Chapter 18.55


18.55.010    Purpose.

18.55.020    Application of standards.

18.55.030    Exceptions.

18.55.040    Hillside classifications.

18.55.050    Ridgeline preservation.

18.55.060    Average slope calculations.

18.55.070    Design criteria for open space.

18.55.080    Clustering and density transfer.

18.55.090    Grading.

18.55.100    Prohibited development areas.

18.55.110    Retaining walls/fences.

18.55.120    Architectural standards.

18.55.130    Drainage.

18.55.140    Hillside street development standards.

18.55.150    Application submittal.

18.55.160    Action of the planning director.

18.55.170    Action of the planning commission.

18.55.180    Issuance of grading permit.

18.55.190    Enforcement.

18.55.200    Severability.

18.55.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to reduce impacts of development in hillside areas and ensure that the hillsides are developed in an environmentally sensitive manner which protects the public health, safety, and welfare. These regulations are intended to minimize the alteration, reduction, and removal of the natural setting and create a more desirable living environment by creating design standards and criteria for hillside development. This chapter is intended to advance the following policies:

A. Conserve the major ridgelines, valleys, and slopes which give Calimesa its distinctive character.

B. Discourage major disruption of natural slope areas for the creation of large flat house pads and similar terraces.

C. Create open spaces which are directly proportional to the steepness of terrain; i.e., the greater the percentage of slope, the greater the amount of open space.

D. Site dwellings and other structures in a manner which is compatible with significant rock outcroppings, natural drainage patterns, and physical landforms through sensitive grading design, architecture, and foundation design techniques.

E. Encourage that dwellings be designed to fit steep terrain, rather than designing terrain to fit house design.

F. Provide safe vehicular circulation patterns for residents and safety and service providers.

G. Utilize landscape design to enhance slope stability and to soften grading through the selection of appropriately sized (when mature) and appropriately placed plant materials. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.020 Application of standards.

A. These standards shall apply to all developments and structures, including single-family residences, located on any property that contains slopes of 16 percent or greater. Any property which borders mountainous or hillside areas must prepare a slope map to determine if these regulations apply. Not all hillside or valley areas of the city may be worthy of such protection, as determined by city staff and the planning commission, by virtue of limited size, minimum visual impact on the overall community, minimum environmental sensitivity, minimum hazard to the public health, safety, and welfare, and other similar factors.

B. All development applications, buildings, structures, and uses located in the hillside development area are subject to this chapter, except those listed in CMC 18.55.030, Exceptions. The hillside development regulations, when applied, shall take precedence over the underlying zone and may be incorporated into specific plans.

C. Should any conflict arise in the processing of a development application within the hillside development areas with various provisions of the zoning regulations and this standard, the planning commission and the city council shall give preference to those provisions of this chapter which protect the natural environment of such hillside areas against change. Such provisions include the use of clustering, density transfers, smaller lot sizes, reduced setbacks through application of a PRD (planned residential development) overlay zone, and other provisions as identified in this chapter. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.030 Exceptions.

The following shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

A. Lot line adjustments.

B. Projects for which tentative tract, tentative parcel maps, or development plan review applications have been approved by the planning commission or the city council prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section.

C. Buildings, structures, and uses lawfully in existence as of the effective date of this chapter shall be considered nonconforming uses, except new additions that have not received approval prior to the effective date shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.040 Hillside classifications.

Hillside classifications have been established to identify significant categories relative to hillside development. These categories have been classified in terms of average slope types with respect to different topography categories, as follows:



0% – 15%*

Flat, gentle, rolling land

16% – 20%


21% – 25%

Steep hillside

26% – 30%

Very steep hillside

31% – 45%

Mountainside terrain


Rugged mountainside terrain

*This classification is exempted from the provisions of this chapter.

A. Slopes of Zero to 15 Percent. Slopes of zero to 15 percent consist of flat, gentle, or rolling land and are exempted from this chapter.

