Chapter 16.08
FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION

Sections:

Article I. Statutory Authorization, Findings of Fact, Purpose, and Objectives

16.08.010    Statutory authorization.

16.08.020    Findings of fact.

16.08.030    Statement of purpose.

16.08.040    Methods of reducing flood losses.

Article II. Definitions

16.08.050    Definitions.

Article III. General Provisions

16.08.060    Lands to which this chapter applies.

16.08.070    Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard.

16.08.080    Violations and penalties.

16.08.090    Abrogation and greater restrictions.

16.08.100    Interpretations.

16.08.110    Warning and disclaimer of liability.

Article IV. Administration

16.08.120    Development permit required.

16.08.130    Application submittal and contents.

16.08.140    Designation of the floodplain administrator.

16.08.150    Duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator.

16.08.155    Variances.

Article V. Provisions for Flood Hazard Reduction

16.08.160    General standards.

16.08.170    Specific standards.

16.08.175    Recreational vehicles.

16.08.176    Small structures.

16.08.180    Repealed.

16.08.190    Repealed.

16.08.200    Encroachments.

16.08.210    Repealed.

16.08.220    Coastal high hazard areas.

16.08.230    Severability.

Article I. Statutory Authorization, Findings of Fact, Purpose, and Objectives

16.08.010 Statutory authorization.

The Legislature of the State of Washington has in Chapter 86.16 RCW, as amended, delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 1.1, 1989).

16.08.020 Findings of fact.

A. The flood hazard areas of Port Townsend 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 the special flood hazard areas (SFHAs) which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas. Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, elevated, or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 1.2, 1989).

16.08.030 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 and 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 the SFHA;

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

G. To ensure that potential buyers are notified that property is in the SFHA;

H. To ensure that those who occupy the SFHA assume responsibility for their actions;

I. To qualify the city of Port Townsend for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, thereby giving citizens and businesses the opportunity to purchase flood insurance;

J. To maintain water quality in water bodies and their floodplains so as to protect public water supplies, areas of the public trust, and wildlife habitat protected by the Endangered Species Act;

K. To retain the natural channel, shoreline, and floodplain creation processes and other natural floodplain functions that protect, create, and maintain habitat for threatened and endangered species;

L. To prevent or minimize loss of hydraulic, geomorphic, and ecological functions of floodplains; and

M. To protect significant cultural and historic properties including buildings, structures, districts, sites, objects, and landscapes, and avoid or minimize adverse effects to these properties.

Except as specifically provided in this chapter, these regulations implement mandatory federal and state regulations rather than discretionary local regulations. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 1.3, 1989).

16.08.040 Methods of reducing flood losses.

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

A. Restricting 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 in 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, and natural protective barriers which help accommodate or channel floodwaters;

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

E. Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or may increase flood hazards in other areas; and

F. Establishing a permit requirement so that all development that may affect flood hazards, water quality, and habitat are reviewed before it is constructed. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 1.4, 1989).

Article II. Definitions

16.08.050 Definitions.

Unless specifically defined below, 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.

A. “Adversely affect/adverse effect” means effects that are a direct or indirect result of the proposed action, or its interrelated or interdependent actions, and the effect is not discountable, insignificant or beneficial, where:

1. a. Discountable effects are extremely unlikely to occur; and

b. Insignificant effects relate to the size of the impact and should never reach the scale where a take occurs. Based on best judgment, a person would not meaningfully measure, detect, or evaluate insignificant effects or expect discountable effects to occur.

2. Beneficial effects are contemporaneous positive effects without any adverse effects. In the event that the overall effect of the proposed action is beneficial, but is also likely to cause some adverse effects, then the proposed action is considered to result in an adverse effect.

B. “Appeal” means a request for review of the building department interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.

C. “Area of shallow flooding” means a designated AO, AH, AR/AO, AR/AH, or VO zone on a community’s flood insurance rate map (FIRM) with a one percent or greater annual chance of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable, and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.

D. “Base flood” means the flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

E. “Base flood elevation” means the elevation of the base flood above the datum of the effective FIRM.

F. “Basement” means any area of the building having its floor sub-grade (below ground level) on all sides.

G. “Breakaway wall” means a wall that is not a part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces, without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system.

