Chapter 15.52
FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION1

Sections:

Article I.  General Provisions

15.52.010    Statutory authorization.

15.52.020    Findings of fact.

15.52.030    Purpose of provisions.

15.52.040    Definitions.

15.52.050    Methods of flood reduction generally.

15.52.060    Applicability of provision.

15.52.070    Special flood area establishment--Basis.

15.52.080    Greater restrictions to apply.

15.52.090    Interpretation of provisions.

15.52.100    Liability disclaimer.

15.52.110    Violation--Penalty.

Article II.  Administration

15.52.120    Development permit--Required.

15.52.130    Development permit--Application.

15.52.140    Administrator--Designated.

15.52.150    Administrator--Duties and responsibilities.

15.52.160    Variance--Procedure.

15.52.170    Variance--Conditions.

Article III.  Flood Hazard Reduction

15.52.180    Standards generally.

15.52.190    Anchoring.

15.52.200    Construction materials and methods.

15.52.210    Utilities.

15.52.220    Subdivision proposals.

15.52.230    Building permit review.

15.52.240    Specific standards generally.

15.52.250    Residential construction.

15.52.260    Nonresidential construction.

15.52.270    Critical facility.

15.52.280    Manufactured homes.

15.52.290    Floodways.

15.52.300    Wetlands management.

15.52.310    Repealed.

15.52.320    Recreational vehicles.

Article I.  General Provisions

15.52.010 Statutory authorization.

The legislature of the state of Washington has delegated the responsibilities to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizenry.  Therefore, the council of the city ordains as set out in this chapter.  (Ord. 883 §1.1, 1989)

15.52.020 Findings of fact.

A.  The flood hazard areas of Wapato are subject to periodic inundation which results in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base, all of which adversely affect the public health, safety and general welfare.

B.  These flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in areas of special flood hazards which increase flood heights and velocities, and when inadequately anchored, damage uses in other areas.  Uses that are inadequately floodproofed, and elevated, or otherwise protected from flood damage also contribute to the flood loss.  (Ord. 883 §1.2, 1989)

15.52.030 Purpose of provisions.

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 expenditures 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 areas of special flood hazard;

F.  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;

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

H.  To ensure that those who occupy the areas of special flood hazard assume responsibility for their actions.  (Ord. 883 §1.3, 1989)

15.52.040 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.

“Appeal” means a request for a review of the city clerk/treasurer’s interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.

“Area of shallow flooding” means a designated AO or AH zone on the flood insurance rate map (FIRM).  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.  AO is characterized as sheet flow and AH indicates ponding.

“Area of special flood hazard” means the land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.  Designation on maps always includes the letters A or V.

“Base flood” means the flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (also referred to as the “one-hundred-year flood”).  Designated on flood insurance rate maps by the letters A or V.

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

“Critical facility” means a facility for which even a slight chance of flooding might be too great.  Critical facilities may include, but are not limited to, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, police, fire and emergency response installations, and installations which produce, use or store hazardous materials or hazardous waste.

“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 located within the area of special flood hazard.

“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; and/or

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

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

“Flood insurance study” means the official report provided by the Federal Insurance Administration that includes flood profiles, the flood insurance rate maps, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.

“Floodway” means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot.

“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 found in Section 15.52.260.

“Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for the use with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities.  For floodplain management purposes, “manufactured home” also includes park trailers, travel trailers and other similar vehicles placed on a site for greater than one hundred eighty consecutive days.  For insurance purposes, “manufactured home” does not include park trailers, travel trailers and other similar vehicles.

“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.

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

“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.

“Start of construction” includes substantial improvement, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement or other improvement was within one hundred eighty days of the permit date.  The “actual start” means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation.  Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers or foundation 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.

“Structure” means a walled and roofed building including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.

“Substantial damage” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed fifty percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

“Substantial improvement” means any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty percent of the market value of the structure either:

1.  Before the improvement or repair is started; or

2.  If the structure has been damaged 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:

1.  Any project for improvement of a structure to comply with existing state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions; or

2.  Any alteration of a structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a State Inventory of Historic Places.

“Variance” means a grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.  (Ord. 1303 §1, 2015:  Ord. 1114 §§1, 2, 3, 2004; Ord. 883 §2, 1989)

15.52.050 Methods of flood reduction generally.

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, stream channels and natural protective barriers, which help accommodate or channel floodwaters;

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

E.  Preventing or regulating the construction of flood barriers which will unnaturally divert floodwaters or may increase flood hazards in other areas.  (Ord. 883 §1.4, 1989)

15.52.060 Applicability of provision.

Such chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the city.  (Ord. 883 §3.1, 1989)