1. “Flat land” is defined as slopes of zero to five percent. Slopes of zero to five percent normally pose no major restriction to development, except in terms of landscaping and maintenance for the small amounts of slope created.

2. “Gentle land” is defined as slopes of six to 10 percent. Slopes of six to 10 percent are flexible as to local road orientation and site layout. There are generally no significant constraints associated with this category, but it is more restrictive than flat land.

3. “Rolling land” is defined as slopes of 11 to 15 percent. Slopes of 11 to 15 percent are significantly affected in terms of road alignment in that roads will normally be required to parallel contours. More significant grading is required to create flat pad areas, and the orientation of site planning, such as orienting pads, begins to be restricted in terms of access and the ability to grade flat sites.

B. Slopes of 16 Percent and Above. Slopes of 16 percent and above consist of hillside and mountainside areas where developments in these areas are subject to the requirements of this chapter.

C. Slopes of 16 to 30 Percent. In hillside areas with slopes of 16 to 20 percent, 21 to 25 percent, or 26 to 30 percent, the required quantities of earthwork necessary for grading to create flat pads increase dramatically, as does the significance of view opportunities and visual prominence.

D. Development in areas with slopes of 16 percent and above shall require a hillside development review and include contour grading of the project site.

E. Slopes of 31 to 45 Percent. In mountainside areas with slopes of 31 to 45 percent, both access and the ability to create pads using 2:1 slopes are severely restricted.

F. Slopes of 46 Percent or Greater. In areas with average slopes of 46 percent or greater, development is discouraged. Without the use of retaining walls, access is very difficult and the grading of pads on side slopes of 46 percent or greater is virtually impossible without massive grading that would involve cutting hilltop areas and filling the valleys. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.050 Ridgeline preservation.

Any property with a ridgeline shall provide a view analysis and comply with the development standards listed in subsection (A)(1) of this section.

A. Ridgeline View Analysis.

1. The ridgeline view analysis depicting “before-and-after” construction conditions shall contain a minimum of three selected vantage points showing a precise depiction of the potential visual impacts of the proposed development. The selection of vantage points shall be determined by the planning director.

2. The technology may incorporate the use of a three-dimensional computer model or photographs incorporating and utilizing a height reference (either reference poles or chalk lines) of the proposed development in order to display the impact of development on ridgeline views.

B. Development requirements for ridgeline preservation are:

1. No structure shall be permitted within 150 feet of horizontal distance from the centerline of ridgelines as identified in the general plan, and no finished pad shall be allowed within 50 feet of the top elevation of the ridge.

2. The contour elevation on each of the ridgelines designated for preservation, above which no development will occur, shall be identified.

3. No more than 50 percent of the proposed development shall obscure the ridgeline view from the foothill area. The planning director shall determine selected vantage points from which to make this determination.

4. Ridgeline preservation areas shall be determined within each project where development will be prohibited by the city engineer and the planning director. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.060 Average slope calculations.

A. Slope Calculation Method. The formula for calculating average slopes for any given site shall be as follows:

Average Cross Slope =

I x L x 0.0023A

I = Contour Interval

L = Contour Length

0.0023 = Constant to Convert Square Feet to Acres and Slope to Percent

A = Acres

B. Varying Slopes. Where there is a dramatically different slope character in the topography of any one site, the site may be divided into several distinct areas and the average slope calculated separately, at the discretion of the planning director.

C. Slope Map. A slope map shall be prepared and submitted with any residential development application. The slope map shall include information as required in CMC 18.55.180, Issuance of grading permit, together with the following information:

1. A topographic map of the proposed project area and all adjoining properties within 150 feet, at a scale of not less than one inch to 200 feet. The contour interval shall be not more than two feet, except that the contour interval may be five feet if the general slope is more than 10 percent. The topographic map shall be prepared and certified by a registered civil engineer.

2. Land within each slope category, e.g., zero to 15 percent, shall be delineated. The area in acres shall be tabulated for each category. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.070 Design criteria for open space.