H. “Coastal high hazard area” means an area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources. The area is designated on the FIRM as zone V1-V30, VE or V.

I. “Critical facility” means a facility necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare during a flood. Critical facilities include, but are not limited to, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, police, fire and emergency operations installations, water and wastewater treatment plants, electric power stations, and installations which produce, use, or store hazardous materials or hazardous waste (other than consumer products containing hazardous substances or hazardous waste intended for household use).

J. “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 or storage of equipment or materials.

K. “Elevation certificate” means the official form (FEMA Form 086-0-33) used to track development, provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, and determine the proper insurance premium rate with Section B completed by community officials.

L. “Enclosed area” means an unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure that is used solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or storage. The term includes but is not limited to garages and crawlspaces. Enclosed areas are uninhabitable space.

M. “FEMA” means the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the agency responsible for administering the National Flood Insurance Program.

N. “Flood” or “flooding” means:

1. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

a. The overflow of inland or tidal waters.

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

c. Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding as defined in subsection (1)(b) of this definition and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.

2. 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 subsection (1)(a) of this definition.

O. “Flood insurance rate map (FIRM)” means the official map on which the Federal Insurance Administrator has delineated both the SFHA and the risk premium zones applicable to the community. A FIRM that has been made available digitally is called a digital flood insurance rate map (DFIRM).

P. “Flood insurance study” or “flood elevation study” means an examination, evaluation and determination of flood hazards and, if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations, or an examination, evaluation and determination of mudslide (i.e., mudflow) and/or flood-related erosion hazards.

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

R. “Floodway” or “regulatory 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 a designated height. (As of June 7, 2019, there are no floodways within the city limits.)

S. “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 ship building and ship repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.

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

U. “Historic structure” means, for the purposes of this chapter, any structure that is:

1. 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;

2. 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;

3. 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

4. Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:

a. By an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior; or

b. Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.

V. “Lowest floor” means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including the 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 found at PTMC 16.08.170(A)(2).

W. “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 attached to the required utilities. The term “manufactured home” does not include a “recreational vehicle.” 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. (See also “Recreational vehicle.”)

X. “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.

Y. ”Mean sea level” means, for purposes of the National Flood Insurance Program, the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88) to which base flood elevations shown on a community’s flood insurance rate map are referenced.

Z. “New construction,” for floodplain management purposes, means structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

AA. “Ordinary high water mark” (often abbreviated “OHWM”) means that mark on all lakes, streams, and tidal waters that will be found by examining the bed and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland in respect to vegetation as that condition exists on June 1, 1971, or as it may naturally change thereafter; or as it may change thereafter in accordance with permits issued by the local government or the Washington State Department of Ecology; provided, that in any area where the ordinary high water mark cannot be found, the ordinary high water mark adjoining salt water shall be the line of mean higher high tide, and the ordinary high water mark adjoining fresh water shall be the line of mean high water.

BB. Protected Area. Within the city of Port Townsend, “protected areas” means lands within the SFHA that also lie within:

1. Two hundred feet from marine shorelines as measured perpendicularly from ordinary high water mark.

2. Two hundred fifty feet from freshwater lakes mapped special flood hazard area as measured perpendicularly from ordinary high water mark.

CC. “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 as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use, not as a permanent dwelling.

DD. “Special flood hazard area” (“SFHA”) or “area of special flood hazard” is the land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. Special flood hazard areas are designated on flood insurance rate maps with the letter “A” or “V.” After detailed ratemaking has been completed in preparation for publication of the flood insurance rate map, zone A usually is refined into zones A, AO, AH, A1-30, AE, A99, AR, AR/A1-30, AR/AE, AR/AO, AR/AH, AR/A, VO, or V1-30, VE, or V. For purposes of these regulations, the term “special flood hazard area” is synonymous in meaning with the phrase “area of special flood hazard.”

