Chapter 17.50
Land and Marine Resource Protection


17.50.010    Purpose

17.50.020    Applicability

17.50.030    Archaeological Resource Preservation

17.50.050    Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas

17.50.070    Visual Resources

17.50.080    Water Supply

17.50.010 - Purpose

This Chapter provides standards for proposed development and new land uses to ensure the protection of sensitive coastal resources, to implement applicable provisions of the General Plan and Local Coastal Plan, and comply with the Coastal Act. Article 6 (Site Development Regulations) provides requirements, standards, and procedures for grading, erosion and sediment control, and urban runoff pollution control which also help to ensure protection of coastal resources.

17.50.020 - Applicability

The provisions of this Chapter apply to all development and proposed land uses located within the Coastal Zone.

17.50.030 - Archaeological Resource Preservation

A.    Purpose. The requirements of this Section are intended to ensure that appropriate safeguards are established and followed in order to protect archaeological and paleontological resources whose potential location is identified, or which are actually discovered as a result of development activity within the City.

B.    Applicability. This Chapter shall apply to the review and approval of coastal development permits, grading permits, and building permits for all development located within areas known to contain, or potentially containing, archaeological and paleontological resources including as follows:

1.    Former Georgia Pacific timber mill. The entire property which comprises the former Georgia-Pacific timber mill site;

2.    Noyo Bay. The area located along the south side of Noyo Bay (e.g., Todd Point);

3.    Noyo River. All of the areas located adjacent to the north side of the Noyo River;

4.    North Fort Bragg Coast. All of the areas located west of Highway 1 and north of Pudding Creek;

5.    Special Review Areas. All Special Review Areas identified on Map OS-2 in the Coastal General Plan, and;

6.    Other areas identified by the Director. Other areas identified by the environmental review process (Chapter 17.72), or brought to the attention of the City through special studies performed after the enactment of this Section, as having the potential for containing archaeological or paleontological resources.

C.    Report required. A report shall be prepared by a qualified archaeologist and shall be submitted prior to filing as complete an application for a coastal development permit, grading permit, building permit, or other discretionary permit approval.

1.    The report shall include a search of existing archaeological records including, but not limited to, those contained at the California Historic Resource Information Center at Sonoma State University.

2.    The report shall include a field survey to identify and evaluate all archaeological and paleontological resources in the areas of the site proposed to be disturbed by the project;

3.    At a minimum, the report shall identify and evaluate all archaeological and paleontological resources in the areas of the site proposed to be disturbed by the project, assess the effects of the proposed development on those resources, evaluate alternatives to determine if the development can be feasibly located and/or designed to avoid archaeological and paleontological resources, and recommend appropriate resource preservation and/or mitigation measures to adequately address the identified effects.

4.    If cultural resources are identified, a copy of the report shall also be transmitted to the State Historical Preservation Officer and the California Historic Resources Information System for review and comment.

The Director may waive the requirement for a report if the Director determines that an existing report satisfies the requirements of this section.

D.    Mitigation measures required.

1.    Where proposed development activity will adversely affect archaeological or paleontological resources, the City shall require reasonable and necessary mitigation measures.

2.    Mitigation shall be designed in compliance with the guidelines of the State Office of Historic Preservation and the State Native American Heritage Commission.

E.    Discovery of resources. If there is the potential that prehistoric traces such as human remains, artifacts, or concentrations of shell, bone, or ash may be encountered during development activity, the City shall require the following actions be taken as a condition of any permit approval:

1.    When, in the course of digging, grading, or any other activity associated with construction of an approved development project, evidence of archaeological, paleontological, or potentially significant historic resources is discovered, all development shall cease immediately and shall not recommence except as provided in subsection (6) hereof.

2.    The Director and a qualified archaeologist shall be notified immediately of the discovery.

3.    The Director shall notify the State Historic Preservation Officer and the California Historical Resources Information System at Sonoma State University of the discovery.

4.    If human remains are encountered, the county coroner and the Mendocino County Archaeological Commission shall be contacted immediately. If the county coroner or archaeological commission officials determine that the remains are those of a Native American, local representative Native American organizations shall be consulted as to courses of action.

5.    Prompt evaluation of the importance of the find shall be made and the proper course of action, acceptable to all parties concerned, shall be adopted.