A. Open Space Requirement. Preservation of open space in a development project is based on the steepness of the slope of the land. The slope-open space relationship table below is to be used to determine open space requirements for development projects.

B. The slope-open space relationship table below is designed so that as the steepness of the land increases, the open space requirement increases. One column defines the percentages of slope within a project that are to be categorized. The other column indicates the proportion of each slope category that must be left as natural open space.

C. Slope-Open Space Relationship.

Average Slope Category (%)

Minimum Percentage of Natural Open Space[1]













[1]    Within natural open spaces, vegetation introduced for agricultural purposes may be removed and the area revegetated.

D. Open Space Calculation. The amount of land to be left in natural open space for any given project shall be computed by multiplying the number of acres of the project area within each average slope category by the required percentage of natural open space for that category. The totals for each category shall then be summed to yield the total natural open space requirement for the project.

E. In areas of 45 percent slope or greater, density transfers are encouraged under the provisions of the PRD (planned residential development) overlay zone.

F. Other public health, safety, or welfare considerations could also increase the open space requirements for a project.

G. Exemption. This section does not apply to projects that fall within CMC 18.55.050, Ridgeline preservation. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.080 Clustering and density transfer.

The city of Calimesa encourages the use of PRD (planned residential development) overlay zones to reduce development impacts in hillside areas and preserve natural scenic beauty through the encouragement of integrated planning, integrated design, and unified control of development.

A. The process of clustering and density transfer is allowed under the provisions of a PRD (planned residential development) overlay zone which encourages development on rugged environmentally sensitive terrain to be concentrated, clustered, or intensified in the most appropriate areas of the site. Density transfers are allowed from one portion of a site to another.

B. The PRD (planned residential development) overlay must be processed concurrently with the application for development. Density bonuses, up to 10 percent above that indicated in the general plan land use district, may be granted by the city if one or more of the following are provided as part of the PRD (planned residential development) application:

1. A publicly valuable resource is provided, preserved, or enhanced.

2. A public or quasi-public item is provided above and beyond normal expectations.

3. An amenity, convenience, or excellence in design is provided above and beyond the normal expectations.

C. In all cases, the granting of density bonuses must further the purpose and intent of residential planned development provisions of the zoning code and the general plan. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.090 Grading.

A. Grading operations shall be prohibited unless an erosion control plan has been submitted and approved by the city engineer to avoid adverse effects caused by rain, wind, or other weather conditions.

B. Grading shall be phased so that prompt revegetation or construction will control erosion.

C. All graded areas, slopes, and pads shall be temporarily and/or permanently irrigated and planted with hydroseed or equal prior to final landscaping, according to approved plans.

D. Irrigation and planting shall take place within 30 days after the grading operation or phase is complete.

E. Where possible, only those areas which will be built on, resurfaced, or landscaped shall be disturbed. Contour grading, required on areas of 16 percent slope and greater, shall be designed to the satisfaction of the city engineer. This requirement may be waived on small or insignificant portions of the project site pending review by the city engineer and the planning director.

F. Slope Placement. Design and placement of structures shall be in harmony with and respond to both the cross-sectional slope and the silhouette contour of the hillsides. The following design standards shall be applied:

1. A majority of the roof pitches and gable ends shall generally be placed to angle with the slope and not 90 degrees to the slope.

2. Variation shall be provided to avoid a consistently monotonous application.

3. Collective mass roof lines shall reflect the naturally occurring ridgeline silhouettes and topographical variation, or create an overall variety, that blends with the hillside.

G. Slope Maintenance.

1. No tentative subdivision map shall be approved unless conditioned upon the preparation and recordation of a declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions or participation in a lighting, landscape, and maintenance subarea or other city-approved arrangement providing for the development and maintenance of slopes, as required by the hillside development regulations.