EE. “Start of construction” includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement, or other improvement was within 180 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. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

FF. “Structure” means, for floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home. Structure, for insurance purposes, means: (1) a building, with two or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured roof, that is affixed to a permanent site; (2) a manufactured home (a “manufactured home,” also known as a mobile home, is a structure built on a permanent chassis, transported to its site in one or more sections, and affixed to a permanent foundation); or (3) a travel trailer without wheels, built on a chassis and affixed to a permanent foundation, that is regulated under the community’s floodplain management and building ordinances or laws. For the latter purpose, “structure” does not mean a recreational vehicle or a park trailer or other similar vehicle, except as described in subsection (3) of this definition, or a gas or liquid storage tank.

GG. “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.

HH. “Substantial improvement” means any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 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:

1. 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

2. Any alteration of a “historic structure”; provided, that the alteration will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a “historic structure.”

II. “Variances” 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.

JJ. “Water dependent” means a structure for commerce or industry which cannot exist in any other location and is dependent on the water by reason of the intrinsic nature of its operations.

KK. “Zone” for the purposes of this chapter means one or more areas delineated on the FIRM. The following zones may be used on the adopted FIRM. The special flood hazard area is comprised of the A and V zones. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2854 § 5, 2004; Ord. 2161 § 2, 1989).

Article III. General Provisions

16.08.060 Lands to which this chapter applies.

This chapter shall apply to the special flood hazard area (SFHA) within the jurisdiction of the city of Port Townsend. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 3.1, 1989).

16.08.070 Basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard.

The special flood hazard area (SFHA) identified by the Federal Insurance Administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled “Flood Insurance Study for Jefferson County, Washington, and Incorporated Areas” dated June 7, 2019, and any revisions thereto, with accompanying flood insurance rate map (FIRM), and any revisions thereto, are hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. The flood insurance study and the FIRM are on file with the city clerk at City Hall. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2854 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2161 § 3.2, 1989).

16.08.080 Violations and penalties.

A. Director’s Authority. Whenever the planning director or his or her designee (“director”) determines that a condition exists in violation of this chapter or any standard required to be adhered to by this chapter, or in violation of any permit issued hereunder, he or she is authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

B. Chapter 1.20 PTMC Applicable. All violations of any provision of this chapter or incorporated standards, or of any permit issued hereunder, are made subject to the provisions of Chapter 1.20 PTMC. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008; Ord. 2510 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2161 § 3.3, 1989).

16.08.090 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. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 3.4, 1989).

16.08.100 Interpretations.

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. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 3.5, 1989).

16.08.110 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 SFHA 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 of Port Townsend, 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 hereunder. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 3.6, 1989).

Article IV. Administration

16.08.120 Development permit required.

A. Construction or development shall not be undertaken within any area of special flood hazard (SFHA) established in PTMC 16.08.070 without approval under this chapter.

1. For development where no other permit or authorization from the city of Port Townsend is necessary to begin or to accomplish the work, the approval shall be documented by issuance of a floodplain development permit.

An application for floodplain development permit shall be processed according to the procedures for a Type I-A permit as established in Chapter 20.01 PTMC, Land Development Administrative Procedures.

2. For development where some other permit or authorization from the city of Port Townsend is required to begin or accomplish the work, including but not limited to development performed by city departments, the floodplain development approval shall be incorporated in such other permit or authorization.

B. A development project is not subject to the requirements of this chapter if it is located on land that can be shown to be outside of the special flood hazard area based on a review of the flood insurance rate maps or by FEMA approval of a letter of map change.

C. Habitat Assessment – When Required. A development permit application shall include a habitat assessment unless the project is, in its entirety, one of the following activities:

1. Routine maintenance of existing landscaping that does not involve grading, excavation, or filling.

2. Removal of noxious weeds, hazard trees, and replacement of nonnative vegetation with native vegetation.

3. Normal maintenance of above-ground utilities and facilities, such as replacing power lines and utility poles.

4. Normal road maintenance, such as filling potholes, repaving, installing signs and traffic signals, but not including any expansion.

5. Normal maintenance of a levee or other flood control facility as prescribed in the operations and maintenance plan for the facility. Normal maintenance does not include repair from flood damage, any expansion of the prism, face or toe expansion, or the addition of material for protection or armor.

6. Plowing and other normal farm practices (other than new structures or filling) on legally existing agricultural areas. Clearing additional land for agriculture will likely require a floodplain development permit and a habitat assessment.

