Chapter 15.10
EXCAVATION AND GRADING CODE*

Sections:

15.10.010    Purpose.

15.10.020    Administration.

15.10.030    Exempt Work.

15.10.040    Hazard Abatement.

15.10.050    Definitions.

15.10.060    Grading Permit Requirements.

15.10.065    Drainage Permits.

15.10.070    Fees.

15.10.080    Bonds.

15.10.090    Cuts.

15.10.100    Fills.

15.10.110    Slope Setbacks.

15.10.120    Drainage and Terracing.

15.10.125    Protection of Adjoining Property.

15.10.130    Erosion Control.

15.10.140    Grading Inspection.

15.10.150    Notification of Completion.

15.10.160    Alternate Methods.

15.10.170    Denial of Permit.

15.10.180    Placing Excavated Material.

15.10.190    Denuding Natural Ground Cover.

*    Prior ordinance history: Ords. 95-61 and 97-7.

15.10.010 Purpose.

A.    The purpose of this chapter is to safeguard life, limb, property and the public welfare by regulating grading, drainage and hillside construction on private property and for similar improvement proposed by private interests on City right-of-way where regulations are not otherwise exercised.

B.    The Building Official shall formulate such rules, procedures and interpretations as may be necessary to administer this chapter. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.020 Administration.

This chapter sets forth rules and regulations to control excavation, grading, drainage conditions, erosion control, earthwork construction including fills and embankments, and the use of earth materials as a structural component; and provides for the approval of plans and inspection of grading construction and drainage control. The provisions of this chapter are intended to permit work that complies with the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit “MS4 Permit” issued by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region, on January 18, 2002, under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The provisions of this chapter and the permit are intended to prevent pollutants, including toxic materials, debris, silt, and other contaminants from entering Newport Bay and the Pacific Ocean. (Ord. 2013-24 § 9 (part), 2013: Ord. 2002-20 § 6 (part), 2002: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.030 Exempt Work.

A.    No person shall do any grading without first having obtained a grading permit from the Chief Building Official except for the following:

1.    An excavation below finish grade for footings of a building, retaining wall or other structure authorized by a valid building permit. This shall not exempt any fill made with the material from such excavation, nor exempt any excavation which is unsupported or unstable after the completion of such structure, nor shall it exempt any condition resulting from the construction of such structure which requires grading or construction of drainage improvements to provide a safe and stable structure which does not create adverse conditions on other properties, either public or private;

2.    Cemetery graves;

3.    Refuse disposal sites covered by other regulations;

4.    Excavations for wells or tunnels or utilities under the jurisdiction of other agencies. This shall not exempt any fill made from such excavations on private property unless preemptive regulations have been established by law;

5.    Mining and quarrying together with necessary stockpiling, processing and other activities where established and provided such operations do not significantly affect the lateral or vertical support, or significantly increase the stresses in or pressure upon any adjacent or continuous property;

6.    Exploratory excavations under the direction of soils engineers or engineering geologists provided all excavations are properly backfilled;

7.    An excavation which (a) is less than two feet in depth; or (b) does not create a cut slope greater than four feet in height and steeper than two horizontal to one vertical; and (c) is less than fifty (50) cubic yards on one site and does not create an adverse erosion, drainage, groundwater, or slope condition requiring remedial work covered by these regulations;

8.    Unless preempted by other regulations, fill which does not exceed fifty (50) cubic yards on any one site which is not part of a regular maintenance procedure and which:

a.    Is placed on natural undisturbed terrain with a slope flatter than five horizontal to one vertical; or

b.    Less than three feet in depth not intended to support structures provided that such fill will not create an adverse slope, erosion, drainage, groundwater or structural condition.

B.    Exceptions listed above shall not be interpreted as exempting future construction on a site from code compliance due to an exempted nonconforming condition nor shall any exception be construed as exempting an adverse condition from being corrected in accordance with the procedures, nor shall it be construed as exempting any requirement for grading as a flood plain management requirement.

C.    No person shall construct, reconstruct, alter, repair or install any structure in any natural drainage channel water course without a grading permit. Road or parking lot paving work shall be performed under permit, unless waived by the Chief Building Official, or when performed as part of maintenance work.

D.    Whenever the Chief Building Official determines that (1) construction of any device or structure has resulted or may result in adverse drainage, groundwater, or slope conditions; or (2) existing drainage conditions have resulted or may result in adverse erosion conditions, he/she may require a drainage permit to be obtained and corrective work accomplished. (Ord. 2013-24 § 9 (part), 2013: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.040 Hazard Abatement.

A.    Whenever the Chief Building Official determines by inspection, from information made available to him/her, that any existing drainage condition, excavation, fill, natural slope or subsurface condition has become a hazard to life and limb, or endangers property or adversely affects the safety, use or stability of a public way or any drainage channel, he/she shall make a determination of the level of hazard and the owner of the property upon which the drainage conditions, excavation, fill, natural slope or subsurface condition is located, or other person or agent in control of said property, upon receipt of notice in writing from the Chief Building Official shall, within the period specified, correct such conditions in accordance with the requirements and conditions set forth in such notice so as to eliminate the hazard and be in conformance of the hazards abatement section of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted by the City of Newport Beach.