2. No tentative subdivision map shall be approved unless conditioned upon the subdivider supplying a program and/or staff for preventative maintenance of major manufactured slope areas. Such program shall be approved prior to approval of a final map and shall include homeowner slope maintenance requirements and guidelines to be incorporated into the declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions or participation in a lighting, landscape, and maintenance subarea or other city-approved arrangement.

H. The maximum grade of cut-and-fill slopes shall not exceed 2:1, and preferably 3:1 for fill slopes. The cut-and-fill slope may be as steep as 1.5:1 with a soils engineer approval, and review and approval by the city engineer and the planning director.

I. Landscaping and automatic sprinkler systems shall be required on all cut-and-fill slopes, including single-family residential. The design of the landscaping shall conform to Chapter 18.70 CMC, Landscape Requirements, and Chapter 18.75 CMC, Water Conservation for Landscaping.

J. Curb cuts shall not be installed on any lot until specific house plans have been approved for the lot. However, this requirement may be waived if sidewalks are installed with curb and gutter.

K. The maximum slope height shall be as follows:

1. A maximum of 30 feet between pads or between roads and pads or between two roads, or a maximum of 30 feet of cut and fill area which ties into natural grade for a road or a pad.

2. All slopes shall be rounded at the top and the toe of the slope to a maximum of 15 feet radius.

3. Cut-and-fill slopes for roads may exceed the requirement of this section, upon approval of the city engineer and the planning director when special circumstances exist and when impacts can be mitigated. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.100 Prohibited development areas.

Developments are prohibited in the following areas:

A. Within 75 feet of any natural body of water identified for preservation in the Calimesa general plan.

B. In geologic hazard areas, or any other area identified to be unsafe in a soils and geologic report as identified in the general plan.

C. In environmentally sensitive areas, as identified in the general plan.

D. In ridgeline areas identified in the Calimesa general plan for preservation.

E. In areas subject to flooding or other hazards, as identified in the general plan. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.110 Retaining walls/fences.

A. Retaining Walls.

1. Retaining walls on the upslope (from a building or structure) on a lot shall be a maximum of six feet in height.

2. Retaining walls on the downslope (from a building or structure) facing the public right-of-way shall not exceed three feet in height.

3. Terraced walls may be used with planters in between the walls to soften the effects within a minimum horizontal spacing of three feet. Terraced walls shall not exceed three feet in height.

4. Retaining walls adjacent to roadways shall be a maximum of four feet high, or a total of six feet if two three-foot walls are used in combination with a minimum horizontal spacing of three feet. Height and spacing variations may be granted on review by the city engineer and the planning director.

5. Retaining walls which are an integral part of a building or structure shall not exceed eight feet in height. Visual impacts of such a building or structure shall be mitigated through contour grading and landscaping techniques as approved by the planning commission.

6. Retaining walls shall be designed with smooth, continuous lines that conform to the topography.

B. Fences and Walls.

1. Fencing of individual lots shall be discouraged on natural slope areas exceeding 16 percent slope. View fences or other unique architectural designs may be permitted with the approval of the planning director once justification has been proven.

2. Fencing of individual lots shall be allowed on manufactured or graded slopes where the homeowner has maintenance responsibilities.

3. No individual lot fencing shall be allowed on common or open space graded slopes.

4. Privacy walls and fences, not exceeding six feet in height, are permitted adjacent to structures in order to provide a private outdoor area. All fences which are adjacent to or visible from public roads or major public spaces shall be constructed of decorative masonry or other approved materials with a preference to use of indigenous rock and colors of materials which blend with the surrounding landscape.

5. Freestanding walls integral to a structure shall be of the same material and design as the structure. The height of such walls shall not exceed six feet.

6. Freestanding wall setbacks along front yards shall be varied to avoid creating an unbroken, uniform streetscape. The height of such walls shall not exceed four feet.

7. Continuous rear yard fences and walls across tops of slopes shall be view fences and walls and shall be coordinated in design and use of materials.

