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The following activities and developments are exempt from the provisions of this chapter. All exempted activities shall use reasonable methods to avoid potential impacts to special flood hazard areas. An exemption from this chapter is not an endorsement to degrade a special flood hazard area, ignore risk from natural hazards, or otherwise limit the ability of the Floodplain Administrator to identify and abate such actions that may cause degradation.

(1) Activities and development in response to emergencies that, in the opinion of the Floodplain Administrator, threaten public health, safety or welfare; or that pose an immediate risk of damage to property and that require remedial or preventative action in a time frame too short to allow for compliance with the requirements of this chapter. In the event a person determines that the need to take emergency action is so urgent that there is insufficient time for review by the Department, such emergency action may be taken immediately. The person undertaking such action shall notify the Department within one working day of the commencement of the emergency activity. The Floodplain Administrator will determine what, if any, mitigation shall be required to protect health, safety, welfare, and environment and to repair any resource damage. In such cases, permits shall be obtained retroactively.

(2) Operation, maintenance, or repair of existing public improvements, utilities, public roads, parks, trails, or drainage systems if the activity does not further alter or increase impact to, or encroach further within, the special flood hazard area and there is no increased risk to life or property as a result of the proposed operation, maintenance, or repair, and no new clearing of native vegetation beyond routine pruning.

(3) Normal maintenance and repair.

(4) Recreation, education, and scientific research activities that do not require grading, native vegetation clearing, or placement of structures.

(5) Site reconnaissance necessary for preparing land use or building permit applications. Any disturbance of the special flood hazard area shall be the minimum necessary to conduct the site reconnaissance and the area shall be restored to its previous condition immediately.

(6) Removal by hand of invasive and noxious vegetation. Removal by hand does not include using mechanical equipment or the use of herbicides.

(7) Normal maintenance and continuation of existing landscaping and gardens that were legally established prior to City incorporation. This exemption shall be documented by photographs, statements, and/or other evidence provided by the applicant. The use of herbicide is not permitted under this exemption in wetlands and streams or their buffers for the control of invasive vegetation.

(8) Excavation of cemetery graves in an established cemetery where the approval of the plots predates the City’s participation in the NFIP or has an approved flood permit. Maintenance, operation, or repair of the cemetery graves as long as any such alteration does not involve the expansion of improvements. (Ord. 12-20 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 06-17 § 3 (Exh. A))