B.    The Chief Building Official shall require the permittee or contractor, before excavating any trench five feet or more in depth, to submit a detailed plan to the Chief Building Official showing the design of shoring, bracing, sloping or other provisions (i.e., security fencing, etc.) to be made for workers’ protection and public safety from the hazard of caving ground. (Ord. 2013-24 § 9 (part), 2013: Ord. 2010-23 § 7 (part), 2010: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.050 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the definitions listed hereunder shall be construed as specified in this section.

“Approval” means a written, civil engineering or geological opinion concerning the satisfactory progress and completion of the work.

“As-graded” means the topographic surface at completion of grading.

“Bedrock” is in place of solid rock.

“Bench” means a relatively level step excavated into earth material on which fill is to be placed.

“Borrow” means earth material acquired from off-site location for use in grading on a site.

“Chief Building Official” is the officer or other designated authority charged with the enforcement of the building codes.

“Civil engineer” means a professional engineer in the branch of civil engineering holding a valid certification of registration, issued by the State of California.

“Civil engineering” means the application of the knowledge of the forces of nature, principles of mechanics and the properties of materials to the evaluation, design and construction of civil works or the beneficial uses of mankind.

“Clearing, brushing and grubbing” means the removal of vegetation (grass, brush, trees and similar plant types or root systems) by mechanical means.

“Compaction” means the densification of a fill by mechanical means.

“Drainage plan” is a plan appended to a proposed building plan, depicting site drainage patterns prior and post development. Contours and/or spot elevations, flow lines, outlet structures, subdrains, etc. must clearly be shown, when a separate grading permit is not required by the Chief Building Official.

“Earth material” is any rock, natural soil, fill, or any substance that makes up or originates from the earth and/or any combination thereof.

“Engineering geologist” means a professional geologist registered in the State of California as a geologist and certified by the State of California as a geologist and certified by the State of California to practice engineering geology in the field of civil works.

“Erosion” is the process by which rock and soil are removed from the earth’s surface by natural processes such as wind or water flow, and then transported and deposited in other locations.

“Erosion control devices” (permanent) are devices used in best management practices (BMPs) to be constructed in residential, industrial, commercial sites and agricultural lands to reduce the discharge of pollutants in runoff. BMPs are often implemented to comply with NPDES permit requirements, as a part of stormwater runoff management programs required by the State of California and the County of Orange in conjunction with the Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) following the Orange County Technical Guidance Document (TGD).

“Erosion control devices” (temporary) are devices which are designed to minimize erosion and sediment from stormwater and nonstormwater runoff from construction sites, natural areas, agricultural lands or urban environment. They are often implemented in conjunction with an erosion and sediment control plan (ESCP).

“Excavation” means the mechanical or physical removal of earth material.

“Fill” means a deposit of earth material placed by artificial means.

“Finish grade” means the final grade of the site which conforms to the approved plan.

“Grade” means the vertical location of the ground surface.

“Grading” means to bring an existing surface to a designed form by cutting, filling and/or smoothing operations.

“Grading contractor” means a contractor licensed and regulated by the State of California who specializes in grading work or is otherwise licensed to do grading work.

“Key” means designed and compacted fill placed in a trench excavated in earth material beneath the toe of a proposed fill slope.

“Landslide” means the downward and outward movement of soil, rock or fill or a combination thereof, or the resultant materials from such movement.

“Massive landslide” means a landslide too large to be stabilized by retaining methods or normal control methods.

“Permit” means any permit issued pursuant to this code, together with the application for the same, the conditions upon which it was issued, together with any plans, specifications, reports and approved modifications pertaining thereto.

“Permittee” means the owner or his authorized agent to whom a grading permit is issued.

“Rough grade” means the stage at which the grade approximately conforms to the approved plan.

“Sediment” means the material derived by erosion carried by an agent of erosion.

“Site” means any lot or parcel of land or contiguous combination thereof, under the same ownership, where grading is performed or permitted.

“Slope” means an inclined ground surface, the inclination of which is expressed as a ratio of horizontal distance to vertical distance.

“Soil” means naturally occurring surficial deposits overlying bedrock.

“Soil engineer/geotechnical engineer” means a civil engineer with training and experience in soil mechanics who specializes in the practice of soils and foundation engineering. A soil engineer may use the title geotechnical engineer (GE) if he/she has passed the GE examination. For the purposes of this code the terms soil engineer and geotechnical engineer are interchangeable.

“Soil engineering” means the application of the principles of soil mechanics in the investigation, testing, evaluation and design of civil works involving the use of earth materials and the evaluation, inspection and testing of the construction thereof.

“Terrace” means a relatively level step constructed in the face of a grade slope surface for drainage and maintenance purposes.

“Tract” means a subdivision of land containing five or more lots. (Ord. 2013-24 § 9 (part), 2013: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.060 Grading Permit Requirements.

A.    Permits Required. Except as exempted in Section 15.10.030 of this Code, no person shall perform any grading without first obtaining a permit from the Building Official. A separate permit shall be required for each site and may cover excavation, fills and paving.

B.    Application. The provisions of the Administrative Code are applicable to grading.

C.    Plans and Specifications. When required by the Building Official, each application for a grading permit or building permit shall be accompanied by two sets of plans and specifications, and supporting data consisting of soil engineering and engineering geology report, or other needed documents. The plans and specifications shall be prepared and signed by a civil engineer when required by the Building Official. Within the Newport Bay drainage catchment area, a grading and erosion control plan is required unless waived in writing by the Building Official.