8. Wall setbacks on slopes shall not allow more than four feet of solid wall to show above the sight line projected along the slope angle. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.120 Architectural standards.

All applications for approval of final building design shall comply with this chapter. The provisions in this section shall apply to all structures except existing structures for which a valid building permit has been issued.

A. Building Envelope/Setback and Height.

1. A minimum setback of 30 feet from top of slope or an average setback of 30 feet shall be provided from the edge of the pad where the structure is in the viewshed. Setbacks and building heights shall be varied from the top of 2:1 slopes to maintain ratios of 3:1 below ridgelines identified for preservation.

2. A minimum of 50 percent of the units shall be single-story when the housing is in the public view from arterial roads and major public spaces. Where two-story units are utilized, they shall be architecturally designed so that only one story is exposed to public view.

3. Below ridgelines identified for preservation, a variety of spacing between units shall be provided, at a minimum ratio of 0.5:1 (building setback to property line to building height).

B. Setbacks Reduction of the Underlying Zone.

1. Minimizing required setbacks, especially front and rear setbacks (when homes are not located at the top of slopes), may reduce grading by reducing the overall width of road and structure arrangements. Reduced setbacks also help to give the streetscape a more human scale.

2. Setbacks reduction shall be approved by the city engineer and the planning director. Before applying reduced setbacks to a structure, it shall be demonstrated that grading will be reduced, while still providing for useful private space for the occupant of the structure as part of the site. Varying the use of reduced and standard setbacks will allow the flexibility to adapt to hillside features and avoid monotonous application of a consistent standard.

C. Building Form.

1. Structures shall be designed to minimize creation of flat pads. Single-family units shall be compact and split-level if possible. Multifamily units shall be designed with two stories up-slope and three stories down-slope.

2. Building forms shall be scaled to the particular environmental setting so as to complement the hillside character and to avoid excessively massive forms that fail to enhance the hillside character. Building facades shall change plane or use overhangs as a means to create diversity to further break up massive forms.

3. Roof lines shall relate to the slope and topography. Totally flat roof lines shall be allowed only on single-story dwellings.

D. Building Exteriors.

1. Colors of the building shall be selected to blend with the natural colors and hues of the surrounding hillsides. A color palette shall include browns, greens, grays, and other earth tones.

2. Reflective coatings such as chrome or glass and bright colors shall be used only if it has been demonstrated that the structures will not become distracting features in the hillside environment.

3. Surface materials shall be rough-textured to blend with the coarseness of landscaping and natural vegetation. Textured stucco, wood, earth-tone brick, and coarse block are appropriate.

4. A harmonious mixture of materials, colors, and forms, combined to achieve a mottled effect, shall be used to blend with the natural hillside.

5. Roof materials shall be of rough-textured, fire-retardant material. Wood shingles are prohibited. Roof colors shall be darker tones, including browns, black, greens, dark grays, and terra cotta. Bright colors shall be avoided. Special attention to coordinating roof design is important because of the dominant appearance of roofs in the landscape.

E. Architectural Elements.

1. In deck construction, the distance between structure and grade shall conform to the natural hillside profile as much as possible. Excessively high distances between structure and grade shall be prohibited. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.130 Drainage.

A. Building and grading permits shall not be issued for construction on any site without an approved location for disposal of runoff waters, including but not limited to such facilities as a drainage channel, detention basin, public street or alley, or private drainage easement. The following drainage components shall be utilized to complement standard engineering practice and county flood control standards:

1. Debris basins, riprap, and energy-dissipating devices shall be provided where necessary to reduce erosion when grading is undertaken.

2. Except for necessary flood control facilities, significant natural drainage courses shall be protected from grading activity and manmade facilities.

3. In instances where crossing is required, a natural crossing and bank protection shall be preferred over steel and concrete systems.

