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A. Variances shall only be issued:

1. Upon 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;

2. For the repair, rehabilitation, or restoration 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;

3. Upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief;

4. Upon a showing of good and sufficient cause;

5. Upon a determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant provided that hardship was not created by the applicant; and

6. Upon a showing that the use cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. This includes only facilities defined as a “functionally dependent use” in Chapter 14.25 SMC.

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

C. All variances for development within a special flood hazard area shall be processed as a major variance pursuant to SMC 14.70.030 and shall meet all of the criteria for variances pursuant to SMC 14.70.040.

D. Additional Requirements for the Issuance of a Variance.

1. Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice over the signature of a City of Snohomish official that:

a. The issuance of a variance to construct a structure below the BFE will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance; and

b. Such construction below the BFE increases risks to life and property.

2. The Floodplain Administrator shall maintain a record of all variance actions, including justification for their issuance.

3. The Floodplain Administrator shall condition the variance as needed to ensure that the requirements and criteria of this chapter are met. (Ord. 2400, 2020)