Chapter 17.56


17.56.010    Purpose and intent.

17.56.020    Archaeological/paleontological survey report.

17.56.030    Grading monitoring requirement.

17.56.040    Unexpected discovery of archaeological or paleontological resources.

17.56.050    Environmental assessment requirement.

17.56.060    Development standards.

17.56.010 Purpose and intent.

This chapter establishes standards to protect Capitola’s archaeological and paleontological resources. New land uses and development, both public and private, shall be considered compatible with this purpose only where they incorporate all feasible site planning and design features necessary to avoid or mitigate impacts to archaeological and paleontological resources. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.56.020 Archaeological/paleontological survey report.

A. When Required. An archaeological/paleontological survey report is required for any development located within:

1. Property within a known archaeological or paleontological resource;

2. Property located within one hundred feet of a bluff edge; or

3. An area with a probability of containing archaeological/paleontological resources, as determined through the city’s on-site investigation or other available information.

B. Report Preparation. The city will initiate the preparation of the survey report at the applicant’s expense utilizing a qualified archaeologist/paleontologist selected by the community development department. The survey report shall be submitted to and accepted by the city prior to deeming the application complete.

C. Mitigation Plan.

1. Where construction on, or construction impacts to, an archaeological or paleontological site cannot be avoided, as verified in the archaeological/paleontological report prepared for the project, a mitigation plan shall be prepared for the project. The mitigation plan shall be submitted to and approved by the city prior to deeming the application complete.

2. For archaeological resources, the mitigation plan shall include preservation measures in accordance with the guidelines of the State Office of Historic Preservation and/or the State of California Native American Heritage Commission.

3. For archaeological resources, the consulting archaeologist shall file both the archaeological survey report and mitigation plan with the State Office of Historic Preservation and where the plan contains recommendations that will impose any continuing restrictions or obligations on the property, an agreement approved by the city attorney, binding the property’s owner to the restrictions or requirements, shall also be recorded with the county recorder. Such agreement shall list the official file number of the report and the location of the document.

4. For paleontological resources, a consulting paleontologist shall file a paleontological resource report and mitigation plan with the city to minimize impacts on paleontological resources. The mitigation may include re-siting or redesigning the project, excavation, or moving the resources.

D. Mitigation Measures. The recommended mitigation measures contained in the archaeological/paleontological survey report and mitigation plan shall be made a condition of approval.

E. Required Condition. Where a mitigation plan has been prepared for a proposed development, a condition of project approval shall be that:

1. The preservation measures recommended in the mitigation plan shall be undertaken and completed prior to the issuance of building or grading permits, whichever comes first; or

2. Where appropriate, according to the recommendations contained in the mitigation plan, the preservation measures shall be undertaken concurrent with grading or other soil-disturbing activities and shall be undertaken in accordance with the mitigation plan, as a condition of the grading or building permit; and

3. The results of the preservation activities shall be compiled into a final report prepared by the archaeologist/paleontologist and submitted to the city prior to the issuance of building or grading permits. The city shall contract directly with the archaeologist to prepare the final report at the applicant’s expense.

F. Report Standards. The archaeological/paleontological survey report, mitigation plan, and final report shall be prepared according to the most professional report standards (e.g., the Society of Professional Archaeologists) and must include, at a minimum, a field survey by the archaeologist, survey of available state resource information at the Northwest Regional Information Center of the California Archaeological Inventory, description of the site’s sensitivity and any identified archaeological resources, appropriate levels of development if any on the site, and recommended mitigation measures. The report may be required to include additional information, according to the circumstances of the particular site.

G. Waiver of Report Requirement. The requirement to prepare an archaeological/paleontological survey report may be waived by the community development director if a previous report was prepared for the site by a qualified archaeologist/paleontologist, as included on the city’s list of archaeological/paleontological consultants or as a member of the Society of Professional Archaeologists, and accepted by the city, and either of the following apply:

1. The report clearly and adequately included the currently proposed development site within the scope of its survey; or

2. The proposed development does not involve land clearing, land disturbance, or excavation into native soils. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.56.030 Grading monitoring requirement.

The community development director may require grading monitoring by a qualified archaeologist and/or paleontologist for any project which involves grading into native soils within an area identified as having a moderate to high potential to support archaeological or paleontological resources. Archaeological and paleontological monitors shall be commissioned by the city and paid for by the project applicant. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.56.040 Unexpected discovery of archaeological or paleontological resources.

If archaeological and/or paleontological resources are discovered during grading or construction activities, all work must immediately cease and the project applicant or their designated representatives must immediately contact community development department staff to initiate a resource evaluation by a qualified archaeologist and/or paleontologist, as appropriate. Work shall not resume until the qualified archaeologist and/or paleontologist determines that no significant resources are present or until appropriate avoidance and/or mitigation measures have been implemented to the satisfaction of the community development director. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.56.050 Environmental assessment requirement.

All development proposed on parcels with known archaeological and/or paleontological resources, as identified through the survey report, shall be subject to environmental assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines. If human remains are discovered during construction, the project shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws, including California Health and Safety Code Section 7050.5 and CEQA Guidelines Section 15064.5(e). (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.56.060 Development standards.

A. Design and Location. Development proposed within areas identified in Section 17.56.020(A) (When Required) shall be designed and located so as to avoid development on or impacts to the site to the extent feasible. Alternative siting or location, reduction of project size, and other techniques shall be required where that technique will result in reduced impact to or nondisturbance of the archaeological/paleontological site.

B. Mitigation Measures. Development proposed within areas identified in Section 17.56.020(A) (When Required) shall be subject to the mitigation measures of the archaeological/paleontological survey report as conditions of approval, to be completed prior to the issuance of building or grading permits. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)