6.    An applicant seeking to recommence construction following discovery of the cultural deposits shall submit a supplementary archaeological plan for the review and approval of the permit review authority.

a.    If the permit review authority approves the Supplementary Archaeological Plan and determines that the Supplementary Archaeological Plan’s recommended changes to the proposed development or mitigation measures are de minimis in nature and scope, construction may recommence after this determination is made by the permit review authority.

b.    If the permit review authority approves the Supplementary Archaeological Plan but determines that the changes therein are not de minimis, construction may not recommence until after an amendment to the permit is approved by the reviewing authority.

c.    The applicant shall undertake development in accordance with the approved supplemental Archaeological Plan.

F.    Monitoring. New development on sites identified as archaeologically sensitive shall include on-site monitoring of all grading, excavation and site preparation that involve earth moving operations by a qualified archaeologist(s) and appropriate Native American consultant(s).

17.50.050 - Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas

This Section provides requirements for the protection and enhancement of environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHAs), when development is proposed adjacent to, or within environmentally sensitive habitat areas.

A.    Applicability. The provisions of this Section apply to the review of coastal development permits for all development proposed on sites that include, are immediately adjacent to, or are within an ESHA defined as any area in which plant or animal life or their habitats are either rare or especially valuable because of their special nature or role in an ecosystem and which could be easily disturbed or degraded by human activities and developments. In addition to compliance with this Section, all development within or adjacent to Wetland ESHA shall comply with Chapter 17.58. In addition to compliance with this Section, all development within or adjacent to River and Stream or Riparian ESHA shall comply with Chapter 17.52.

B.    Biological resources report. A planning permit application for development on a site that is subject to this Section shall include a biological resources report that complies with the following requirements. Biological reports required by this Section shall be submitted prior to filing as complete a coastal development permit application.

1.    Qualifications of preparer. The report shall be prepared by individuals approved by the City with demonstrated education, training, or experience to prepare these plans in a professional and competent manner. Acceptance of additional experts may be authorized by the permit review authority upon receipt of a resume demonstrating an individual’s special capabilities. The permit review authority decision to accept or deny a consulting biologist shall be final.

2.    Report contents for all ESHA. A biological resources report shall include, but not be limited to:

a.    A study identifying biological resources existing on the site;

b.    An identification of “fully protected” species and/or “species of special concern,” and an identification of any other species of rarity, including plants designated “1B” or “2” by the California Native Plant Society, that are present or have the potential to occur on the project site;

c.    Photographs of the site;

d.    A discussion of the physical characteristics of the site including, but not limited to, topography, soil types, microclimate, and migration corridors;

e.    A site map depicting the location of biological resources;

f.    An analysis of the potential impacts of the proposed development on the identified habitat or species;

g.    An analysis of any unauthorized development, including grading or vegetation removal that may have contributed to the degradation or elimination of habitat area or species that would otherwise be present on the site in a healthy condition;

h.    Project alternatives designed to avoid and minimize impacts to identified habitat or species;

i.    A buffer width analysis consistent with the requirements of Section 17.50.050(F) where an ESHA buffer less than 100 feet is proposed.

j.    An evaluation of the impact the development may have on the habitat, and whether the development will be consistent with the biological continuance of the habitat. The report shall identify the maximum feasible mitigation measures to protect the resource and a program for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. Proposed mitigation measures shall meet the following standards:

i)    They are specific, implementable, and, wherever feasible, quantifiable;

ii)    They result in the maximum feasible protection, habitat restoration and enhancement of sensitive environmental resources. Habitat restoration and enhancement shall be required wherever feasible, in addition to the applicable baseline standard of either avoiding or minimizing significant habitat disruption;

iii)    They are incorporated into a Mitigation Monitoring Program; and

iv)    They include substantial information and analysis to support a finding that there is no feasible, less environmentally damaging alternative.

k.    An analysis of potential significant impacts on the habitat from noise, sediment, and other potential disturbances that may occur during project construction.

l.    Recommendations for conditions of approval for habitat maintenance, and the restoration of damaged habitats, where feasible.