4. Where brow ditches are required, they shall be naturalized with plant materials and native rocks.

5. All cuts shall be drained.

6. The use of drainage across lots is permitted, subject to review and approval by the city engineer based on the following findings:

a. This method will not adversely affect the proposed lots or adjacent properties; and

b. This method is required in order to minimize the amount of grading which would result with conventional drainage practices.

7. Where drainage across lots is utilized, the following shall apply:

a. Project Interiors.

i. One lot may drain across one other lot if an easement is provided within an improved, open V-swale gutter which has a naturalized appearance, or within a closed drainage pipe which shall be a minimum 12 inches in diameter. In both cases, an integral wall shall be constructed.

ii. This drainage shall be conveyed to either a public street or to a drainage easement. If drainage is conveyed to a private easement, it shall be maintained by a homeowners’ association; otherwise the drainage shall be conveyed to a public easement. The easement width shall be determined on an individual basis and shall be dependent on appropriate hydrologic studies and access requirements.

b. Project Boundaries.

i. On-site drainage shall be conveyed in an improved open V-swale gutter which has a naturalized appearance, or within an underground pipe in either a private drainage easement, which is to be maintained by a homeowners’ association or other approved mechanism, or in a public easement. The easement width shall be determined on an individual basis and shall be dependent on appropriate hydrologic studies and access requirements.

ii. Where possible, drainage channels should be placed in inconspicuous locations. More importantly, they should receive a naturalizing treatment, including native rock, colored concrete, and landscaping, so that the structure appears as an integral part of the environment.

8. Natural drainage courses should be preserved and enhanced to the extent possible. Natural drainage and terrain features should be incorporated as an integral part of the project design. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.140 Hillside street development standards.

A. Objectives.

1. Provide for a safe means of ingress and egress of vehicular and pedestrian traffic to and within the hillside areas, and provide for access of emergency and service vehicles necessary to serve the hillside areas.

2. Encourage developments which will result in preservation of the natural character of the hillside and the amenities provided by the hillside areas.

3. Reduce the scarring effects of hillside street construction, while maintaining an acceptable level of safety against unstable slopes or slopes subject to erosion and deterioration.

4. Provide for the most economical construction of the necessary streets within the hillside areas, consistent with the objectives enumerated above.

B. Principles and Standards.

1. These street standards shall not be imposed upon subdivisions comprising lots of 10 acres or more in size. Appropriate street standards shall be developed by the city engineer and the planning director for larger lot subdivisions.

2. Curbs. Vertical curbs of Portland cement concrete six inches minimum in height shall be constructed on both sides of all public streets.

a. Curbs which serve to carry storm runoff shall be constructed with an integral Portland cement concrete gutter.

b. Exceptions to this requirement may be permitted, with approval of the city engineer, where the planning commission finds that adequate drainage and traffic control are provided and normal maintenance would not be impaired.

3. Parking Lanes. Parking lanes, eight feet in width, shall be provided on at least one side on all public streets except where existing topography renders development of such areas adjacent to the street to be impractical or where off-street parking spaces are provided on each lot adjacent to the street or in parking bays.

a. Roads without parking lanes shall be provided with emergency parking stalls adequate to contain two vehicles and spaced at an average distance of 500 feet.

4. Horizontal and Vertical Curves. The design of all streets shall incorporate horizontal and vertical curves adequate to provide safe vehicular travel.

a. The minimum horizontal curve radius shall be 100 feet on minor residential streets and 150 feet on all other residential streets. The minimum length of vertical curve shall be 100 feet where practical.

b. Collector streets and thoroughfares shall be designed to incorporate vertical and horizontal curves greater than the minimums for residential streets in order to provide for increased traffic flow and vehicle speeds on such collector streets and thoroughfares.

c. The paved width of one-way streets shall be increased as necessary to provide for safe movement of traffic at sharp curves.

5. Cut-and-Fill Slopes. All manufactured slopes adjacent to roadways shall normally be a maximum of two horizontal to one vertical (2:1), unless limited by existing topography or constructed in rock, pursuant to the recommendations of a soils engineer.

