Chapter 15.72


15.72.010    Applicability.

15.72.020    Minor design review.

15.72.030    Criteria for evaluation.

15.72.040    General criteria.

15.72.050    Retaining walls.

15.72.060    Driveways.

15.72.065    Hauling of earth materials.

15.72.070    Permit issuance, conditions or denial.

15.72.010 Applicability.

These standards shall apply to all land within the City of Lake Elsinore and shall be in addition to the grading standards contained in Chapter 70 of the Uniform Building Code. [Ord. 801 § 2, 1987].

15.72.020 Minor design review.

When grading is to be done on a site which has a natural slope of 10 percent or more on 25 percent or more of the site area, it shall be considered hillside grading and the application shall be referred to minor design review. The City Engineer shall report to design review on any aspect of the proposed grading, excavation or fill which relates to or affects the General Plan or zoning regulations of the City. Minor design review, upon completion of an investigation, shall approve, disapprove, or approve with mitigating measures to be incorporated into the grading plan. The City Engineer may refer any application to minor design review which in his opinion may warrant consideration by minor design review. [Ord. 1271 § 4, 2010; Ord. 801 § 2, 1987].

15.72.030 Criteria for evaluation.

The City Engineer and/or design review shall use, but is not limited to, the following criteria for evaluating an application for a grading permit:

A. The grading of a property shall not be excessive beyond that necessary for the use and drainage of the site;

B. The proposed grading is not to have an adverse environmental effect on surrounding property;

C. The grading of a project shall consider the surrounding property and shall blend in with the surrounding topography in areas that have been developed; and

D. The proposed grading does not constitute a surface mining operation pursuant to Chapter 14.04 LEMC. In determining whether the proposed grading constitutes a surface mining operation, the City Engineer shall consider the provisions of LEMC 14.04.050(B) and such other factors as deemed appropriate, which shall include without limitation the following: (1) whether the grading is an integral and necessary part of a construction project; (2) whether the grading site has received all necessary land use entitlements for construction of a project in accordance with applicable State and local laws, including but not limited to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”: Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.); (3) whether the City’s approval of the construction project included consideration of the on-site excavation and on-site earth-moving activities pursuant to CEQA; (4) whether the construction project is consistent with the General Plan and zoning for the site; (5) whether the export material is unsuitable for on-site use; and (6) whether the grading site is owned or under contract with a party engaged in construction development activities. [Ord. 1271 §§ 1, 4, 2010; Ord. 801 § 2, 1987].

15.72.040 General criteria.

A. In hillside grading, no cut or fill slopes shall be created which exceed 30 feet vertical height, and any cut or fill slopes which exceed 10 feet in height shall not exceed 400 feet in horizontal length (except slopes required for public streets may exceed 400 feet in length); except design review may approve slopes exceeding these dimensions where slopes will be the result of earth contouring which design review determines will result in a natural appearance and will create no geological or erosion hazard;

B. All cut or fill slopes in excess of three feet and which are located within the front yard setback area shall be contoured to present a natural undulating appearance. Intersecting front and side intersecting slopes shall have corners rounded with a minimum radius of 10 feet;

C. Slopes exceeding three feet in height shall be provided with irrigation systems and sufficient permanent plants chosen from a list of plants suitable for hillside grading. Said slopes shall be provided with irrigation system and planted as soon as possible after grading and before the project receives final inspection and before any structures on the project are occupied;

D. Developments may be recontoured if design review finds and determines that the strict conformance with these regulations would result in an adverse visual or environmental impact. [Ord. 801 § 2, 1987].

15.72.050 Retaining walls.

A. One upslope retaining wall not exceeding six feet in height may be used;

B. One downslope retaining wall not to exceed three and one-half feet in height may be used;

C. On lots sloping with the street, and other configurations not discussed above, one retaining wall not to exceed three feet may be used on each side of the lot;

D. Adjacent to driveways, retaining walls not exceeding three feet may be used on each side of the lot;

E. Retaining walls exceeding two and one-half feet will require a protective fence or guard rails of at least 36 inches. The combination of retaining wall and protective fence will be subject to the ordinance height limitation of the various yard locations;

F. Alternate retaining wall systems may be used if the City Engineer and/or design review finds that the practical considerations of the site justify other retaining wall dimensions and locations; provided further, that design review determines that such alternate retaining wall system shall not present an adverse visual or environmental impact. [Ord. 1271 § 4, 2010; Ord. 801 § 2, 1987].