D.    Information on Plans and in Specifications. Plans shall be drawn to scale upon substantial paper and shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the nature and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that they will conform to the provisions of this Code and all relevant laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. The first sheet of each set of plans shall give the location of the work and the name and address of the owner, the person by whom they were prepared, and where required, the name(s) and address(es) of professional person(s) or firm(s) related to the project.

The plan shall include the following information:

1.    General vicinity of the proposed site;

2.    Property limits, permit area limits, accurate contours of existing ground, details of terrain, and area drainage;

3.    Limiting dimensions, elevations or finish contours to be achieved by the grading, and proposed drainage channels and related construction. In a floodplain zone, information concerning habitable floor elevations and flood protection designs shall be included;

4.    Detailed plans of all surface and subsurface drainage devices, walls, cribbing, dams and other protective devices to be construction with, or as a part of the proposed work, together with a map showing the drainage area and the estimated runoff of the area served by any drains;

5.    Detailed plans for temporary (during construction) and/or permanent sediment and pollution control facilities. The Building Official may require the inclusion of pollutant traps on the plans and specifications to intercept pollutants draining from the project;

6.    Detailed plans for temporary (during construction) and/or permanent sediment and erosion control facilities;

7.    Location of any buildings or structures on the property where the work is to be performed and the location of any buildings or structures or slopes on land of adjacent owners, which are within fifteen (15) feet of the property or which may be affected by the proposed grading operations;

 

8.    Any additional plans, drawings, calculations, environmental impact information, or other reports required by the Building Official. If the grading project includes the movement of earth material to or from the site, the Building Official may require a description of the haul route to be submitted for approval.

E.    Soil Engineering Report. The soil engineering report required by subsection (C) of this section shall include data regarding the nature, distribution, strength consolidation characteristics of existing soils, conclusions and recommendations for grading procedures, and design criteria for corrective measures when necessary, and opinions and recommendations covering adequacy of sites to be developed by the proposed grading. These listings shall not be interpreted to prevent the Building Official from requiring other information required to produce a safe and stable condition.

Recommendations included in the report and approved by the Building Official shall be incorporated into the grading plans or specifications.

F.    Engineering Geology Report. The engineering geology report required by subsection (C) of this section shall include an adequate description of the geology of the site, including necessary maps and illustrations showing geographic distribution of the features described related to the proposed development, conclusions and recommendations regarding the effect of geologic conditions on the proposed development, and opinions and recommendations covering the adequacy of sites to be developed by the proposed grading.

Recommendations included in the report and approved by the Building Official shall be incorporated into the grading plans and specifications.

G.    Issuance. The provisions of the Administrative Code are applicable to grading permits. The Building Official may require that grading operations and project designs be modified to provide for erosion control, including erosion protection devices, if project completion will extend into the rainy season (October fifteenth through May fifteenth) or if delays occur which incur weather-generated problems. The plans shall list specific dates for completion of erosion control measures, and be further subject to the provisions of Section 15.10.170.

H.    Transport of Earth From or To the Project Site. All earth materials, which are moved on public roadways from or to the site of an earth grading operation, the following requirements shall apply;

1.    Either water or dust palliative, or both, must be applied to alleviate or prevent excessive dust resulting from the loading, unloading, processing, or transportation of earth on-site or to and from the project site on public roadways. This dust control shall be performed in a manner that contains the dust control water on site and complies with the City of Newport Beach’s MS4 Permit. The permittee shall maintain all public right-of-ways used as haul routes free of debris and soil;

2.    Loading and transportation of earth from or to the site is subject to the requirements of Section 10.28.040 of this Code;

3.    Access road to the premises shall be only at points designated on the approved grading plan;

4.    The last fifty (50) feet of the access road, as it approaches the intersection with the public roadway, shall have a grade not to exceed three percent. There must be a three hundred (300) feet clear, unobstructed sight distance to the intersection from both the public roadway and access road. If the three hundred (300) feet sight distance cannot be obtained, the permittee shall post flagmen as required for traffic safety;

5.    A stop sign conforming to the requirements of Section 21400 of the California Vehicle Code shall be posted at the entrance of the access road to the public roadway;

6.    An advance warning sign must be posted on the public roadway four hundred (400) feet on either side of an access intersection carrying the words “truck crossing.” The sign shall be a diamond shape, each side being thirty (30) inches in length, shall have a yellow background, and the letters thereon shall be placed six feet from the edge of the pavement and the base of the sign shall be five feet above the pavement level. The advance warning sign shall be covered or removed when the access intersection is not in use. (Ord. 2010-23* § 7 (part); Ord. 2002-20 § 6 (part), 2002: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

*    Code reviser’s note: Ordinance 2010-23 groups the amendment to Section 15.10.060(G) with amendments to Section 15.10.140. The amendments have been incorporated into Section 15.10.060(G) pursuant to the intent of the ordinance.

15.10.065 Drainage Permits.

A.    Where the Building Official determines that existing or proposed construction may alter or has altered drainage conditions so as to create an adverse or dangerous condition, or where existing drainage conditions result in an adverse or dangerous condition, he may require a drainage permit to be obtained for the purpose of preventing or eliminating the adverse or dangerous conditions and require corrective work to be accomplished. Such corrective work shall be designed in a manner that will retain dry weather runoff and minor rain events within the site consistent with the City’s MS4 Permit unless otherwise approved by the Building Official.