6. Erosion Control. All manufactured slopes, other than those constructed in rock, shall be planted or otherwise protected from the effects of storm runoff erosion, and shall be benched or terraced as required to provide adequate slope stability. Irrigation facilities are required to provide for proper maintenance of the planted area.

7. Storm Drainage. The design of storm drainage facilities shall ensure the acceptance and disposal of storm runoff without damage to the street or to adjacent properties. The use of special structures to accept storm runoff shall be incorporated into the street design.

8. Walkways. Walkways of five and one-half feet in width shall be provided along or in the proximity of all public streets, and along private streets as determined by the city to be necessary.

a. Walkways shall be constructed of materials suitable for use in the particular area and shall be located as necessary to provide maximum pedestrian safety and maximum conservation of the character of the hill area.

b. Materials used for walkway construction shall not result in abnormal maintenance expense to the taxpayers.

9. Hillside Streets Geometries. The following minimum dimensions are to be utilized in the design of hillside streets:

a. Local mountain residential streets located in steeper slope areas shall have 40 feet of public right-of-way with 28 feet of paving. Location and placement of these streets shall be reviewed by the city engineer and the planning director.

b. Minor residential streets (serving 25 or fewer residences) shall have 50 feet of public right-of-way with 36 feet of paving.

c. Residential streets (serving more than 25 residences) shall have 60 feet of public right-of-way with 40 feet of paving.

d. Collector streets shall have 66 feet of public right-of-way with 44 feet of paving.

e. Cul-de-sac streets in areas of 16 percent and greater shall not exceed 600 feet in length. Cul-de-sac streets in areas of less than 16 percent shall not exceed 1,320 feet in length. This standard applies to private and public streets.

f. All other road classifications shall conform to adopted city of Calimesa standards.

g. The use of split-level, one-way streets shall be encouraged, when approved by the city engineer and the planning director, where the use of such design will result in a more efficient use of the existing terrain or will minimize the scarring effects of grading on the hillside.

h. When the established alignment of a road does not conform to the natural contours of slopes, excessively long stretches of manufactured straight embankments shall not be permitted; rather, the undulation of embankment slopes shall be provided. Manufactured slope faces shall be varied to avoid excessive flat-planed surfaces. Right-of-way widths may be modified to accommodate variations for meandering and divided roadways and sidewalks to fit contours.

10. Construction Standards. All streets shall be constructed to carry the anticipated traffic load without deterioration over the design life of the roadway. Streets constructed on a gradient of 15 percent or less may be paved with asphaltic concrete placed over a suitable base course.

11. Street Lighting. All hillside public streets shall be provided with a level of street lighting designed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of those living in hillside areas, and the general public traversing such areas.

12. Driveways and Drives. Driveways and drives shall be designed to a grade and alignment that will provide the maximum safety and convenience for emergency and service vehicles and pedestrian use in a manner which will not interfere with drainage or public use of the sidewalk and/or street area. Driveways shall meet current fire department requirements for ingress and egress.

13. Thoroughfares. The design of thoroughfares of four lanes or more, in hillside areas, shall conform to the principles previously enumerated.

14. Private Streets.

a. The use of private streets in hillside areas may be permitted where the city determines that such streets will create a more desirable living environment and will result in a more sensitive relationship to the natural topography.

b. Private streets shall have a minimum paved width of 24 feet within 36 feet of right-of-way, with approved asphalt or concrete curbs.

c. Private streets serving more than five lots shall be constructed to minimum public road standards, including four-foot sidewalks, but may remain private.

15. Provisions satisfactory to the city council shall be made for perpetual maintenance of private streets.

16. Modifications to Right-of-Way Standards. The planning commission may recommend to the city council approval of such modifications to the above right-of-way design standards, provided such modifications are in substantial conformance with the objectives stated in this section, and do not hinder the public health, safety, and welfare. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.150 Application submittal.

