(Amended by Ordinance No. 181437, effective
December 21, 2007.)
A. Right of Appeal. Any person who may have been ordered by the Director to incur an expense for the alteration, repair or construction of any floating structure or any person whose application for a permit may have been refused by the Director may appeal to the Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal by sending written notice to the Appeals Board secretary within ten business days of notification of the applicability of the requirement, decision or determination. Appeals forms for that purpose shall be provided by the Bureau of Development Services. Professional engineering is not required by the appellant in order to make the appeal.
The Director shall review the appeal within ten business days of its submission. The Director shall seek the advice and opinions of members of the River Community as represented by the Floating Structures Appeal Group prior to ruling on any appeal. After reviewing the appeal and any recommendations from the staff and the Floating Structures Appeal Group the Director shall, in writing affirm, annul, or modify the underlying requirement, decision or determination. Such rulings shall take into consideration the unique construction conditions and the nautical history and traditions associated with floating structures. If the appellant is dissatisfied with the decision of the Director, they can appeal that decision within 30 days to the Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal. A hearing date for the requested appeal shall be set as soon as practicable thereafter, but by not later than 45 days after the request is made. The Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal may, by a majority vote, affirm, annul, or modify the action of the Director.
B. The provisions of Title 28 are not intended to prevent the use of any material or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this Title, if the alternate has been approved and its use authorized by the Director or the Board of Appeal.
Alternate materials and methods of construction may be approved providing that the proposed design, material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this Title in suitability, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, safety and sanitation.
C. Whenever the strict application of the Specialty Codes or this Title does not allow the use of traditional nautical design, the Director or the Board of Appeal may approve alternate materials or methods of construction for individual cases, providing that findings are first made that a special individual reason makes the strict letter of the codes impractical, that the alternate is in conformity with the purpose and intent of the codes and that such alternate does not lessen any fire protection or life safety requirements or any degree of structural integrity.
Fee for appeal. There shall be a nonrefundable fee for each appeal. The fees for appeals are stated in the Fee Schedule adopted by City Council by ordinance. The approved Fee Schedule will be available at the Development Services Center
E. Board of appeal. In order to determine the suitability of alternate materials and methods of construction and to provide for reasonable interpretation of the provisions of this Title, appeals for floating structures shall be heard by and ruled on by a Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal, consisting of six (6) members and six (6) alternates, as listed below, who are knowledgeable about construction as regulated by the base building codes and the construction and maintenance of floating structures and moorage facilities. Board members and alternates are to be appointed by the Mayor.
1. The Floating Structure Code Board of Appeal shall be composed of:
a. Three (3) members or their respective alternates from the Building Code Board of Appeal as constituted by Section 24.10.080 and
b. Three (3) members or their respective alternates from the Floating Structures Appeal Group.
2. The Floating Structures Appeal Group shall be composed of one primary member and one alternate, who will serve in the absence of the primary member, from each of the following:
a. An architect or engineer member knowledgeable in the design of floating structures
b. A constructor member knowledgeable in the construction, maintenance and repair of floating structures
c. A member at large who is from one of the following interest groups:
(1) A For Profit Moorage Representative
(2) A Non-profit Moorage Representative
(3) A Yacht Club Representative
(4) A Floating Home Resident
3. A quorum shall consist of four (4) members with at least two of the members present being from the Floating Structures Appeal Group. Board members shall be appointed for three-year terms. The Director shall be an ex-officio member and shall act as Secretary of the Board. No Board member or alternate may participate in a case in which they have a personal or financial interest. If such a case comes before the Board, the member’s alternate shall attend or the Mayor shall appoint a substitute. Any Board member or alternate may be removed from office by the Mayor for due cause, including malfeasance, incapacity, or neglect of duty.
The Board may use any or a combination of the following to resolve the appeal:
a. Approve the appeal as submitted if a determination can be made that the alternate design will provide an equivalent level of fire and life safety.
b. Disapprove the appeal with suggestions for resubmission.
c. Require the project conform to appropriate State Specialty Codes and other applicable City regulations.
d. Approve the appeal with modification or relief from specific requirements of the State Specialty Codes or applicable City regulations, if a determination can be made that the alternate design will provide an equivalent level of fire and life safety.
e. If specific technical or engineering information is to be considered, the Board has the option of seeking expert advice.
f. In the event of a tie vote, the appeal shall be considered denied.
The Board’s decision shall be in writing, a copy of which shall be sent to the aggrieved, with a copy to be retained by the Bureau, and which shall thereafter constitute the criteria that, when satisfied, will mandate approval of the elements reviewed by the appeal as part of any required permit by the Bureau.