of this chapter. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.200 Critical facility.

Construction of new critical facilities shall be, to the extent possible, located outside the limits of the special flood hazard area (SFHA) (100-year floodplain). Construction of new critical facilities shall be permissible within the SFHA if no feasible alternative site is available. Critical facilities constructed within the SFHA shall have the lowest floor elevated three feet or more above the level of the base flood elevation (100-year) at the site. Floodproofing and sealing measures must be taken to ensure that toxic substances will not be displaced by or released into flood waters. Access routes elevated to or above the level of the base flood elevation shall be provided to all critical facilities to the extent possible. (Ord. 2852 § 10 (Exh. A), 2011).

22E.020.210 Severability.

If any section, clause, sentence, or phrase of this chapter is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, then said holding shall in no way affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. (Ord. 2955, 2014).