15.72.060 Driveways.

A. Driveways which exceed a centerline measurement of 30 feet in length measured from the location of face of curb shall be provided ahead of each garage, a parking space shall extend a minimum of 20 feet out from the face of the garage and shall be at least the width of the garage opening with a minimum of 10 feet, shall have longitudinal and transverse slope gradients not exceeding plus or minus five percent; and shall be designed to prevent surface waters from draining into garage;

B. Driveways which do not exceed 30 feet in length measured along the centerline shall have a maximum gradient of eight percent for that portion of the driveway located within 20 feet of the garage entrance;

C. Maximum longitudinal driveway gradients shall be 15 percent; minimum crown or cross slope shall be one percent; and maximum crown or cross slope shall be five percent;

D. Vertical transitions shall prevent contact of any portion of the car with surface of driveway by use of the following criteria: Vertical transition shall be made with not less than four feet parabolical curve; when the driveway exceeds 10 percent, the vertical transition shall be an eight-foot parabolical curve. [Ord. 801 § 2, 1987].

15.72.065 Hauling of earth materials.

A. Any person, firm, association or corporation (hereinafter “permittee”) moving or causing to be moved more than 2,500 cubic yards of earth material per project from or to the site of a grading operation on any public roadway within the City of Lake Elsinore shall be subject to the following requirements:

1. Haul Route. The permittee shall file a completed “haul route questionnaire” in the form approved by the City Engineer. The City Engineer shall approve any proposed staging area and the route to be used in transportation of the earth materials on public roadways. Deviation from the designated staging area and haul route shall constitute a violation of the condition of the permit issued under this chapter. When the City Engineer approves a route, he or she shall do so in writing on the permit document, and shall immediately notify the traffic division of the Lake Elsinore Police Department that such haul route has been specified and approved.

2. Access Roads. Access road to the grading site shall be only at points designated on the approved grading plans. At a minimum, the first 50 feet of access road adjacent to the intersection with the public roadway shall have a grade not to exceed five percent. There must be a 300-foot clear, unobstructed sight distance to the intersection from both the public roadway and the access road. If the five percent grade or 300-foot sight distance requirements cannot be obtained due to site constraints, then a flagman shall be posted at the access road and shall remain for the entire duration of earth-moving/material export/transportation operations. A stop sign conforming to the requirements of the California Vehicle Code shall be posted at the exit of the access road to the public roadway.

3. Signs. Advanced warning signs along with traffic control and safety devices shall be reviewed and approved by the City Engineer and shall be posted by the permittee on the public roadway in the vicinity of the access intersection consistent with the current State of California Department of Transportation “Manual of Traffic Control – Warning Signs, Lights and Devices for Use in Performance of Work Upon Highways.” The size, shape, color, number, spacing, and other details of all such signs and devices shall conform to the standards contained therein and in the current State of California Department of Transportation “Traffic Manual.” The advanced warning signs and other devices shall be covered or removed when the access intersection is not in use.

4. Inspection. Every driver of a vehicle, combination of vehicles, mobile equipment or load subject to this chapter shall stop and submit to an inspection of the size, weight, equipment and safety of such vehicle, combination of vehicles, mobile equipment or load at any location where any officer of the Lake Elsinore Police Department is conducting tests and inspections of such vehicles, combination of vehicles, mobile equipment or loads and when signs are displayed requiring the stop.

5. Time of Hauling Operations. Except as provided hereinbelow, hauling on City roadways shall only be permitted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. No hauling vehicles may be parked on City roadways adjacent to the job site with motors running prior to 8:00 a.m. The City Engineer shall, however, shorten the permitted hours of operations such that the permitted hours shall not include those times when children are likely to be present at the beginning and end of the school day if the haul route passes a school zone or for such other previously unforeseen effect on the health, safety, or welfare of the surrounding community. The City Council may extend the hours of hauling operations upon application by the permittee and upon a finding by the City Council that such hauling operations are not detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of residents or the general public.

6. Notification. The permittee shall notify the City Engineer in writing at least 24 hours before hauling is to commence.

7. Dust Control. Either water or dust preventative spray material (or both) shall be consistently applied for prevention of dust resulting from the loading or transportation of earth materials to or from the project site on City roadways. The permittee shall be responsible for maintaining City roadways used for transporting materials in a condition free of dust, earth, or debris. The permittee will be responsible for obtaining all clearances and permits, if any, directly from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

8. Debris on City Roadways. California Vehicle Code Section 23112(b) forbids the placing, dumping or depositing of dirt and rocks on public streets or any portion of the public right-of-way. All vehicles engaged in hauling earth materials under the provisions of this chapter shall refrain from depositing dirt or debris on City roadways by any means, including, but not limited to, spillage from the bed of a truck or other vehicle and debris collected on the wheels of the haul vehicle. The permittee conducting any earth-moving operation under this chapter shall be responsible for the complete removal of such materials if spilled, dumped or deposited on a City roadway within 24 hours of noted spill, dumping or deposition. If the permittee fails to remove such spillage, dumping or deposited material within the noted time frame, and it is necessary for the City to complete the removal, the permittee shall be liable to pay the City the full cost of such removal work. The City Engineer may require a cash deposit up to $5,000 to insure the clean-up of public streets.

