Chapter 12.23
CREEKS, TRIBUTARIES AND RIPARIAN CORRIDOR REGULATIONS

Sections:

12.23.010    Purpose and scope.

12.23.020    Regulated areas.

12.23.030    Prohibited activities and conditions.

12.23.040    Inspection and enforcement.

12.23.050    Appeals.

12.23.060    No liability upon the city.

12.23.010 Purpose and scope.

A. This chapter shall govern all regulated areas, as defined herein, within the jurisdictional limits of the city of San Luis Obispo, whether located on public or private property.

B. The public health, safety, and welfare, as well as the city’s ability to comply with its statutory, regulatory and permitting obligations with respect to the protection of its creeks, tributaries, riparian corridors and associated natural resources, require that the city adopt and enforce comprehensive regulations specifically prohibiting deleterious activities within these areas, whether located on public or private property.

C. The purpose of this chapter is to establish clear and direct requirements for the inspection and maintenance of the areas governed by this chapter and to authorize city enforcement of violations of the provisions of this chapter by individuals engaging in prohibited activity and/or property owners permitting prohibited activities or conditions to occur or be maintained on their properties. (Ord. 1541 § 1 (part), 2010)

12.23.020 Regulated areas.

Regulated areas subject to the requirements and prohibitions of this chapter include the following areas within the city limits:

A. Creeks including San Luis Obispo Creek and its tributaries and any other “Water of the United States,” as defined in 40 CFR 122.2, including all surface watercourses and waterbodies, natural waterways and definite channels and depressions in the earth, or such sections or connections of such waters that have been lined with concrete, covered or channelized in the past, that may carry water, even though such waterways may only carry water during rains and storms and may not carry surface water at and during all times and seasons.

B. Riparian areas, which include the area between a stream or other body of water and the adjacent upland identified by soil characteristics and distinctive vegetation and wetlands and those portions of floodplains and valley bottoms that support riparian vegetation (herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees which are naturally associated with stream side environments, and with roots and branches extending in or over a creek channel).

C. Other portions of city-owned properties adjacent to or including riparian areas as defined in subsection B of this section. (Ord. 1541 § 1 (part), 2010)

12.23.030 Prohibited activities and conditions.

It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to engage in or maintain, or for any property owner to allow or maintain, any of the following activities or conditions in regulated areas:

A. Collecting, gathering, or disturbance of any natural or cultural resources, except for pruning, removal of materials or any other activities authorized under appropriate permits from state and/or federal agencies or in conjunction with permitted city-sponsored activities.

B. Staying or camping overnight.

C. Entering into or remaining within regulated areas that are open to the public between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise of the following day without approval from the city manager or his or her designee.

D. Entering into or remaining within property to which public access is prohibited or restricted.

E. Driving or otherwise operating a vehicle, except as authorized in conjunction with otherwise permitted activity.

F. Using bicycles in regulated areas not explicitly labeled as areas and/or trails designated for bicycle use.

G. Possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages.

H. Disposing of, depositing, throwing, keeping or accumulating trash, litter, rubbish, rubble, garbage, debris or other solid waste, dirt, green waste or animal waste.

I. Traveling outside of designated paths.

J. Posting any sign on a tree, tree-stake or guard, or fastening any wire, cable or rope to any tree, tree-stake or guard unless otherwise authorized by the city.

K. Urinating or defecating.

L. Making any excavation or unauthorized encroachment.

M. Possessing or discharging of weapons, firearms, paintballs, fireworks, or building fires.

N. Any act in a regulated area constituting a violation of any provision of CESA, ESA, the California Public Resources Code, or any regulation of the California Department of Fish and Game, or of any permit or approval issued by any federal, state or local agency having jurisdiction over the regulated area shall also be a violation of this chapter. (Ord. 1541 § 1 (part), 2010)

12.23.040 Inspection and enforcement.

A. Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any provision of this chapter, or whenever the director of parks and recreation has cause to believe that there exists, or potentially exists, in or upon any premises any condition which constitutes a violation of this chapter, the city manager or his or her designee may enter such premises during normal business hours to inspect the same, take water samples and/or verify that compliance with this chapter is occurring. In the event that the owner or occupant refuses entry after a request has been made, the city is hereby empowered to seek assistance from any court of competent jurisdiction or other state or federal agency staff with jurisdiction in obtaining such entry.

B. Violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor and may be enforced by the filing of a criminal action by the city attorney or the issuance of an administrative citation in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1.24 by city staff authorized by the city manager to issue citations. (Ord. 1541 § 1 (part), 2010)

12.23.050 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by an act or determination of the staff in exercising the administrative authority herein granted shall have the right to appeal to the city council in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1.20. (Ord. 1541 § 1 (part), 2010)

12.23.060 No liability upon the city.

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to impose any liability upon the city or upon any of its officers or employees, nor to relieve the owner or occupant of any private property from the duty to keep property in safe condition. (Ord. 1541 § 1 (part), 2010)