15.52.070 Special flood area establishment--Basis.

The areas of special flood hazard identified by the Federal Insurance Administration in a scientific and engineering report entitled “The Flood Insurance Study for Yakima County, Washington and Incorporated Areas” dated November 18, 2009, and any attachments thereto, with accompanying flood insurance maps, and any amendments thereto, are adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter.  The date of said study and maps is November 18, 2009.  The flood insurance study is on file at the Wapato City Hall, located at 205 East Third Street, Wapato, Washington.  The best available information for flood hazard area identification as outlined in Section 15.52.150 shall be the basis for regulation until a new FIRM is issued that incorporates data utilized under Section 15.52.150.  (Ord. 1303 §2, 2015:  Ord. 1213 §1, 2009:  Ord. 1114 §4, 2004:  Ord. 883 §3.2, 1989)

15.52.080 Greater restrictions to apply.

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. 883 §3.4, 1989)

15.52.090 Interpretation of provisions.

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. 883 §3.5, 1989)

15.52.100 Liability disclaimer.

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 man-made or natural causes.  This chapter does not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazards or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages.  This chapter shall not create liability on the part of the city, any officer or employee thereof, or the Federal Insurance Administration, for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.  (Ord. 883 §3.6, 1989)

15.52.110 Violation--Penalty.

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 five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both, for each violation, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case.  Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.  (Ord. 883 §3.3, 1989)

Article II.  Administration

15.52.120 Development permit--Required.

A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any areas of special flood hazard established in Section 15.52.070.  The permit shall be for all structures including manufactured homes, as defined in Section 15.52.040, and for all development including fill and other activities, also as set forth in Section 15.52.040.  (Ord. 1114 §5, 2004:  Ord. 883 §4.1-1, 1989)

15.52.130 Development permit--Application.

Applications for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the city clerk/treasurer 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:

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.  Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure met the floodproofing criteria in Section 15.52.260; and

D.  Description of the extent to which a watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.  (Ord. 883 §4.1-2, 1989)

15.52.140 Administrator--Designated.

The city clerk/treasurer is appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.  (Ord. 883 §4.2, 1989)

15.52.150 Administrator--Duties and responsibilities.

Duties of the city clerk/treasurer 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 the provisions of Section 15.52.290 are met.

B.  Use of Other Base Flood Data.  When base flood elevation data has not been provided in accordance with Section 15.52.070, the city clerk/treasurer shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source, in order to administer Sections 15.52.240 through 15.52.290.

C.  Information to Be Obtained and Maintained.

1.  Where base flood elevation data is provided through the flood insurance study 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.

2.  For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:

a.  Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level); and

b.  Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in Section 15.52.130(c).

3.  Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.

D.  Alteration of Watercourses.

1.  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.

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

E.  Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries.  Make interpretations where needed as to exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions).  The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretations as provided in Sections 15.52.160 and 15.52.170.2  (Ord. 1303 §3, 2015:  Ord. 883 §4.3, 1989)

15.52.160 Variance--Procedure.

A.  Appeal Board.

1.  The council as established by the city shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.

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

B.  Those aggrieved by the decision of the city council or any taxpayer may appeal such decision to the Superior Court of the state of Washington, as provided by statute.

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

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

2.  The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;

3.  The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage; and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;

4.  The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;

5.  The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;

6.  The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;

7.  The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;

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

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

10.  The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and

11.  The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems, and streets and bridges.

D.  Upon consideration of the factors of subsection C of this section and the purpose 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.

E.  The city clerk/treasurer shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration upon request.  (Ord. 883 §4.4-1, 1989)

15.52.170 Variance--Conditions.

A.  Generally, the only condition under which a variance from the elevation standard may be issued is for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half acre and less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing Section 15.52.160(C)(1--11) have been fully considered.  As the lot size increases beyond the one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variances increases.

B.  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 this section.

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

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

E.  Variances shall only be issued upon:

1.  A showing of good and sufficient cause;

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

3.  A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in Section 15.52.160(C), or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.

F.  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, 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.

G.  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 15.52.170(A) and otherwise complies with Sections 15.52.190 through 15.52.200.