3.    Wetland Delineation Report for Wetland ESHA.

a.    Where the biological study required by Section 17.50.050(B) above indicates the presence or potential for wetland species or indicators, the applicant shall additionally submit a delineation of all wetland areas on the project site.

b.    Wetland delineations shall be conducted according to the definitions of wetland boundaries contained in Section 13577(b) of the California Code of Regulations. A preponderance of hydric soils or a preponderance of wetland indicator species shall be considered presumptive evidence of wetland conditions. The delineation report shall include at a minimum a (1) a map at a scale of 1":200’ or larger with polygons delineating all wetland areas, polygons delineating all areas of vegetation with a preponderance of wetland indicator species, and the location of sampling points, and (2) a description of the surface indicators used for delineating the wetland polygons. Paired sample points will be placed inside and outside of vegetation polygons and wetland polygons identified by the biologist doing the delineation.

c.    Information required by Chapter 17.58.050(B).

4.    Evaluation of Proposed Development in Wetland ESHA. Applications for development projects affecting wetland resources shall include the following additional information:

a.    A comprehensive project description.

b.    A description of wetland habitat type(s) and the approximate area each habitat covers using the classification procedures described in Procedural Guidelines for the Evaluating Wetland Mitigation Projects in California’s Coastal Zone.

c.    Detailed topographic base map(s) of the site with information taken from recent (1 to 2 year old) aerial photographs. If only older aerial photographs are available, the site information must be updated from field visits.

    The map should indicate 0.5 to 1.0 foot contours, the specific datum reference used (either mean sea level or mean lower low water), and show the applicant’s property boundaries and adjacent property boundaries (including parcel lines of any tidelines, submerged lands, or public trust lands). All parcels should be identified by their assessor parcel numbers.

d.    A detailed hydrologic map. For tidal wetlands the map should show areas inundated at high and low tides, along with estimates of the effective tidal range and tidal lag. For non-tidal wetlands the map should show the permanent or seasonal water patterns of inundation (including sources) in years of low, average, and high rainfall.

e.    A detailed vegetation map. This map should identify the type, location, and percent of coverage of all plant species.

f.    A detailed soils map. This map should identify the type and location of all soils and include a description of the soil types.

g.    A detailed site map. This map should show the location and size of the proposed development, including dikes, culverts, or tide gates.

h.    A grading plan. This plan should show the extent and quantity of filling and/or dredging, the type and source of fill and/or dredge material including determinations of grain size and tests for possible pollutants, and the location of any proposed dredge disposal site.

i.    History of the site, if available, including:

i)    Collection of older aerial photographs and maps. These historic photographs and maps should be used to establish, if possible, the previous natural state of the wetland prior to any artificial modification.

ii)    Collection and summary of all available studies of the wetland site. This should include land use studies, environmental documents, and scientific reports. Existing land use policies and any approved plans for the site should also be included.

j.    A complete description and analysis of existing ecological conditions at the project site, including:

i)    A discussion of the ecological value of the plants and animals using the wetland and adjacent areas.

ii)    A discussion of the wetlands present functions and values.

iii)    An evaluation of potential and existing impacts including the effects of sedimentation and pollutants from residential, industrial, agricultural, and flood control activities to the wetland and associated watershed.

k.    An analysis and discussion of project impacts and proposed mitigation, including an analysis of whether the project and proposed mitigation maintains and enhances the functional capacity of the wetland. Functional capacity means the ability of the wetland or estuary to be self-sustaining and to maintain natural species diversity. In order to establish that the functional capacity is maintained, the applicant must demonstrate all of the following:

i)    That the project will not alter presently occurring plant and animal populations in the ecosystem in a manner that would impair the long-term stability of the ecosystems, that is, that the natural species diversity, abundance, and composition are essentially unchanged as a result of the project.

ii)    That the project will not significantly reduce consumptive (e.g., fishing and hunting) or non-consumptive (e.g., water quality and bird watching) values of the wetland or estuary.

l.    An alternatives analysis that, at a minimum, includes the following review of all feasible alternatives:

i)    Consideration of alternative sites, including sites which are completely outside the wetland.

ii)    Reconfiguration of the project, including a reduction in project size, density, or coverage.

iii)    Identification of the wetland impacts of each alternative, including a determination of the amount of habitat lost and an analysis of the impacts to the functional capacity of the system.

iv)    Selection of the least damaging feasible alternative.

