City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Title 17E
Chapter 17E.030
Section 17E.030.080

Title 17E Environmental Standards

Chapter 17E.030 Floodplain Management

Section 17E.030.080 Duties and Responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator
  1. The duties and responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator shall include, but not be limited to, review of all development permits to determine:
  1. that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied, all necessary information has been provided for a determination that the application is counter complete;
  1. that all other required state and federal permits have been obtained from those federal, state, or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required;
  1. that the site is reasonably safe from flooding;
  1. that the proposed development is not located in the floodway. If located in the floodway, assure that the encroachment provisions of SMC 17E.030.160 are met;
  1. if the proposed development complies with the policies, provisions, and requirements of the shoreline master program, as now or hereafter amended; and
  1. notify FEMA when annexations occur in the Special Flood Hazard Area.
  1. Use of Other Base Flood Data in “A” Zones.

When base flood elevation data has not been provided (“A” Zones) in accordance with SMC 17E.030.050, 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 17E.050.140 and SMC 17E.050.160.

  1. Information to be Obtained and Maintained.
  1. Where base flood elevation data is provided through the flood insurance study, FIRM, or required as in subsection (B) of this section, the Floodplain Administrator shall record the actual 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.
  1. For all new or substantially improved flood-proofed non-residential structures where base flood elevation data is provided through the flood insurance study, FIRM, or as required in the subsection above, the Floodplain Administrator shall:
  1. obtain and maintain a record of the elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was flood proofed, and
  1. maintain the flood proofing certifications required in SMC 17E.030.060.
  1. The Floodplain Administrator shall maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
  1. Certification required in SMC 17E.030.160(A) (No Rise Standard).
  1. Records of all variance actions, including justification for their issuance
  1. Improvement and damage calculations.
  1. Alteration of Watercourses.

Whenever a watercourse is to be altered or relocated:

  1. The Floodplain Administrator shall 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 through appropriate notification means (44 CFR 60.3(b)(6)).
  1. The Floodplain Administrator shall require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of the watercourse so that the flood carrying capacity is not diminished.
  1. Interpretation of FIRM Boundaries.

The Floodplain Administrator shall 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 interpretation as provided in SMC 17E.030.090. Such appeals shall be granted consistent with the standards of Section 60.6 of the Rules and Regulations of the NFIP.

  1. Review of Building Permits
  1. Where elevation data is not available either through the FIS, FIRM, or from another authoritative source outlined in Section 17E.030.080(B), 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 includes use of historical data, high water marks, photographs of past flooding, etc., where available.
  1. Failure to elevate habitable buildings at least two feet above the highest adjacent grade in these zones may result in higher insurance rates.
  1. Changes to Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
  1. If a project will encroach on the regulatory floodway or alter boundaries of the SFHA, then the project proponent shall provide the community 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, approvals required by FEMA.
  1. If a CLOMR or LOMR application is made, then the project proponent shall also supply the full CLOMR or LOMR documentation package, as applicable, to the Floodplain Administrator, including all required property owner notifications. The Floodplain Administrator may condition permits to address Letter of Map Change determinations after issuance of the permit.

Date Passed: Monday, October 25, 2021

Effective Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021

ORD C36118 Section 5