Variances

Sec. 111-41. - Variance procedures.                                                           

              (a) The parish council shall act as the appeal board and in that capacity shall hear and render judgment on requests for variances from the requirements of this article.                 

              (b) The parish council 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 article.                         

              (c) Any person aggrieved by the decisions of the parish council may appeal such decisions in the courts of competent jurisdiction.                                             

              (d) 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.                                            

              (e) Variances may be issued for the reconstruction, rehabilitation or restoration of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a state inventory of historic     places, without regard to the procedures set forth in the remainder of this section.                                  

             (f) 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 section 111-40(b) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.                                          

              (g) Upon consideration of the factors noted above and the intent of this article, the      parish council may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purpose and objectives of this article (section 103-3).                                      

              (h) Variances shall not be issued within any designated flood way if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.                                          

              (i) 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.                          

              (j) Prerequisites for granting variances:                          

              (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) 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 no more than one foot 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.                                        

              (k) 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 subsections (a)—(i) of this section 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.