C.    Application Requirements -Mitigation Monitoring Program. When wetlands cannot be avoided and there is a potential loss of existing wetland habitat or value, a Mitigation Monitoring Program must be submitted with the Use Permit and coastal development permit application that, when implemented, will result in the replacement of all lost wetland functions and habitat, where feasible. A mitigation plan can take several forms, although restoration is the most common form submitted to the City. The City shall administer the Mitigation Monitoring Program; preparation and administration of the plan shall be paid for by the project applicant. A bond or other method acceptable to the City shall be established to guarantee successful completion of the mitigation project. The Mitigation Monitoring Program shall, at a minimum:

1.    Establish clearly stated goals and objectives that provide for the establishment of functions and values at least equal to those occurring at the impact site. The stated goals and objectives should also be consistent with established regional habitat goals where possible. These regional goals must identify functions and/or habitats most in need of replacement or restoration and must be as specific as possible. A schedule to complete the restoration program shall be included.

2.    Provide adequate baseline data regarding the biological, physical, and chemical criteria for the restoration area. For a restoration plan to be deemed acceptable, it must include evidence or other conclusive information that:

a)    The site can be purchased prior to commencement of the development project and dedicated to a public agency or otherwise permanently restricted in use to “open space.”

b)    The site is located in an area no longer functioning in a manner beneficial to wetland species, such as a formerly productive wetland or estuary that is now biologically unproductive dry land.

c)    The site can be restored to “equal or greater biological productivity” (Coastal Act Section 30607.1) than the area lost, with the same type and variety of plant and animal species. That is, the mitigation wetland would replace the functions and values existing at the impacted wetland.

d)    The site is located in the same region e.g., preferably within the same water body or watershed as the wetland impacted through development.

3.    Provide documentation that the project will continue to function as a viable restored wetland site over the long-term.

4.    Provide sufficient technical detail on the restoration design. This should include, at a minimum, an engineered grading plan and water control structures, methods for conserving or stockpiling topsoil, a planting program including removal of exotic species, a list of all species to be planted, sources of seeds and/or plants, timing of planting, plant locations and elevations on the restoration base map, and maintenance techniques.

5.    Require independent monitoring of the site at least five years after completion of the mitigation project. The intent is to continue monitoring until the project has successfully met the stated goals and objectives, therefore the monitoring plan should specifically monitor the measurable success features of the project and adaptive management, approved by the City, should be employed in the event that success features are not achieved. A brief report with photographic evidence of the site should be submitted to the department on an annual basis. For larger projects where new wetlands are created, extended monitoring will be required.

6.    Require annual survey for plants and animals of special concern throughout the various habitats of the mitigation area. The surveys should permit a determination of species composition and abundance for species of special concern and indicator species for each major ecological strata. The presence/absence of terrestrial and aquatic organisms (especially aquatic insects) that are not species of special concern should be identified, as appropriate. Timing of the surveys should be considered, since the abundance of many plant and animal species often varies with season. Surveys sufficient to characterize the mitigation site should also be completed prior to any enhancement or restoration activities.

7.    Monitor hydrology. For tidal wetlands include mapping, photographing, and/or measuring areas and associated depths of the areas inundated at high and low tide, tidal prism, and water velocity. For non-tidal wetlands, include mapping, photographing, and/or measuring areas and associated depths of the areas of permanent and seasonal saturation, inundation, and flowing waters.

8.    Monitor water quality. Carry out repetitive sampling, as appropriate, of various chemical and physical constituents such as salinity, pH, nutrient concentration, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and turbidity throughout the year. The sampling pattern may vary throughout the year and may include more intensive sampling over several tidal cycles to determine short-term salinity patterns.

9.    Monitor for evidence of tidal wetland inundation to determine if the depth or area of the tideland area changes in response to tidal influx/retreat.

10.    Utilize Adaptive Management for the ongoing identification and correction of problems as they arise. With city Approval, the project proponent, qualified biologist or other monitor should adopt an Adaptive Management corrective approach to problems that arise as conditions warrant.

11.    Provide timely analysis and production of annual reports. These reports will be distributed to the City, the California Coastal Commission and other interested parties. The final monitoring report, submitted upon completion of the monitoring program, should analyze all monitoring data and present different management options.

D.    General development standards.

1.    Performance standards. All development adjacent to or within an ESHA shall comply with the following requirements:

a.    New development shall be designed, sited, constructed, and maintained so as to not significantly disrupt the resource.

b.    Where feasible, damaged habitats shall be restored as a condition of development approval.

c.    Development shall be consistent with the biological continuance of the ESHA.

