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A. The issuance of a variance is for floodplain management purposes only. Insurance premium rates are determined by statute according to actuarial risk and will not be modified by the granting of a variance.

B. The hearing examiner, after examining the applicant’s hardships, shall approve or disapprove a request for a variance. Procedures for the granting of variances by the hearing examiner are as follows:

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

2. 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, and

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, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances;

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

4. Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure;

5. Variances are generally limited to a lot size less than one-half acre; as the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing a variance increases. Variances may be issued 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, in conformance with the procedures of this subsection and subsections (B)(1) and (2), (C) and (D) of this section;

6. Variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a functionally dependent use; provided, that:

a. The criteria of this subsection and subsections (B)(1), (2), (3) and (5) of this section are met, and

b. The structure or other development is protected by methods that minimize flood damages during the base flood and create no additional threats to public safety.

C. The floodplain manager shall notify the applicant in writing that:

1. The issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the base flood level may result in increased premium rates for flood insurance up to amounts as high as twenty-five dollars for one hundred dollars of insurance coverage; and

2. Such construction below the base flood level increases risks to life and property. Such notification shall be maintained with a record of all variance actions as required in subsection (D) of this section.

D. The floodplain manager shall:

1. Maintain a record of all variance actions, including justification for their issuance; and

2. Report such variances issued in the city’s annual or biennial report submitted to the Federal Insurance Administrator.

E. The Federal Insurance Administrator may review the hearing examiner’s findings justifying the granting of variances, and if that review indicates a pattern inconsistent with the objectives of sound floodplain management, the Federal Insurance Administrator may take appropriate action under 44 CFR 59.24(b).

F. The variance criteria above are meant to incorporate the federal requirements for variances as specified in 44 CFR 60.6 as now or hereafter amended. To the extent that requirements of this section or MMC 14.01.170 conflict with or omit requirements of 44 CFR 60.6 as now or hereafter amended, the terms of 44 CFR 60.6 shall govern. (Ord. 033/2018 § 10; Ord. 004/2006 § 2; Ord. 021/2005 § 1)