B.    Application. The application shall be the same form as the grading permit, and shall state that the purpose is for drainage alterations;

C.    Plans and Specifications. Plans may be required accurately showing the existing conditions and proposed alterations in sufficient detail to make a determination concerning the conformance to this Code of the proposed alterations. Inspection only may be required by the Building Official where the alterations are of a minor nature;

D.    Conditions. In granting any permit under this chapter, the Building Official may attach such conditions thereto as may be reasonable and necessary to prevent danger to public or private property or to prevent the operation from being conducted in a manner hazardous to life or property or in a manner likely to create any unnecessary nuisance. Ord. 2010-23 § 7 (part), 2010; (Ord. 2002-20 § 6 (part), 2002: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.070 Fees.

A.    Grading Plan Review Fees. Before accepting a set of plans and specifications for checking, the Building Official shall collect a plan checking fee. Separate permits and fees shall apply to retaining walls over three feet in height and additional fees shall be collected for pavement and drainage collection, stabilization and erosion protection devices not exempted in accordance with this Code. There shall be no separate charge for standard terrace drains, standard subdrains, temporary erosions or sediment control devices or similar facilities. For excavation and fill on the same site, the fee shall be based on the volume of the excavation or fill, whichever is greater. These fees shall be established by resolution of the City Council.

B.    Drainage Plan Review Fees. The Building Official may charge plan review fees if, in his opinion, the proposed drainage alterations are sufficient in extent to require more than field inspection to ensure code conformance. These fees shall be established by resolution of the City Council.

C.    Grading Permit Fees. The grading permit fees shall be based on the volume of excavation or fill whichever is greater or on the estimated valuation of retaining walls for which no separate permit is required, combined with the estimated valuation of any commercial or industrial paving, drainage collection, stabilization and erosion control devices not exempted by this Code. These fees shall be established by resolution by the City Council.

D.    Drainage Permit Fees. Fees for drainage permits shall be established by resolution by the City Council.

When drainage plans are required for a proposed structure, additional fees for plan checking shall be paid at the time of submitting the application. These fees shall be established by resolution by the City Council. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.080 Bonds.

The Building Official may require bonds in such form and amounts as may be deemed necessary to assure that the work, if not completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications will be corrected to eliminate hazardous conditions.

In lieu of a surety bond, the applicant may file a cash bond or instrument of credit with the Building Official in an amount equal to that which would be required in the surety bond. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.090 Cuts.

A.    General. Unless otherwise approved by the Building Official and recommended in the approved soil engineering and/or engineering geology report, cuts shall conform to the provisions of this section.

B.    Slope. The slope of cut surfaces shall be no steeper than is safe for the intended use. Cut slopes shall be no steeper than two horizontal to one vertical.

C.    Drainage and Terracing. Drainage and terracing shall be provided as required by Section 15.10.120. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.100 Fills.

A.    General. Unless otherwise approved by the Building Official and recommended in the approved soil engineering report, these provisions may be waived for minor fills not intended to support structures, provided such fills are protected against soil erosion in the Newport Bay drainage catchment area.

1.    Exceptions.

a.    Fills excepted in Section 15.10.030 and where the Building Official determines that compaction is not a necessary safety measure to aid in preventing saturation, settlement, slipping or erosion of the fill;

b.    Where lower density and expansive types of soil exist, then permission for lesser compaction may be granted by the Building Official, upon showing of good cause under the conditions provided herein.

B.    Fill Location. Fill slopes shall not be constructed on natural slopes steeper than two horizontal to one vertical.

C.    Preparation of Ground. The ground surface shall be prepared to receive fill by removing vegetation, noncomplying fill, topsoil and other unsuitable materials, scarifying to provide a bond with the new fill, and, where slopes are steeper than five horizontal to one vertical, and the height is greater than five feet, by bending into sound bedrock or other competent material as determined by the soils engineer. The bench under the toe of a fill on a slope steeper than five horizontal to one vertical shall be at least ten feet wide. The area beyond the toe of fill shall be sloped for sheet overflow or a paved drain shall be provided.

Where fill is to be placed over a cut, the bench under the toe of fill shall be at least ten feet wide but the cut must be made before placing fill and approved by the soils engineer and engineering geologist as a suitable foundation for fill. Unsuitable soil is soil which, in the opinion of the Building Official, civil engineer, soils engineer or geologist, is not competent to support other soil or fill, to support structures, or to satisfactorily perform the other functions for which the soil is intended.

The final report and approval by the soils engineer shall describe the limits and extent of the removal of unsuitable materials including a description of the criteria used for determination of the suitable material.

D.    Fill Material. Earth materials which have not more than minor amounts of organic substances and have no rock or similar irreducible material with a maximum dimension greater than eight inches shall be used.

1.    Exceptions. The Building Official may permit placement of a larger rock when the soils engineer properly devises a method of placement, continuously inspects its placement, and approves the fill stability. The following conditions shall also apply:

a.    Prior to the issuance of the grading permit, potential rock disposal area(s) shall be delineated on the grading plan.

b.    Rock sizes greater than eight inches in maximum dimension shall be ten feet more below grade, measured vertically.

c.    Rocks greater than eight inches shall be placed so as to be completely surrounded by fine grained soils; no nesting of rocks will be permitted.