9. Load Limits. The City Engineer may further specify load limits where, in his or her opinion, the standard load capacity of vehicles used in such hauling would cause damage to streets on the designated route.

10. Financial Responsibility for Damage to Streets. Any grading or hauling contractor or project site owner/permittee moving earth materials on City roadways shall be financially responsible for any damage to the public streets caused by the hauling vehicles, and shall pay to the City of Lake Elsinore the cost, as determined by the City Engineer, of repairing such damage, or shall repair the damage in question to the satisfaction of the City Engineer.

11. Bonds for Grading to Include Street Repairs. Any bonding required pursuant to this chapter shall be in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of repair of any damage to the City roadways and any public facilities therein and the cost of removal of any earth materials or other debris deposited therein reasonably expected to result from permittee’s operations. The conditions of the bond shall guarantee payment to the City for all costs and expense in repairing the damaged streets or other public facilities and the removal of any deposits of earth materials or other debris resulting from the permitted operations. In lieu of a bond, the permittee may deposit cash with the City upon the same terms and conditions and in an amount equal to that which would be required in the bond.

12. Other Conditions. Any permit subject to the provisions of this section may specify other necessary conditions or restrictions where the use of City roadways would disrupt the normal traffic activities or cause a public inconvenience.

B. Hauling in Excess of 5,000 Cubic Yards. In addition to the requirements set forth in subsection (A) of this section, a permittee moving or causing to be moved more than 5,000 cubic yards of earth material per project on any public roadway shall be subject to the following requirements:

1. City Council Approval. Hauling in excess of 5,000 cubic yards requiring the use of City roadways shall be approved by the City Council at a public meeting of the City Council. The City Council may impose additional conditions or restrictions or may waive provisions of this chapter so long as such modifications are in the interests of the City and are not detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of residents or the general public.

2. Notification of City Council Meeting to Adjacent Property Owners. Property owners within a minimum of 300 feet of the access road(s) to the grading site and as additionally deemed appropriate by the City Engineer shall be notified at least 10 days in advance of the day, time and place of the City Council meeting as provided in subsection (B)(1) of this section.

3. Indemnification. A written agreement, approved as to form by the City Attorney, shall be filed by the permittee providing that the City of Lake Elsinore and all officers, employees, agents and representatives thereof shall be indemnified and held harmless by the permittee from any liability or responsibility for any accident, loss or damage to persons or property happening or occurring as the proximate result of the use of streets/highways under the terms of the application and the permit granted in response thereto, and that all of said liabilities are hereby assumed by the permittee.

4. Certificate of Insurance. A valid policy of bodily injury and property damage insurance for vehicles operating on City roadways. The minimum policy limit is $500,000 combined single limit coverage and shall name the City of Lake Elsinore as an additional insured.

5. Cash Deposit. Five thousand dollar clean-up/damage cash deposit refundable upon the completion of hauling activities and inspection by the City.

C. Export of Processed Material. All export material shall be discharged into a legal disposal site. No permittee shall process, including, but not limited to, crush, sift, or segregate, excavated earth materials on site for export and commercial sale without first obtaining a permit pursuant to Chapter 14.04 LEMC regarding surface mining and reclamation.

D. Exemption. Mining and reclamation activities which are subject to an approved or vested mining permit or an approved reclamation plan are not subject to the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 1271 § 2, 2010].

15.72.070 Permit issuance, conditions or denial.

A. Whenever in the judgment of the City Engineer or design review, the proposed work would not meet the foregoing requirements, the application shall be denied;

B. In granting any permit application under this chapter, the City Engineer and design review may attach such conditions thereto as may be reasonably necessary to prevent danger to public or private property or to prevent the operation from being conducted in a manner likely to create a nuisance. No person shall violate any conditions so imposed by the City Engineer and/or design review. Such conditions may include, but shall not be limited to:

1. Limitations on the hours of operation in which the work may be performed;

2. Designation of routes upon which materials may be transported and means of access to the site;

3. The place and manner of disposal of excavated materials;

4. Requirements as to the mitigation of dust and dirt, the prevention of noises and other results offensive or injurious to the neighborhood, the general public or any portion thereof, including due consideration, care, and respect for the property rights, convenience and reasonable desires and the needs of said neighborhood or any portion thereof;

5. Designation of maximum or minimum slopes to be used;

6. Regulations as to the use of public streets and places in the course of the work;

7. A performance bond to cover landscaping or other conditions of the permit;

8. Mitigating measures required by design review;

9. Such conditions as may be imposed pursuant to LEMC 15.72.065. [Ord. 1271 §§ 3, 4, 2010; Ord. 801 § 2, 1987].