2.    Vegetation removal. Existing native vegetation shall not be removed within an ESHA or an ESHA buffer except for: (1) vegetation removal authorized through coastal permit approval to accommodate permissible development, (2) removal of trees for disease control, (3) public safety purposes to abate a nuisance consistent with Coastal Act Section 30005, or (4) removal of firewood for the personal use of the property owner at his or her residence to the extent that such removal does not constitute development pursuant to Coastal Act Section 30106.

3.    Landscaping. A landscaping plan shall be submitted to the City for approval prior to construction for any site where development will disturb existing or potential native plant habitat. The plan shall provide:

a.    After construction, disturbed undeveloped areas shall be replanted to provide for the reestablishment of a 100 percent vegetation cover within two years. At five years, the site should support the same habitat removed. Native non-invasive plant species that would provide bank stability and habitat enhancement should be used where applicable.

b.    Remedial actions (e.g., planting of native species and removal of invasive horticultural species) shall be implemented as necessary to ensure that the site will consist of at least 75 percent native species at the end of five years.

c.    Landscaping with exotic plants shall be limited to outdoor living space immediately adjacent to the proposed development.

d.    Invasive non-native plants described in subsections 5(e)(i)&(ii) below and including, but not limited to, Pampas grass, Acacia, Genista, and non-native iceplant pose a threat to indigenous plant communities and shall not be approved as part of any proposed landscaping.

e.    All development located within or adjacent to environmentally sensitive habitat areas shall be conditioned to:

i)    Require all proposed plantings be obtained from local genetic stocks within Mendocino County. If documentation is provided to the review authority that demonstrates that native vegetation from local genetic stock is not available, native vegetation obtained from genetic stock outside the local area, but from within the adjacent region of the floristic province, may be used; and if local genetic stocks within the floristic province are unavailable, the Director may authorize use of a commercial native mix, provided it is clear of problematic and/or invasive seed. Director may also authorize use of a seed mix that is selected for rapid senescence to be subsequently complimented or replaced with native stock; and

ii)    Require an invasive plant monitoring and removal program; and

iii)    Prohibit the planting of any plant species on the property that is (i) listed as problematic and/or invasive by the California Native Plant Society, the California Invasive Plant Council, and/or by the State of California, or (ii) listed as a ’noxious weed’ by the State of California or the U.S. Federal Government.

4.    Fencing. Fencing within or adjacent to ESHAs shall be restricted to that which will not impact public views or the free passage of native wildlife, and shall employ design and materials determined by the review authority to be compatible with the visual and biological character of the habitat.

5.    Resource protection during construction. Habitat areas containing vegetation that is essential to the maintenance of the habitat and/or rare or endangered plant or animal species shall be protected from disturbance by construction activities. Temporary wire mesh fencing shall be placed around habitat prior to construction, and protected areas shall not be used by workers or for the storage of machinery or materials. Inspections for compliance shall occur during construction.

6.    Herbicide use. The use and disposal of any herbicides for invasive species removal shall follow the written directions of the manufacturer, shall comply with all conditions imposed by the City, and shall be accomplished in a manner that will fully protect adjacent native vegetation.

7.    Erosion and sediment control. During construction, temporary fencing shall be placed around the ESHA buffer area. Prior to issuance of a Coastal Development Permit or any required Grading Permit, an erosion control plan prepared by a registered professional engineer shall be submitted to the City Engineer for approval, including best management practices to minimize siltation, sedimentation, and erosion. To ensure that sediment remains on the site and is not transported into adjacent ESHA, erosion and sediment controls shall be left in place until the site is stabilized with permanent vegetation.

E.    Diking, Filling, and Dredging of open coastal waters, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes shall be permitted where there is no feasible less environmentally damaging alternative, and where feasible mitigation measures have been provided to minimize adverse environmental effects, and shall be limited to the following uses:

1.    New or expanded port, energy, and coastal dependent industrial facilities, including commercial fishing facilities.

2.    Maintaining existing or restoring previously dredged depths in existing navigational channels, turning basins, vessel berthing and mooring areas, and boat launching ramps.

3.    New or expanded boating facilities and the placement of structural pilings for public recreational piers they provide public access and recreational opportunities.

4.    Incidental public service purposes, including but not limited to burying cables and pipes or inspection of piers and maintenance of existing intake and outfall pipelines.

