Special Permit for Modification of Certain Zoning Regulations

In flood zones, for all districts, the Board of Standards and Appeals may permit modification of the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 4 (Special Regulations Applying in Flood Zones), and any other applicable ground floor use, supplementary use, bulk, and parking regulations of the Zoning Resolution, provided that the conditions of paragraph (a) of this Section, and the findings of paragraph (b) are met.

For the purposes of this Section, defined terms include those in Section 12-10 and those in Section 64-11.

(a)        Conditions

All applications shall be subject to the following conditions:

(1)        the building complies with flood-resistant construction standards;

(2)        any modification of height and setback regulations related to increasing the permitted overall height shall not exceed the maximum height permitted by the applicable underlying district regulations by 10 percent, or 10 feet, whichever is greater, as measured from the reference plane; and

(3)        any increase in the amount of permitted floor area shall be limited to no more than 20 percent of the floor area permitted on the zoning lot, and in no event more than 10,000 square feet of floor area. However, such restriction shall not apply to non-complying buildings with non-complying floor area, provided that the total floor area of the altered, enlarged, relocated, or reconstructed building, does not exceed the amount of existing floor area of such pre-existing building.

(b)        Findings

In order to grant the special permit, the Board shall find that:

(1)        there would be a practical difficulty in complying with flood-resistant construction standards without such modifications, and that such modifications are the minimum necessary to allow for an appropriate building in compliance with flood-resistant construction standards;

(2)        any modification related to an increase in the amount of permitted floor area is the minimum necessary to address practical difficulties in retaining pre-existing habitable space;

(3)        any modification related to parking regulations to permit a reduction in the number of accessory off-street parking spaces and the change in location of accessory off-street parking spaces, will:

(i)        facilitate an improved site plan;

(ii)        not cause traffic congestion; and

(iii)        not have undue adverse effects on residents, businesses or community facilities in the surrounding area, as applicable, including the availability of parking spaces for such uses; and

(4)        the proposed modifications will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood in which the building is located, nor impair the future use or development of the surrounding area in consideration of the neighborhood’s potential development in accordance with flood-resistant construction standards.

The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.