E.    Compaction. All fills shall be compacted to a minimum of ninety (90) percent of maximum density as determined by ASTM D1557-70 or a more restrictive standard if recommended in the approved soils engineering reports. Field density shall be determined as approved by the Building Official. The Building Official may require tests of the compressibility and anticipated fill settlement characteristics where more than ten feet of fill is to be placed. The final report and approval by the soils engineer shall contain the type of field testing performed. Each test shall be identified, located, and the method of obtaining the in-place density shall be noted.

Sufficient maximum density determinations by test method ASTM D1557-70 or other approved method, shall be performed during the grading operations to verify the accuracy of the maximum density curves used by the soils engineer.

F.    Slope. The slope of fill surfaces shall be no steeper than is safe for the intended use. Fill slopes shall be no steeper than two horizontal to one vertical.

1.    Exception. The Building Official may authorize a fill to be constructed with an exposed surface steeper than two horizontal to one vertical when he finds the applicant has submitted a soil engineer’s report recommending such steeper slope. Such report shall include sufficient soil test data and other information to substantiate slope stability and safety when saturated, and shall include an evaluation of the creep characteristics of the soils and surficial stability.

G.    Drainage and Terracing. Drainage and terracing shall be provided and the area above fill slopes and the surface of terraces shall be graded and paved as required by Section 15.10.120.

H.    Utility Line Backfill. All backfill in utility line trenches both inside and outside of the building shall be compacted and tested in compliance with subsection (E) of this section, and the soils engineer shall observe, test and render an opinion to the Building Official as to whether this backfilling has been satisfactorily accomplished. Alternate methods of filling and reduced compaction requirements may be applied on certain projects when specified by the soils engineer and approved by the Building Official.

1.    Exception. On single lot projects where no soils engineer was required during grading of the site, the Building Official may waive tested compaction and allow the use of approved material which is relatively self-compacting. This material and the method of placement must be approved prior to backfilling, and trenches utilizing this material must cross foundations at right angles or be located outside a one horizontal to one vertical plane extending from the nearest point of the foundation to the bottom of the trench. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.110 Slope Setbacks.

A.    General. The setbacks and other restrictions specified by this section are minimum and may be increased by the building official based on the recommendation of a civil engineer, soils engineer, geotechnical engineer, or engineering geologist, if necessary for safety and stability or to prevent damage of adjacent properties from deposition, erosion, or to provide access for slope maintenance and drainage. Retaining walls may be used to reduce the required setbacks when approved by the building official. Where natural slopes are involved, setbacks shall be interpreted to include a two to one setback plane unless specifically contradicted in the approved reports.

B.    Setbacks from Property Lines. Cut and fill slopes shall be set back from the property lines in accordance with this section. Setback dimensions shall be measured perpendicular to the property line and shall be as shown in Figure 1, unless substantiating data is submitted justifying reduced setbacks and approved by the building official.

FIGURE 1

(Ord. 2007-19 § 8 (part), 2007: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.120 Drainage and Terracing.

A.    General. Unless otherwise indicated on the approved grading plan, drainage facilities and terracing shall conform to the provision of this section.

B.    Terrace. Terraces at least six feet in width shall be established at not more than thirty (30) foot vertical intervals to control surface drainage and debris. Suitable access shall be provided to permit proper cleaning and maintenance.

C.    Where more than two terraces are required, one terrace, located at approximately mid-height, shall be at least twelve (12) feet (three thousand six hundred fifty-eight (3,658) mm) in width.

Swales or ditches on terraces shall have a minimum gradient of six percent and must be paved with reinforced concrete not less than three inches in thickness or an approved equal paving. They shall have a minimum depth at the deepest point of eighteen (18) inches and a minimum paved width of five feet.

A single run of swale or ditch shall not collect runoff from a tributary area exceeding thirteen thousand five hundred (13,500) square feet (projected) without discharging into a down drain.

D.    Subsurface Drainage. Cut and fill slopes shall be provided with subsurface drainage as necessary for stability. Unless waived by the building official, all canyons shall be provided with subsurface drainage. Material and methods used in subsurface drainage designs shall be approved by the building official.

E.    Disposal. All drainage facilities and grading shall be designed to contain concentrated and surface sheet flow waters from dry-weather run off and minor rain events within the site, unless the building official determines this to be detrimental to structures due to site conditions. Where the building official makes this determination, the building official may require that water is filtered before discharge into the City public drainage system. All buried pipe shall be constructed of ABS, PVC, or PE plastic pipe of SDR 35 or Schedule 40-tested material. All pipe joints shall be glued. Buried pipe shall be sized according to the California Plumbing Code, a minimum of four inches trade size unless approved by the building official. If drainage facilities discharge onto natural ground, riprap or conversion to sheet flow may be required in order to contain as much of that water as possible within the site.

Drainage water from a newly graded or a regraded site shall be directed from a privately owned property directly to the public drainage system. Drainage water from a newly graded or a regraded site shall not drain across a property line onto another property without a recorded drainage easement on the adjacent property.

F.    Drainage Standards. Drainage standards shall conform to the following minimum standards:

 

Minimum Gradient

1.

