A. Development Permit Required (44 CFR 60.3(b)(1)). A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any special flood hazard area established in SMC 14.270.050(B). The permit shall be for all structures and development, as defined in Chapter 14.25 SMC, Definitions, and 44 CFR 59.1, including manufactured homes and fill.
B. Designation of the Local Floodplain Administrator (44 CFR 59.22(b)(1)). The Director of Planning and Development Services shall be the designated Floodplain Administrator authorized to administer, implement, and enforce this chapter by granting or denying development permits in accordance with its provisions. The Floodplain Administrator may delegate authority to implement these provisions.
C. Application for Development Permit. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Floodplain Administrator and may include, but not be limited to, plans 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 shall be required:
1. Proposed elevation in relation to mean sea level, of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures recorded on a current elevation certificate with Section B completed by the Floodplain Administrator;
2. Proposed elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any nonresidential structure will be flood proofed;
3. Where a structure is to be flood proofed, certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the flood proofing methods for any nonresidential structure will meet flood proofing criteria in SMC 14.270.080(B);
4. Description of the extent to which a watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development;
5. Where development is proposed in a floodway, an engineering analysis indicating that there will be no rise of the base flood elevation (BFE); and
6. Any other such information that may be reasonably required by the Floodplain Administrator in order to review the application.
D. Permit Review. The Floodplain Administrator or designee shall review all development permits to determine that:
1. The permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied;
2. All other required state and federal permits have been obtained;
3. The site is reasonably safe from flooding; and
4. The proposed development is not located in the floodway, or if located in the floodway, assure the encroachment provisions of SMC 14.270.080(G)(1) are met.
E. The Floodplain Administrator shall notify FEMA when annexations occur in the special flood hazard area.
F. Use of Other Base Flood Data (44 CFR 60.3(b)(4)). When base flood elevation data has not been provided in A zones in accordance with SMC 14.270.050(B), Basis for Establishing the Areas of Special Flood Hazard, 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 SMC 14.270.080, Specific Standards, and SMC 14.270.080(G), Floodways.
G. Information to Be Obtained and Maintained.
1. Where base flood elevation data is provided through the FIS, FIRM, or as required in subsection F of this section, the Floodplain Administrator shall obtain and maintain 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 flood proofed nonresidential structures where base flood elevation data is provided through the FIS, FIRM, or as required in subsection F of this section:
3. Certification required by SMC 14.270.080(G)(1).
4. Records of all variance actions, including justification for their issuance.
5. Improvement and damage calculations.
H. Alteration of Watercourse (44 CFR 60.3(b)(6)). Whenever a watercourse is proposed to be altered or relocated, the Floodplain Administrator shall:
1. Notify adjacent communities and the Department of Ecology prior to such alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administrator through appropriate notification means (44 CFR 60.3(b)(6));
3. Base flood elevations may increase or decrease resulting from physical changes affecting flooding conditions. As soon as practicable, but not later than six (6) months after the date such information becomes available, the 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; and
4. Notify the Federal Insurance Administrator in writing of acquisition by means of annexation, incorporation or otherwise, of additional areas of jurisdiction.
I. Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries. The Floodplain Administrator may make interpretations where needed as to exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazard, including but not limited to 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 appeals shall be granted consistent with the standards of Section 60.6 of the Rules and Regulations of the NFIP (44 CFR 59 – 76).
J. Review of Building Permits (44 CFR 60.3(a)(3)). Where elevation data is not available either through the FIS, FIRM, or from another authoritative source (subsection F of this section), applications for floodplain development shall be reviewed to assure that proposed construction will be reasonably safe from flooding. The test of reasonableness is a local judgment and may include use of historical data, high water marks, photographs of past flooding, and other material as available. Applicants shall be informed that failure to elevate habitable buildings at least two (2) feet above the highest adjacent grade in these zones may result in higher insurance rates.
K. Changes to Special Flood Hazard Area.
1. If a project will alter the BFE or boundaries of the SFHA, then the project proponent shall provide the Floodplain Administrator with engineering documentation and analysis regarding the proposed change. If the change to the BFE or boundaries of the SFHA would normally require a Letter of Map Change, then the project proponent shall initiate, and receive approval of, a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) prior to approval of the development permit. The project shall be constructed in a manner consistent with the approved CLOMR.
2. If a CLOMR application is made, then the project proponent shall also supply the full CLOMR documentation package to the Floodplain Administrator to be attached to the floodplain development permit, including all required property owner notifications.
L. Habitat Assessment.
1. All development permit applications shall include submittal of a habit assessment done by a qualified professional that includes a full habitat impact analysis of potential effects on Endangered Species Act-listed species and on their critical habitats as required by the NFIP/ESA Biological Opinion dated September 22, 2008, in order to ensure full protection of the critical habitat of ESA-listed salmonids in the flood hazard area.
2. The Floodplain Administrator may waive or modify the requirement to submit a habitat assessment if the proposed project, in its entirety, is for one (1) of the following activities:
a. Normal maintenance, repairs, or remodeling of structures, including but not limited to re-roofing 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 fifty (50) percent of the value of the structure(s).
b. Expansion or reconstruction of an existing structure that is no greater than ten (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.
c. 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.
d. Development of open space and recreational facilities, such as parks, trails, fences, and hunting grounds, that do not include structures, fill, impervious surfaces, or removal of more than five (5) percent of the native vegetation on that portion of the property in the floodplain.
e. 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.
f. Projects that have already received concurrence under another permit or other consultation with the Services, either through Section 4d, 7 or 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that addresses the entirety of the project in the floodplain.
g. 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 and qualifies for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ exemption from Section 404 coverage. (Ord. 2400, 2020)