5.    Restoration purposes.

6.    Nature study, aquaculture, or similar resource dependent activities.

    The more specific permissible use provisions for wetlands control over the more general specific use provisions for other types of ESHA.

F.    Channelizations, dams, or other substantial alterations of rivers and streams shall incorporate the best mitigation measures feasible, and be limited to:

1.    Necessary water supply projects;

2.    Flood control projects where no other method for protecting existing structures in the floodplain is feasible and where such protection is necessary for public safety or to protect existing development; or

3.    Developments where the primary function is the improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

G.    Development within Other Types of ESHA shall protect ESHA against any significant disruption of habitat values and shall be limited to the following uses:

1.    Resource Dependent Uses. Public nature trails within riparian ESHA are considered a resource dependent use provided that (1) the length of the trail within the riparian corridor shall be minimized, (2) the trail crosses the stream at right angles to the maximum extent feasible, (3) the trail is kept as far up slope from the stream as possible, (4) trail development involves a minimum of slope disturbance and vegetation clearing, and (5) the trail is the minimum width necessary. Interpretive signage may be used along permissible nature trails accessible to the public to provide information about the value and need to protect sensitive resources.

2.    Restoration projects where the primary purpose is restoration of the habitat.

3.    Invasive plant eradication projects if they are designed to protect and enhance habitat values.

4.    Pipelines and utility lines installed underneath the ESHA using directional drilling techniques designed to avoid significant disruption of habitat values.

H.    Buffer Areas: New development adjacent to ESHA shall provide buffer areas to serve as transitional habitat and provide distance and physical barriers to human intrusion. The purpose of this buffer area is to provide for a sufficient area to protect environmentally sensitive habitats from significant degradation resulting from future development. Buffers shall be of a sufficient size to ensure the biological integrity and preservation of the ESHA they are designed to protect. The width of the buffer area shall be a minimum of 100 feet, unless an applicant can demonstrate, after consultation and agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game, and the City, that 100 feet is not necessary to protect the resources of that particular habitat area and the adjacent upland transitional habitat function of the buffer from possible significant disruption caused by the proposed development. The buffer area shall be measured from the outside edge of the environmentally sensitive habitat areas and in no event shall be less than 30 feet in width. The criteria to be utilized to establish buffer areas shall be those criteria contained in Policy OS-1.9 of the Conservation, Open Space, Energy, & Parks Element of the Coastal General Plan.

Required buffer areas shall be measured from the following points:

1.    The outer edge of the canopy of riparian vegetation for riparian ESHA or the top of stream bank where no riparian vegetation exists.

2.    The upland edge of a wetland for a wetland ESHA.

3.    The outer edge of the plants that comprise the rare plant community for rare plant community ESHA.

I.    Permitted Uses within ESHA Buffers. Development within an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area buffer shall be limited to the following:

1.    Wetland Buffer.

a.    Uses allowed within the adjacent Wetland ESHA pursuant to Section 17.50.050(E)(1)-(6).

b.    Nature trails and interpretive signage designed to provide information about the value and protection of the resources.

c.    Invasive plant eradication projects if they are designed to protect and enhance habitat values.

2.    Riparian Buffer.

a.    Uses allowed within the adjacent River and Stream ESHA pursuant to Section 17.50.050(F)(1)-(3).

b.    Nature trails and interpretive signage designed to provide information about the value and protection of the resources, if they are designed to protect and enhance habitat values.

c.    Buried pipelines and utility lines.

d.    Bridges.

e.    Drainage and flood control facilities.

3.    Other types of ESHA Buffer.

a.    Uses allowed within the adjacent ESHA pursuant to Section 17.50.050(G)(1)-(4).

b.    Buried pipelines and utility lines.

c.    Bridges.

J.    Development standards for dredging.

1.    Dredging. When consistent with the allowable use provisions of Section 17.50.050(E), dredging shall at a minimum, comply with the following requirements.

a.    Dredging shall be prohibited in breeding and nursery areas and during periods of fish migration and spawning.

b.    Dredging shall be limited to the smallest areas feasible.

c.    Designs for dredging and excavation projects shall include protective measures such as silt curtains, diapers, and weirs to protect water quality in adjacent areas during construction by preventing the discharge of refuse, petroleum spills, and unnecessary dispersal of silt materials.