Rough Grade

 

 

a.

Earth at rough grade stage

2.0%

2.

Finished Grade

 

 

a.

Earth

2.0%

 

b.

Asphalt pavement (sheet flow)

1.0%

 

c.

Concrete

0.5%

 

d.

Drain pipe

1.0%

 

e.

Concrete gutter in asphalt paved area

0.2%

(Ord. 2007-19 § 8 (part), 2007: Ord. 2002-20 § 6 (part), 2002: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.125 Protection of Adjoining Property.

Each adjacent owner is entitled to the lateral and subjacent support which his land receives from the adjoining land, subject to the right of the owner of the adjoining land to make proper and usual excavations on the same for purposes of construction or improvement as provided by law.

California Civil Code Section 832 – Lateral and subjacent support: excavations; degree of care; damages; protection of structures.

Each coterminous owner is entitled to the lateral and subjacent support which his land receives from the adjoining land, subject to the right of the owner of the adjoining land to make proper and usual excavations on the same for purposes of construction or improvement, under the following conditions:

1. Any owner of land or his lessee intending to make or to permit an excavation shall give reasonable notice to the owner or owners of adjoining lands and of buildings or other structures, stating the depth to which such excavation is intended to be made, and when the excavating will begin.

2. In making any excavation, ordinary care and skill shall be used, and reasonable precautions taken to sustain the adjoining land as such, without regard to any building or other structure which may be thereon, and there shall be no liability for damage done to any such building or other structure by reason of the excavation, except as otherwise provided or allowed by law.

3. If at any time it appears that the excavation is to be of a greater depth than are the walls or foundations of any adjoining building or other structure, and is to be so close as to endanger the building or other structure in any way, then the owner of the building or other structure must be allowed at least 30 days if he so desires, in which to take measures to protect the same from any damage, or in which to extend the foundations thereof, and he must be given for the same purposes reasonable license to enter on the land on which the excavation is to be or is being made.

4. If the excavation is intended to be or is deeper than the standard depth of foundations, which depth is defined to be a depth of nine feet below the adjacent curb level, at the point where the joint property line intersects the curb and if on the land of the coterminous owner there is any building or other structure the wall or foundation of which goes to standard depth or deeper than the owner of the land on which the excavation is being made shall, if given the necessary license to enter on the adjoining land, protect the said adjoining land and any such building or other structure thereon without cost to the owner of such property for any such damage, excepting only for minor settlement cracks in buildings or other structures.

(Ord. 2013-24 § 9 (part), 2013)

15.10.130 Erosion Control.

A.    Slopes. The faces of cut and fill slopes shall be prepared and maintained to control against erosion. This control may consist of effective planting. The protection for the slopes shall be installed as soon as practical. The Building Official may require planting and irrigation systems to be installed prior to rough grade approval, and such systems shall be installed prior to final approval.

Slope irrigation for tracts may be required to be controlled by automatic systems equipped with an override keyed to continuous soil moisture measurement devices; other projects may be required to have such systems if adverse ground water conditions exist which may be worsened by landscape irrigation where cut slopes are not subject to erosion due to the erosion-resistant character of the materials. Such protection may be omitted if specifically waived by the Building Official. Planting materials and maintenance schedules shall be approved by the Building Official. To assure that cuts and fill slopes will be effectively planted, the preparation and planting should be designed by an experienced landscape planner. Each bank should be planted upon its completion and all planting must be maintained in growing condition for at least two years or until accepted by the Building Official;

B.    Pads. Pads should be prepared and maintained to control erosion in the same manner as required for slopes. The Building Official may waive the requirement for planting on pads when construction has commenced within ten days of the completion of the grading;

C.    Other Devices. Where necessary, check dams, cribbing, riprap, or other devices or methods shall be employed to control erosion and provide safety;

D.    Permanent desilting facilities shall be used whenever necessary to contain silt from eroding off site;

E.    Minimum size of temporary basins shall be established by the uniform soil loss equation. If all weather cleanout capability in the basin is not provided, greater capacity will be required;

F.    Both sheet flow and concentrated flow areas shall be considered in design of erosion control system. In addition, sediment control shall include provisions for both low flow volume as well as intense rainfall conditions;

G.    Erosion control shall be coordinated with sites contiguous to the permit area to achieve effective

control;

H.    All erosion control measures shall be designed to retain water from dry-weather run off and minor rain events within the site. (Ord. 2002-20 § 6 (part), 2002: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.140 Grading Inspection.

A.    General. All grading operations for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the Building Official. When required by the Building Official, special inspection of grading operations and special testing shall be performed in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Code and subsection (D) of this section. Erosion control devices shall be installed, inspected and approved by the Building Official prior to the rainy season (October 15th through May 15th).

B.    Grading Designation. Grading in commercial and industrial areas, tracts, or potentially hazardous areas and all grading in excess of five thousand (5,000) cubic yards shall be performed in accordance with the approved grading plan prepared by a civil engineer, and shall be designated as “engineered grading.” Grading involving less than five thousand (5,000) cubic yards shall be designated “regular grading” unless the permittee, with the approval of the Building Official, chooses to have the grading performed as “engineered grading.” The Building Official may require a survey at the completion of regular grading to ensure compliance with drainage requirements.

