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Article IV: Administration

15.42.70 Designation of the Floodplain Administrator

The Town Manager shall designate from time to time a Floodplain Administrator.  As of the adoption of this ordinance, the Rangely Town Planner is designated and appointed as Floodplain Administrator to administer, implement and enforce the provisions of this ordinance and other appropriate sections of 44 CFR (National Flood Insurance Program Regulations) pertaining to floodplain management.

15.42.71 Duties & Responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator

Duties and responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Maintain and hold open for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this ordinance, including the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures and any floodproofing certificate required by 15.42.72

  2. Review, approve, or deny all applications for Floodplain Development Permits required by adoption of this ordinance.

  3. Review Floodplain Development Permit applications to determine whether a proposed building site, including the placement of one or more manufactured homes, will be reasonably safe from flooding.

  4. Review permits for proposed development to assure that all necessary permits have been obtained from those Federal, State or local governmental agencies (including Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 33 U.S.C. 1334) from which prior approval is required.

  5. Inspect all development at appropriate times during the period of construction to ensure compliance with all provisions of this ordinance, including proper elevation of the structure.

  6. Where interpretation is needed as to the exact location of the boundaries of the Special Flood Hazard Area (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions) the Floodplain Administrator shall make the necessary interpretation.

  7. When Base Flood Elevation data has not been provided in accordance with Article 3, Section B, the Floodplain Administrator shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any Base Flood Elevation data and Floodway data available from a Federal, State, or other source, in order to administer the provisions of Sections 15.42.80 through 15.42.87.

  8. For waterways with Base Flood Elevations for which a regulatory Floodway has not been designated, no new construction, substantial improvements, or other development (including fill) shall be permitted within Zones A1-30 and AE on the Town of Rangely’s      FIRM, unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one-half foot at any point within the Town’s jurisdiction.

  9. Under the provisions of 44 CFR Chapter 1, Section 65.12, of the National Flood Insurance Program regulations, the Town may approve certain development in Zones A1-30, AE, AH, on the Town’s FIRM which increases the water surface elevation of the base flood by more than one-half foot, provided that the community first applies for a conditional FIRM revision through FEMA (Conditional Letter of Map Revision), fulfills the requirements for such revisions as established under the provisions of Section 65.12 and receives FEMA approval.

  10. Notify, in riverine situations, adjacent communities and the State Coordinating Agency, which is the Colorado Water Conservation Board, prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to FEMA.

  11. Ensure that the flood carrying capacity within the altered or relocated portion of any watercourse is maintained.

15.42.72 Permit Procedures

Application for a Floodplain Development Permit shall be presented to the Floodplain Administrator on forms furnished by him/her and may include, but not be limited to, plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the location, dimensions, and elevation of proposed landscape alterations, existing and proposed structures, including the placement of manufactured homes, and the location of the foregoing in relation to Special Flood Hazard Area. Additionally, the following information is required:

  1. Elevation (in relation to mean sea level), of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved structures.

  2. Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any nonresidential structure shall be floodproofed.

  3. A certificate from a registered Colorado Professional Engineer or architect that the nonresidential floodproofed structure shall meet the floodproofing criteria of Article 5, Section B(2);

  4. Description of the extent to which any watercourse or natural drainage will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.

  5. Maintain a record of all such information in accordance with 15.42.71.

Approval or denial of a Floodplain Development Permit by the Floodplain Administrator shall be based on all of the provisions of this ordinance and the following relevant factors:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  7. The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood waters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site.

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

  9. The availability of alternative locations, not subject to flooding or erosion damage, for the proposed use;

  10. The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan for that area.

15.42.73 Variance Procedures
  1. The Appeal Board, as established by the Board of Trustees, shall hear and render judgment on requests for variances from the requirements of this ordinance.

  2. The Appeal Board shall hear and render judgment on an appeal only when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision, or determination made by the Floodplain Administrator in the enforcement or administration of this ordinance.

  3. Any person or persons aggrieved by the decision of the Appeal Board may appeal such decision in the District Court for Rio Blanco County.

  4. The Floodplain Administrator shall maintain a record of all actions involving an appeal and shall report variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency upon request.

  5. 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, providing the relevant factors in this Section 15.42.73 have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.

  6. Upon consideration of the factors noted above and the intent of this ordinance, the Appeal Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purpose and objectives of this ordinance  as stated in Section 15.42.30.

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

  8. 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.

  9. Prerequisites for granting variances

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

    b.  Variances shall only be issued upon:

  • Showing a good and sufficient cause.
  • A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant, and 
  • 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.

       c.  Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with the 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.

10.  Variances may be issued by a community for new construction and substantial improvements and for other development necessary for the conduct of a Functionally Dependent Use provided that:

  1. The criteria outlined in Section 15.42.73(1)-(9) are met, and

  2. 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.

15.24.74 Penalties for Noncompliance (Optional)

No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted, or altered without full compliance with the terms of this ordinance and other applicable regulations. Violation of the provisions of this ordinance by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) could constitute a misdemeanor, which may be prosecuted either in the Rangely Municipal Court or in any Rio Blanco County District or County Court. Any person who violates this ordinance or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall upon conviction thereof be fined or imprisoned as provided by the laws of the Town of Rangely, however, for each and every day of the violation(s), the maximum jail sentence is one year, and the maximum fine is $1,000. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town of Rangely from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.