7. Normal maintenance, repairs, or remodeling of structures, such as reroofing and replacing siding, provided such work is not a substantial improvement or a repair of substantial damage. To comply, such work must be less than 50 percent of the value of the structure(s).

8. Expansion or reconstruction of an existing structure that is no greater than 10 percent beyond its existing footprint. If the structure is in the floodway, there shall be no change in the structure’s dimensions perpendicular to flow. All other federal and state requirements and restrictions relating to floodway development still apply.

9. Activities with the sole purpose of creating, restoring, or enhancing natural functions associated with floodplains, streams, lakes, estuaries, marine areas, habitat, and riparian areas that meet federal and state standards, provided the activities do not include structures, grading, fill, or impervious surfaces.

10. Development of open space and recreational facilities, such as parks, trails, and hunting grounds, that do not include structures, fill, impervious surfaces, or removal of more than five percent of the native vegetation on that portion of the property in the floodplain.

11. Repair to on-site septic systems, provided ground disturbance is the minimal necessary and best management practices (BMPs) to prevent stormwater runoff and soil erosion are used.

12. Projects that have already received concurrence under another permit or other consultation with the services, either through Section 7, Section 4d, or Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that addresses the entirety of the project in the floodplain (such as an Army Corps 404 permit or nonconversion forest practice activities including any interrelated and interdependent activities).

13. Repair of an existing, functional bulkhead in the same location and footprint with the same materials when the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) is still outside of the face of the bulkhead (i.e., if the work qualifies for a corps exemption from Section 404 coverage). (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 4.1-1, 1989).

16.08.130 Application submittal and contents.

Application for development within the special flood hazard area shall be made on forms furnished by the development services department 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 and proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities, impervious surfaces, and the location of the foregoing, methods of construction, location of the SFHA and protected area. Specifically, the following information is required:

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

B. Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed;

C. For any nonresidential structure to be floodproofed, certification by a registered professional engineer currently licensed in the state of Washington or architect that the floodproofing methods meet the floodproofing criteria in PTMC 16.08.170(B). This information shall be recorded on a current FEMA flood-proofing certificate;

D. Unless otherwise waived by the floodplain administrator, for projects involving regrading, excavation, or filling, the site plan shall include proposed pre- and post-development terrain at five-foot contour levels and quantities of cut and fill;

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

F. Unless listed under PTMC 16.08.120(C), applications for projects located within the SFHA shall include a habitat impact assessment prepared in accordance with PTMC 19.05.080(J), Special Report Required. Projects within the protected area must be inherently designed to avoid adverse impacts to floodplain functions that support ESA listed species;

G. The application shall include documentation that the applicant will apply for all necessary permits required by federal, state, or local law. The application shall include acknowledgment that the applicant understands that the final certificate of occupancy will be issued only if the applicant provides copies of the required federal, state, and local permits or letters stating that a permit is not required. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 4.1-2, 1989).

16.08.140 Designation of the floodplain administrator.

The planning director or his/her designee is hereby designated to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 4.2, 1989).

16.08.150 Duties and responsibilities of the floodplain administrator.

Duties 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. 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;

3. Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development is located in the floodway. If located in the floodway, assure that encroachment provisions are met.

B. Use of Other Base Flood Data. When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with PTMC 16.08.070, 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 PTMC 16.08.170.

C. Information to Be Obtained and Maintained.

1. Where base flood elevation data is provided through the FIS, FIRM, or required as in subsection (B) of this section, obtain and record the actual (as-built) 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. (44 CFR 60.3(b)(5)(i).)

2. For all new or substantially improved floodproofed nonresidential structures where base flood elevation data is provided through the FIS, FIRM, or as required in subsection (B) of this section:

a. Obtain and record the elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was floodproofed. (44 CFR 60.3(b)(5)(ii).)

b. Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in PTMC 16.08.170(B)(2). (44 CFR 60.3(b)(5)(iii).)

3. Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter. (44 CFR 60.3(b)(5)(iii).)

D. Notification to Other Entities.

1. 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 said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.