H.  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. 883 §4.4-2, 1989)

Article III.  Flood Hazard Reduction

15.52.180 Standards generally.

In all areas of special flood hazards, the standards set out in Sections 15.52.190 through 15.52.230 are required.  (Ord. 883 §5.1, 1989)

15.52.190 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.  For more detailed information, refer to guidebook FEMA-85, “Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas.”  (Ord. 1303 §4, 2015: Ord. 883 §5.1-1, 1989)

15.52.200 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.  (Ord. 883 §5.1-2, 1989)

15.52.210 Utilities.

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

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

C.  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.

D.  On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairments to them or contamination from them during flooding.  (Ord. 1303 §5, 2015:  Ord. 1114 §6, 2004; Ord. 883 §5.1-3, 1989)

15.52.220 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.  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 fifty lots or five acres (whichever is less).  (Ord. 883 §5.1-4, 1989)

15.52.230 Building permit review.

Where elevation data is not available either through the flood insurance study or from another authoritative source (Section 15.52.150(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. 883 §5.1-5, 1989)

15.52.240 Specific standards generally.

In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth in Section 15.52.070 or 15.52.150(B), the provisions set out in Sections 15.52.250 through 15.52.280 are required.  (Ord. 883 §5.2(part), 1989)

15.52.250 Residential construction.

A.  New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated one foot or more above base flood elevation (BFE).  Minimum standards require the lowest floor to be elevated “to or above” the BFE; however, adding an additional foot of freeboard increases safety and reduces insurance premiums.

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:

1.  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.

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

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

4.  Additional standards were clarified in FEMA Technical Bulletin 11-01, “Crawlspace Construction for Buildings Located in Special Flood Hazard Areas.”  (Ord. 1303 §6, 2015:  Ord. 883 §5.2-1, 1989)

15.52.260 Nonresidential construction.

New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, one foot or more above the base flood elevation, or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:

A.  Be floodproofed so that below one foot 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 Section 15.52.150(C)(2);

D.  Nonresidential structures that are elevated, not floodproofed, must meet the same standards for space below the lowest floor as described in Section 15.52.250(B); and

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).  (Ord. 1303 §7, 2015:  Ord. 883 §5.2-2, 1989)

15.52.270 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.  (Ord. 883 §5.2-3, 1989)

15.52.280 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 elevated one foot or more above the base flood elevation and be securely anchored to an adequately anchored foundation system in accordance with the provisions of Section 15.52.190(B).  (Ord. 1303 §8, 2015:  Ord. 1114 §7, 2004:  Ord. 883 §5.2-4, 1989)

15.52.290 Floodways.

Located within areas of special flood hazard established in Section 15.52.070 are areas designated as floodways.  Since the floodway is an extremely hazardous area due to the velocity of floodwaters which carry debris, potential projectiles, and erosion potential, the following provisions apply:

A.  Prohibit encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development unless certification by a registered professional engineer is provided demonstrating through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

B.  Construction or reconstruction of residential structures is prohibited within designated floodways, except for (1) repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure which do not increase the ground floor area; and (2) repairs, reconstruction or improvements to a structure, the cost of which does not exceed fifty percent of the market value of the structure either (a) before the repair or reconstruction is started, or (b) 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 may be exclude from the fifty percent.

C.  If subsection A of this section is satisfied, all new construction and substantial improvements shall comply with all applicable flood hazard reduction provisions of Sections 15.52.180 through 15.52.310.  (Ord. 1114 §§8, 9, 2004; Ord. 883 §5.3, 1989)

15.52.300 Wetlands management.

To the maximum extent possible avoid the short and long term adverse impacts associated with the destruction or modification of wetlands, especially those activities which limit or disrupt the ability of the wetland to alleviate flooding impacts.  The following process should be implemented:

A.  Review proposals for development within base floodplains for their possible impacts on wetlands located within the floodplain;

B.  Ensure that development activities in or around wetlands do not negatively affect public safety, health and welfare by disrupting the wetlands’ ability to reduce flood and storm drainage;

C.  Request technical assistance from the Department of Ecology in identifying wetland areas.  Existing wetland map information from the National Wetland Inventory (NWI) can be used in conjunction with the community’s FIRM to prepare an overlay zone indicating critical wetland areas deserving special attention.  (Ord. 883 §5.4, 1989)

15.52.310 Encroachments.

Repealed by Ord. 1303.  (Ord. 883 §5.4, 1989)

15.52.320 Recreational vehicles.

Recreational vehicles placed on sites are required to either:

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

B.  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

C.  Meet the requirements of Section 15.52.270 and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes.  (Ord. 1114 §10, 2004)


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Prior ordinance history:  Ordinance 763.

    The following sections of this chapter should be retained for insurance rating purposes:  15.52.070, 15.52.120, 15.52.150(B), (C), (D), 15.52.180, 15.52.190, 15.52.200, 15.52.210, 15.52.220, 15.52.230, 15.52.250, 15.52.260, 15.52.270, 15.52.280, 15.52.290.


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Editor’s Note:  Ord. 883 included the following language after Section 4.3:

    NOTE:  If you do not include Sections 15.52.160 and 15.52.170, end the preceding sentence after the word “interpretation” and add the following sentence:  “Such appeals shall be granted consistent with the standards of Section 60.6 of the Rules and Regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program (44 CFR 59-76).”