No development proposals, grading plan, or single-family building permit application shall be approved unless the development plan provides documentation (including but not limited to photographs, sketches, and renderings) relating to ridgeline preservation and recontouring (pursuant to subsections (D) and (E) of this section) through visual analysis as deemed necessary by the city and consistent with the requirements of this chapter. The following information shall be provided for review:

A. Average Slope Map. A slope map at a scale of not less than one inch equals 200 feet with a contour interval of five feet or less. The slope map shall use graphic techniques to portray the following slope categories on the entire site:

0% – 15%

16% – 20%

21% – 25%

26% – 30%

31% – 45%


B. Lot Layout Study Map (May Be Tentative Tract Map). A lot layout study of the proposed lots at a scale of not less than one inch equals 100 feet, and a contour interval of two feet. The map shall include the following:

1. Lot size (square feet).

2. Lot dimensions.

3. Daylight lines for all pad areas.

4. Daylight lines for all slope areas with direction of slope indicated.

5. Lot numbers.

6. Street cross-sections.

7. Street grades.

8. Adjacent improvements.

9. Vicinity map.

C. Geotechnical Report. Data shall be provided describing existing soils, geology, and drainage.

D. Conceptual landscape plans illustrating landscaping techniques and materials for all cut-and-fill slopes, including ridgeline softening techniques. Landscape plans shall conform to Chapter 18.70 CMC, Landscape Requirements, and Chapter 18.75 CMC, Water Conservation for Landscaping.

E. Conceptual building profiles exhibits shall be provided and shall be designed to illustrate contour grading techniques.

F. Optional information as determined necessary by the community development director.

1. Models, showing before and after conditions.

2. Computer-generated projections of before and after conditions.

3. Any other information which the planning director deems necessary for clarification of development issues. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.160 Action of the planning director.

The planning director shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny any single-family building permit application which falls within the scope of this chapter. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.170 Action of the planning commission.

The planning commission shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny any development application which falls within the scope of this chapter. In addition to any other findings necessary to the development project approval, the commission shall make the following findings:

A. The proposed project is consistent with the general plan.

B. The proposed project is consistent with the purpose, intent, and development standards of this chapter.

C. The design of the project protects the public health, safety, and welfare.

D. The proposed conditions are necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this chapter. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.180 Issuance of grading permit.

A. No grading permit (for any tract map, parcel map, etc.) or single-family building permit shall be issued until the city engineer and the planning director determine compliance with this chapter.

B. No grading permit shall be issued for any tentative tract or parcel map in the hillside development area until a final map has been recorded and/or proper securities posted with the city. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.190 Enforcement.

Violations of this chapter shall be punished as misdemeanors, as provided in Chapter 1.20 CMC (commencing with CMC 1.20.010).

A. Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the planning director may appeal the decision to the planning commission. A written notice of appeal, concisely stating the facts of the case and the grounds of appeal, shall be filed with the city clerk within 30 days of the decision appealed. Within 10 days, the city clerk shall notify the appellant of the costs of the appeal as estimated by the city manager. Upon receipt of appellant’s deposit for the cost of the appeal, the city clerk shall set the matter for hearing at a regular meeting of the planning commission and shall give the appellant written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least five days before the hearing.

B. Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the planning commission may appeal the decision to the city council. A written notice of appeal, concisely stating the facts of the case and the grounds of appeal, shall be filed with the city clerk within 30 days of the decision appealed. Within 10 days, the city clerk shall notify appellant of the costs of the appeal as estimated by the city manager. Upon receipt of appellant’s deposit for the cost of the appeal, the city clerk shall set the matter for hearing at a regular meeting of the city council and shall give appellant written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least five days before the hearing. The decision of the city council, after the appellant has had the opportunity to be heard, is final. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]

18.55.200 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decisions shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The city council of the city of Calimesa hereby declares that it would have adopted this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions were to be declared invalid or unconstitutional. [Ord. 342 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016.]