C.    Engineered Grading Requirements. For engineered grading, it shall be the responsibility of the civil engineer who prepares the approved grading plan to incorporate all recommendations from the soil engineering and engineering geology reports into the grading plan. He shall also be responsible for the professional inspection and approval of the grading within his area of technical specialty. This responsibility shall include, but need not be limited to, inspection and approval as to the establishment of line, grade and drainage of the development area. The civil engineer shall act as the coordinating agent in the event the need arises for liaison between the other professionals, the contractor and the Building Official. The civil engineer shall also be responsible for the preparation of revised plans and the submission of as-graded plans upon completion of the work. The grading contractor shall submit, on a form prescribed by the Building Official, a statement of compliance to said as-graded plan.

Soil engineering and engineering geology reports shall be required as specified in Section 15.10.060. During grading all necessary reports, compaction data, soil engineering and engineering geology recommendations shall be submitted to the civil engineer and the Building Official by the soil engineer and the engineering geologist.

The soil engineer’s area of responsibility shall include, but need not be limited to, the professional inspection and approval concerning the preparation of ground to receive fills, testing for required compaction, stability of all finish slopes, and the design of buttress fills, where required, incorporating the data supplied by the engineering geologist.

The engineering geologist’s area of responsibility shall include, but need not be limited to, professional inspection and written approval of the adequacy of natural ground for receiving fills, the stability of cut slopes with respect to geological matters, and the need for subdrains or other ground water drainage devices. He shall report his findings to the soils engineer and the civil engineer for engineering analysis.

The Building Official shall inspect the project at the various stages of the work requiring certification and at any other time deemed necessary to determine that adequate control is being exercised by the professional consultants.

D.    Regular Grading Requirements. The Building Official may require inspection and testing by a qualified soil engineer.

The soil engineer’s responsibility shall include, but need not be limited to, approval concerning the inspection of cleared areas and benches to receive fill and the compaction fills.

When the Building Official has cause to believe that geologic factors may be involved, the grading operations will be required to conform to engineering grading requirements.

E.    Notification of Noncompliance. If, in the course of fulfilling their responsibility under this section, the civil engineer, the soil engineer, the engineering geologist, or the test agency finds that the work is not being done in conformance with this section or the approved grading plans, the discrepancies shall be reported immediately in writing to the person in charge of the grading work and to the Building Official. Recommendations for corrective measures, if necessary, shall be submitted.

F.    Transfer of Responsibility for Approval. If the civil engineer, the soils engineer, the engineering geologist, or the contractor is changed during the grading, then work shall be stopped until:

1.    The owner submits a letter of notification verifying the change of the responsible professional, with a copy so noted, to be sent to the prior responsible professional; and

2.    The new responsible professional submits in writing, that he assumes all responsibility within his area of expertise as of a specified date. Also, he must state he has reviewed all prior reports and/or plans (specified by date and title) and work performed, or by the previous responsible person; concurs with the former findings, conclusions and recommendations, and is satisfied with the work performed provides recommendations for the required remedial work necessary for his acceptance. All exceptions must be justified.

G.    Site Inspection by the Building Official.

1.    Site Inspection and Pre-Inspection. Prior to the approval of any building or grading plans and specifications, the Building Official may inspect the site to determine that the plans and specifications are current and reflect existing conditions.

2.    Inspection of Excavation and Fills, The permittee or his agent shall notify the Building Official when the grading operation is ready for each of the following inspections:

a.    Pre-Grading Inspection. When the permittee is ready to begin work, but not less than two days before any grading or brushing is started;

b.    Toe Inspection. After the natural ground or bedrock is exposed and prepared to receive fill, but before fill is placed;

c.    Excavation Inspection. After the excavation is started, but before fill is placed;

d.    Fill Inspection. After the fill placement is started, but before the vertical height of the fill exceeds ten feet;

e.    Drainage Device Inspection. After forming of terrace drains, or after placement of pipe in subdrains, but before any concrete or filter material is placed;

f.    Rough Grading. When all rough grading has been completed. This inspection may be called for at the completion of rough grading without the necessity of the Building Official having previously reviewed and approved the reports;

g.    Final. When all work, including installation of all drainage structures and other protective devices has been completed and the as-graded plan, professional written approval, and the required reports have been submitted.

3.    Revised Grading Plan. If the Building Official finds the soil or other conditions not as stated in the application for a grading permit, he may refuse to approve further work until approval is obtained for a revised grading plan which will conform to the existing conditions.

4.    Investigation Fees: Work without permit. The provisions of Section 304.5 of the Administrative Code shall apply to all grading work being done without a permit and whenever the Building Official determines that the work does not comply with the terms of the permit or this code, or that the soils or other conditions are not as stated in this permit, he may order the immediate cessation of all work thereunder, and such work shall cease until such corrections shall be complied with.

5.    Prior to foundation excavation, rough grading shall be completed to the satisfaction of the responsible engineers, engineering geologist, and the Building Official unless otherwise approved by the Building Official.

6.    Whenever any work on which inspections are required is covered or concealed by additional work without first having been inspected, the Building Official shall require, by written notice, that such work be exposed for examination. The work of exposing and recovering shall not entail or be subject to expense by the City of Newport Beach, and shall be the sole expense of the permittee.