K.    Specific spoils disposal location requirements. There shall be no disposal of fill or dredging spoils off site within the Coastal Zone except the existing dredge spoils site located near the mouth of the Noyo Harbor, which may be used for maintenance dredging of the harbor. These activities shall be compatible with proposed public access or designated commercial or recreational boating traffic, and uses shall not interfere with the existing spoils disposal operation.

L.    Required findings. A coastal development permit for development allowed within an environmentally sensitive habitat area (ESHA) or within an ESHA buffer shall be approved only when the review authority first finds, in addition to all other findings required by these regulations, that:

1.    The resource as identified will not be significantly degraded by the proposed development;

2.    There is no feasible less environmentally damaging alternative; and

3.    All feasible mitigation measures capable of reducing or eliminating project related impacts have been adopted.

17.50.070 - Visual Resources

A.    Purpose. The provisions of this Section are intended to consider and protect the scenic and visual qualities of coastal areas, maintain existing scenic views of the coastline from Highway 1, and ensure that proposed development is consistent with the character of its surroundings.

B.    Applicability. The requirements of this Section apply to the review and approval of planning permits, including but not limited to, coastal development permits for proposed development located on any parcel of land that is located along, provides views to, or is visible from any scenic area, scenic road, or public viewing area including:

1.    Along the west side of Highway 1;

2.    Along the bluff of the Noyo River including any area within viewing distance from the bluff, and the bluffs at the mouth of Pudding Creek within the Coastal Zone (CZ);

3.    Along Highway 20 and Highway 1 on sites with views to the ocean; and

4.    Areas designated “Potential Scenic Views Toward the Ocean or the Noyo River” on Map CD-1.

C.    Visual Analysis. A Visual Analysis shall be required for all new development located in areas designated “Potential Scenic Views Toward the Ocean or the Noyo River” on Map CD-1, except development listed in 1.a-1.e below.

1.    Development exempt from the Visual Analysis requirement includes the following:

a.    The replacement of any structure, other than a public works facility, destroyed by a disaster. The replacement structure shall conform to applicable existing zoning requirements, shall be for the same use as the destroyed structure, shall not exceed either the floor area, height, or bulk of the destroyed structure by more than 10 percent, and shall be sited in the same location on the affected property as the destroyed structure.

b.    The demolition and reconstruction of a single-family residence; provided, that the reconstructed residence shall not exceed either the floor area, height or bulk of the former structure by more than 10 percent, and that the reconstructed residence shall be sited in the same location on the affected property as the former structure.

c.    Improvements to any structure which do not change the intensity of its use, which do not increase either the floor area, height, or bulk of the structure by more than 10 percent, which do not block or impede public access, and which do not result in a seaward encroachment by the structure.

d.    The reconstruction or repair of any seawall; provided, however, that the reconstructed or repaired seawall is not seaward of the location of the former structure.

e.    Any repair or maintenance activity for which the Director has determined, pursuant to Section 17.71.045 (Coastal Development Permit), that a coastal development permit will be required.

2.    Information required for Visual Analysis: Applications for development requiring a Visual Analysis shall include the following:

a.    Photographs of scenic views as seen from public lands and rights-of-ways;

b.    Photographic simulations wherein proposed structures are superimposed on these photographs by means of lines, blocked out areas of shading, or other means in a manner that accurately identifies the location, height, and bulk of the structures;

c.    Provisions for the erection of story poles to show the height and footprint of the building (the height at the ridgeline and at all corners); and

d.    A site map and elevations of proposed structures with an explanation of how the scenic views would be affected by the proposed development, and what mitigations are proposed.

3.    Definitions as used in this subsection:

a.    “Disaster” means any situation in which the force or forces which destroyed the structure to be replaced were beyond the control of its owner.

b.    “Bulk” means total interior cubic volume as measured from the exterior surface of the structure.

c.    “Structure” includes landscaping and any erosion control structure or device which is similar to that which existed prior to the occurrence of the disaster.

D.    General findings for project approval. Coastal Development Permit approval for development in the areas identified by Subsection B. shall require that the review authority first find that the proposed project:

1.    Minimize the alteration of natural landforms;

2.    Is visually compatible with the character of the surrounding area;

3.    Is sited and designed to protect views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas; and

4.    Restores and enhances visual quality in visually degraded areas, where feasible.

E.    Development Standards.

1.    Development shall be sited and designed to minimize adverse impacts on scenic areas visible from scenic roads or public viewing areas to the maximum feasible extent.

