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A. A request for a variance from any requirement of Sec. 8.7, Watershed Protection Overlay Standards, that violates any provision in Title 15 NCAC 2B, Sections .0100, .0200, and .0300, as amended, shall be first heard by the Board of Adjustment in accordance with this section and after notification of the appropriate governing body, except that a request for a variance from the requirements of Sec. 8.5, Riparian Buffer Protection Standards, as referenced by paragraph 8.7.2E, Riparian Buffers, shall proceed under paragraph 8.5.12, Variances. A recommendation from the Board of Adjustment for a variance shall constitute a request by the local government for a variance from the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission. Such variances shall be considered “major variances” in accordance with Title 15A NCAC .0104(r).

B. For all variance requests from Sec. 8.7, Watershed Protection Overlay Standards, except those from Sec. 8.5, Riparian Buffer Protection Standards, as referenced therein, the local government with jurisdiction shall notify and allow reasonable comment period for all local governments having jurisdiction within the watershed area of the water supply source and the entity using the water supply for consumption.

C. The Planning Director, or designee, shall keep a record of variances to Sec. 8.7, Watershed Protection Overlay Standards. This record of variances, not including those from Sec. 8.5, Riparian Buffer Protection Standards, as referenced in Sec. 8.7, shall be submitted to the Division of Water Resources, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality by January 1st of each year. The record shall provide a description of each project receiving a variance and the reasons for granting a variance. The record of variances from Sec. 8.5 shall be included in the annual report to the North Carolina Division of Water Resources summarizing activities implementing the requirements of that section.