7.    Authority to Stop Work. Whenever any building work or grading is being done contrary to the provisions of this Code or approved drawings, the Building Official may order the work stopped by notice in writing, served on any persons engaged in the doing or causing of such work to be done. Any such persons shall forthwith stop such work until authorized by the Building Official to proceed with the work. The Administrative Code shall be construed to apply to grading work. (Ord. 2010-23 § 7 (part), 2010; Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.150 Notification of Completion.

A.    Final Reports. Upon completion of the rough grading work and at the final completion of the work, the Building Official may require the following reports, drawings and supplements thereto.

1.    An as-graded grading plan prepared by the civil engineer, including original ground surface elevations, lot drainage patterns and locations, and elevations of all surface and subsurface drainage facilities. He shall provide written approval that the work was done in accordance with the final approved grading plans.

2.    A soil grading report prepared by the soils engineer, including locations and elevations of field density trees, summaries of field and laboratory tests and other substantiating data, and comments on any changes made during grading and their effect on the recommendations made in the soils engineering investigation report. He shall provide written approval as the adequacy of the site for the intended use.

3.    A geologic grading report prepared by the engineering geologist, including a final description of the geology of the site, including any new information disclosed during the grading, and the effect of same on recommendations incorporated in the approved grading plan. He shall provide written approval as the adequacy of the site for the intended use as affected by geologic factors.

B.    Notification of Completion. The permittee or his agent shall notify the Building Official when the grading operation is ready for final inspection. Final approval shall not be given until all work, including installation of all drainage facilities and their protective devices and all erosion control measures have been completed in accordance with the final approved grading plan and the required reports have been submitted. The permittee or his agent shall also furnish evidence to the Building Official that all slopes, debris basins or other erosion control devices will be maintained. Temporary devices shall be removed prior to completion. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.160 Alternate Methods.

The provisions of this chapter are not intended to prevent the use of any material or method of construction not specifically prescribed, provided any such alternate has been approved pursuant to this chapter.

The Building Official may approve any such alternate provided he finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the provisions of this chapter and that the material, method or work offered is for the purpose intended at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this chapter in quality, strength, effectiveness, safety, runoff containment, and erosion control.

The Building Official shall require that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claims that may be made regarding its use.

Whenever there is insufficient evidence of compliance with the provisions of this chapter or evidence that any material or any construction does not conform to the requirements of this Code, or in order to substantiate claims for alternate material or methods of construction, the Building Official may require tests by an approved agency as proof of compliance to be made at the expense of the owner or his agent.

Test methods shall be as specified by this chapter for the material in question. If there are not appropriate test methods specified in this chapter, the Building Official shall approve the test procedure. Copies of the results of all such tests shall be retained for a period of not less than two years after the acceptance of the grading. (Ord. 2002-20 § 6 (part), 2002: Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.170 Denial of Permit.

A.    Hazardous Grading. The Building Official shall not issue a permit in any case where he finds that the work as proposed by the applicant is liable to constitute a hazard to the public welfare, endanger life or any private property, result in the deposition of debris on any public way, interfere with any existing drainage course, or cause any excess siltation in any natural river stream drainage course, or in Newport Bay.

B.    Geological or Flood Hazard. If, in the opinion of the Building Official, the land area for which grading is proposed is subject to geological or flood hazards to the extent that no reasonable amount of corrective work can eliminate or sufficiently reduce the hazard to human life or property, the grading permit and the building permits for habitable structures shall be denied.

C.    Environmental Effect, Mitigation. The Building Official may require plans and specifications to be modified in order to mitigate anticipated adverse environmental effects at proposed grading projects and he may, under circumstances where significant adverse effects of a proposed grading project cannot be mitigated, deny the issuance of a grading permit. When a categorical exemption is not appropriate for a site of proposed grading work, the City shall cause to be prepared an initial study, which shall be submitted to the Building Official. If the initial study shows that no significant adverse environmental effects will result from the project, a negative declaration may be issued. The Building Official shall cause the site to be posted and the members of the City Council notified regarding the issuance of the negative declaration. Appeal of the Building Official’s determination to issue a negative declaration shall be set forth in the State EIR Guidelines, Title 14, Section 15000 et seq., California Administrative Code. The Building Official may charge a fee to a permit applicant for the preparation and processing of environmental documentation. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.180 Placing Excavated Material.

A.    Unauthorized Dumping Prohibited. No person shall dump, move or place any earth, sand, gravel, rock, stone, construction debris, or other excavated material so as to cause the same to be deposited upon or to roll, flow or wash upon or over any public place or way, or upon or over the premises of another without the express consent of the owner of each such premises so affected. Such consent shall be in writing and in a form acceptable to the Building Official.

B.    Removal of Misplaced Material. When unauthorized dumping as described in subsection (A) of this section occurs, the person responsible for the dumping, or the permittee, shall remove the material within forty-eight (48) hours. In case of noncompliance, the Community Development Director may order removal, and the cost of such removal shall be paid to the City by the person who failed to remove the material, or by the permittee. (Ord. 2013-11 § 94, 2013; Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)

15.10.190 Denuding Natural Ground Cover.

Except for a written order of the Fire Marshal, no person shall denude and destroy the natural cover of any watershed except for the immediate use of the denuded area for construction or reconstruction purposes. (Ord. 99-14 § 8 (part), 1999)