2. Changes to Special Flood Hazard Area. Submit new technical data to Federal Insurance Administrator. A community’s base flood elevations may increase or decrease resulting from physical changes affecting flooding conditions. As soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the date such information becomes available, the city’s floodplain administrator shall notify the Federal Insurance Administrator of the changes by submitting technical or scientific data in accordance with 44 CFR 65.3. Such a submission is necessary so that upon confirmation of those physical changes affecting flooding conditions, risk premium rates and floodplain management requirements will be based upon current data.

E. Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries. Make interpretations, where needed, as to exact location of the boundaries of the SFHA (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. Such appeal shall be granted consistent with the standards of Section 60.6 of rules and regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program (44 CFR 59 through 76).

F. Notify FEMA of any proposed amendments to this chapter. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2854 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2161 § 4.3, 1989).

16.08.155 Variances.

A. Variances from the provisions of this chapter shall be the minimum necessary and may only be issued for functionally dependent uses as defined in this chapter.

B. Procedure. Variance applications shall be submitted on forms provided by the director accompanied by the applicable fee. Variances shall be processed as a Type II permit application according to the procedures in Chapter 20.01 PTMC and shall satisfy the approval criteria of this section.

C. Approval Criteria. The decisionmaker may approve or approve with modifications an application for a variance from the provisions of this chapter upon making the following affirmative findings:

1. The use is a functionally dependent use, as defined in this chapter, which requires a variance in order to perform its intended purpose. The structure or other development will be protected by methods that minimize flood damages during the base flood and create no additional threats to public safety;

2. 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;

3. The variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief. Where feasible, methods to meet the floodplain management requirements have been incorporated (e.g., wet floodproofing techniques, installing flood damage-resistant materials, elevating mechanical equipment, locating offices above the BFE, using ground fault circuit interrupters, or developing an emergency plan to remove contents before a flood);

4. The applicant has demonstrated good and sufficient cause;

5. Failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant;

6. If the proposal is within a floodway, no increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.

D. Variance Conditions. Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the base flood level will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance up to amounts as high as $25.00 for $100.00 of insurance coverage and such construction below the base flood level increases risks to life and property. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017).

Article V. Provisions for Flood Hazard Reduction

16.08.160 General standards.

In all special flood hazard areas (SFHAs), 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.

2. 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).

B. Construction Materials and Methods.

1. All new construction and substantial improvement 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. 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. Locating such equipment below the base flood elevation may cause annual flood insurance premiums to be increased.

C. Utilities.

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

2. Water wells shall be located on high ground that is not in the floodway;

3. 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; and

4. On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding.

D. Land Division. The following standards apply to all subdivision proposals and other development where 50 or more lots are being created or the project includes five or more acres:

1. All land divisions shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage;

2. All land divisions shall have public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems located and constructed to minimize flood damage;

3. All land divisions shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage; and

4. 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 developments which contain at least 50 lots or five acres (whichever is less).

E. Review of Building Permits. Where elevation data is not available either through the flood insurance study or from another authoritative source (PTMC 16.08.150(B)), 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 grade in these zones may result in higher insurance rates. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 5.1, 1989).

16.08.170 Specific standards.

In all special flood hazard areas (SFHAs) where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in PTMC 16.08.070 or 16.08.150(B), the following provisions are required:

A. Residential Construction. (For manufactured homes see subsection (E) of this section.)

1. New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated two feet or more above base flood elevation.

2. Fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding shall be used only for parking, storage, or building access and 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:

a. 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.

b. The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.

c. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other coverings or devices; provided, that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

B. Nonresidential Construction. New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either be:

1. Elevated.

a. Have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated two feet or more above the level of the base flood elevation; and

b. Nonresidential structures that are elevated, not floodproofed, must meet the same standards for space below the lowest floor as described in subsection (A)(2) of this section; or

2. Floodproofed. The structure together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:

a. Be floodproofed so that below two feet above 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;

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 PTMC 16.08.150(C)(2);

d. 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).

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

D. Critical Facility. Construction of new critical facilities shall be, to the extent possible, located outside the limits of the base floodplain. Construction of new critical facilities shall be permissible within the base floodplain if no feasible alternative site is available. Critical facilities constructed within the base floodplain shall have the lowest floor elevated to three feet or more above the level of the base flood elevation at the site. 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 floodplain shall be provided to all critical facilities to the extent possible.