2.    Fences, walls, and landscaping shall minimize blockage of views of scenic areas from roads, parks, beaches, and other public viewing areas.

3.    Development shall minimize removal of natural vegetation. Existing native trees and plants shall be preserved on the site to the maximum extent feasible.

4.    Exterior lighting (except traffic lights, navigational lights, and other similar safety lighting) shall be minimized, restricted to low intensity fixtures and shielded so that no light shines beyond the boundaries of the property.

F.    Commercial development west of Highway 1. Commercial development west of Highway 1 shall be designed and constructed in a manner that maintains scenic views of the coast by providing sufficient separation between buildings, as determined by the review authority based on the characteristics of the site and existing development in the area, and by preventing a continuous facade of buildings that would block scenic views of the coastline.

G.    Industrial development. All new industrial development sited next to visitor serving land uses and facilities including public accessways shall be designed so as to minimize the visual impact on adjacent visitor serving land uses and facilities.

H.    Development North of Pudding Creek.

1.    New development north of Pudding Creek and west of Main Street on parcels with total frontage of more than 135 feet, on either the Haul Road or Main Street as determined by the Planning Commission, shall be required to leave a minimum of 30 percent of the project’s total parcel frontage free of view-blocking development. The area free of view-blocking development shall not include narrow passageways between buildings on the site, and shall be concentrated.

2.    All new development (including decks and balconies) north of Pudding Creek shall be set back at least 30 feet from the edge of the Old Haul Road and shall be consistent with all other applicable LCP setback requirements.

I.    Bluff Face and Bluff Retreat Setback Development.

1.    Development on the bluff face and within the bluff retreat setback shall be limited to the following uses with a conditional use permit where there is no feasible less environmentally damaging alternative, feasible mitigation measures have been provided to minimize all adverse environmental impacts. and allowable structures are designed be visually compatible with the surrounding area to the maximum extent feasible.

a.    engineered accessways or staircases to beaches, boardwalks, viewing platforms, and trail alignments for public access purposes;

b.    pipelines to serve coastal dependent industry;

c.    habitat restoration;

d.    hazardous materials remediation; and

e.    landform alterations where such alterations re-establish natural landforms and drainage patterns that have been eliminated by previous development activities.

2.    Blufftop development shall incorporate a setback from the edge of the bluff that avoids and minimizes visual impacts from the beach and ocean below. The blufftop setback necessary to protect visual resources may be in excess of the setback necessary to ensure that risk from geologic hazards are minimized for the life of the structure, as detailed in 17.50.060 (Hazards and Shoreline/Bluff Development).

J.    Alteration of natural landforms. All new development shall be sited and designed to minimize alteration of natural landforms by:

1.    Conforming to the natural topography.

2.    Preventing substantial grading or reconfiguration of the project site.

3.    Minimizing flat building pads on slopes. Building pads on sloping sites shall utilize split level or stepped-pad designs.

4.    Requiring that man-made contours mimic the natural contours.

5.    Ensuring that graded slopes blend with the existing terrain of the site and surrounding area.

6.    Minimizing grading permitted outside of the building footprint.

7.    Clustering structures to minimize site disturbance and to minimize development area.

8.    Minimizing height and length of cut and fill slopes.

9.    Minimizing the height and length of retaining walls.

10.    Cut and fill operations may be balanced on-site, where the grading does not substantially alter the existing topography and blends with the surrounding area. Export of cut material may be required to preserve the natural topography.

17.50.080 - Water Supply

The quality and quantity of groundwater supplies shall be maintained, and where feasible, restored through control of wastewater discharge and entrainment, runoff controls and prevention of groundwater depletion, enforced as follows.

A.    All new development for which water or sewer service is needed shall be connected to the City water or sewer systems. Permits shall be withheld subject to applicant compliance with this provision. Limited exceptions to this requirement may be allowed by the review authority in special or hardship circumstances and where accompanied by specific findings.

B.    Existing development currently utilizing well and/or septic systems that do not meet health standards shall convert to City water and sewer. No permit for renovation, reconstruction, rehabilitation or renewal shall be granted without applicant compliance with this provision.