E. Manufactured Homes. All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within SFHA on the community’s FIRM shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated two feet or more above the base flood elevation specified on the FIRM (at least two feet above the highest grade adjacent to the structure if no BFE is specified); and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system in accordance with the provisions of PTMC 16.08.160(A)(2). (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2854 § 3, 2004; Ord. 2161 § 5.2, 1989).

16.08.175 Recreational vehicles.

Recreational vehicles placed within the SFHA are required to either:

A. Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days;

B. Be fully licensed and ready for highway use, on their 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

C. Meet the requirements of PTMC 16.08.170(E) pertaining to requirements for manufactured homes, including the elevation and anchoring requirements. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2854 § 4, 2004).

16.08.176 Small structures.

A building that is no larger than 500 square feet and is not used for human habitation may be exempt from the elevation requirement of this chapter, provided:

A. It is used only for parking or storage;

B. It is constructed and placed on the building site so as to offer minimum resistance to the flow of floodwaters;

C. It is anchored to prevent flotation which may result in damage to other structures;

D. All portions of the structure below the BFE must be constructed of flood-resistant materials;

E. Any machinery or equipment servicing the structure, such as electrical and heating equipment, must be elevated or floodproofed to or above the BFE;

F. It has openings to allow free flowage of water that meet the criteria of this chapter;

G. The project meets all the other requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017).

16.08.180 Floodways.

Repealed by Ord. 2854. (Ord. 2161 § 5.3, 1989).

16.08.190 Wetlands management.

Repealed by Ord. 3173. (Ord. 2161 § 5.4, 1989).

16.08.200 Encroachments.

The cumulative effect of any proposed development, where 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. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 5.5, 1989).

16.08.210 Standards for shallow flooding areas (AO Zones).

Repealed by Ord. 3224. (Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 5.6, 1989).

16.08.220 Coastal high hazard areas.

Located within areas of special flood hazard established in PTMC 16.08.070 are coastal high hazard areas, designated as zones V1-V30, VE and/or V. These areas have special flood hazards associated with high velocity waters from surges and, therefore, in addition to meeting all provisions in this chapter, the following provisions shall also apply:

A. All new allowable construction and substantial improvements in zones V1-V30 and VE (V if base flood elevation data is available) shall be elevated on pilings and columns so that:

1. The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the pilings or columns) is elevated two feet or more above the base flood level; and

2. The pile or column foundation and structure attached thereto is anchored to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components. Wind and water loading values shall each have a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (100-year mean recurrence interval).

A registered professional engineer or architect shall develop or review the structural design, specifications and plans for the construction and shall certify that the design and methods of construction to be used are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of subsections (A)(1) and (2) of this section.

B. Obtain the elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the bottom of the lowest structural member of the lowest floor (excluding pilings and columns) of all new and substantially improved structures in zones V1-V30 and VE, and whether or not such structures contain a basement. The local administrator shall maintain a record of all such information.

C. All new construction shall be located landward of the reach of mean high tide.

D. Provide that all new construction and substantial improvements have the space below the lowest floor either free of obstruction or constructed with nonsupporting breakaway walls, open wood lattice-work, or insect screening intended to collapse under wind and water loads without causing collapse, displacement, or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. For the purpose of this section, a breakaway wall shall have a design safe loading resistance of not less than 10 and no more than 20 pounds per square foot. Use of breakaway walls which exceed a design safe loading resistance of 20 pounds per square foot (either by design or when so required by local or state codes) may be permitted only if a registered professional engineer or architect certifies that the designs proposed meet the following conditions:

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

2. The elevated portion of the building and supporting foundation system shall not be subject to collapse, displacement, or other structural damage due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components (structural and nonstructural). Maximum wind and water loading values to be used in this determination shall each have a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (100-year mean recurrence interval).

E. If breakaway walls are utilized, such enclosed space shall be usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or storage. Such space shall not be used for human habitation.

F. Prohibit the use of fill for structural support of buildings.

G. Prohibit manmade alteration of sand dunes which would increase potential flood damage. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3173 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 2161 § 5.7, 1989).

16.08.230 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 the holding shall in no way affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. (Ord. 3224 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019).