Division IV. Drainage and Watercourses

Chapter 16.58
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sections:

16.58.010    Purpose.

16.58.020    Acts prohibited.

16.58.030    Acts prohibited unless permit obtained.

16.58.040    Exceptions to acts prohibited.

16.58.050    Emergency work authorization.

16.58.060    Referral to Environmental Review Board.

16.58.070    Determination that project does not have significant effect upon environment.

16.58.080    Determination that project could have significant effect upon environment.

16.58.090    Referral to the Director of Development Services.

16.58.100    Determination that proposed drainage or flood-control structure is consistent with general plan.

16.58.110    Determination that proposed drainage or flood-control structure is not consistent with general plan.

16.58.120    Information to be supplied by applicant.

16.58.130    Maintenance of floodway required.

16.58.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this division is to protect persons and property against flood hazards by augmenting the regulations imposed by Chapters 16.40 through 16.52 PMC. In case of conflict between the regulations imposed by this division and any other provision of law or of this code, the more stringent regulation shall apply. (Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.100)

16.58.020 Acts prohibited.

No person shall do, commit or cause to be done or committed, any of the following described acts:

A. Deposit any material of any kind in a watercourse which may impair or impede the flow of water therein;

B. Plant any vegetation, other than grasses or annual crops, within a watercourse which may impair, impede or divert the flow of water in such watercourse;

C. Commit any act or in any easement dedicated, granted or reserved for flood-control or drainage purposes which will impair the use of such easement for such purposes;

D. Within a floodplain where a Floodplain Designator or a Flood Channel Designator has under the zoning ordinance been applied by the Council or within a floodplain as delineated on approved maps issued by the Federal Insurance Administrator:

1. Construct new or substantial improvements of residential structures unless the lowest floor (including basement) is elevated to or above the level of the 100-year flood;

2. Construct new or substantial improvements of nonresidential structures unless the lowest floor (including basement) is elevated to or above the level of the 100-year flood or the structure, including attendant utility and sanitary facilities, is floodproofed up to the level of the 100-year flood. (Ord. 85 § 1(d), 1983; Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.102)

16.58.030 Acts prohibited unless permit obtained.

No person shall do, commit or cause to be done or committed, any of the following described acts without first obtaining a written permit from the Director:

A. Impair, impede or accelerate the flow of water in a watercourse;

B. Alter the surface of land, by construction, excavation, embankment or otherwise, so as to reduce the capacity of a watercourse;

C. Construct, alter or remove any flood-control or stormwater drainage structure, facility or channel of or in a watercourse;

D. Within a floodway as shown on City of Poway floodplain maps, place fill or encroachments that would increase the flood level or impair its ability to carry and discharge the waters resulting from the 100-year flood. Permits may be issued where the effect of the fill or encroachment on flood heights is fully offset by stream improvements. (Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.103)

16.58.040 Exceptions to acts prohibited.

A. PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not prohibit any act lawfully done pursuant to Chapters 12.12 or 12.16 PMC.

B. PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not prohibit any act lawfully done pursuant to Chapters 16.40 through 16.52 PMC. Compliance with said Chapters 16.40 through 16.52 PMC constitutes compliance with this division and permits, fees, or inspections are required by this division only to the extent that the particular activity is not fully regulated by said Chapters 16.40 through 16.52 PMC.

C. PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not apply to work performed by organization components of the Federal government, the State or their contractors. PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not apply to the City.

D. PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not apply to acts of the owner of the watercourse in the routine maintenance thereof provided such acts do not impair, impede or divert the flow of water in such watercourse.

E. PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not apply to acts of persons engaged in farming, ranching or other agricultural pursuits, or natural resource extraction operations performed pursuant to a special use permit, provided such acts are normally and routinely associated with such pursuits; and, provided further, that such acts do not substantially impair, impede or divert the flow of water in the watercourse.

F. PMC 16.58.020 does not prohibit repair, reconstruction or improvement to existing residential and nonresidential structures within the floodplain, provided such repair, reconstruction or improvement:

1. Is not a substantial improvement;

2. Is designed (modified) and anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure;

3. Uses construction materials and utility equipment that are resistant to flood damage; and

4. Uses construction methods and practices that will minimize flood damage.

G. PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not prohibit the construction of parking facilities within the floodplain fringe area below the 100-year flood level provided:

1. The parking facility will service a nonresidential building;

2. The structure is open and will not impede the flow of floodwaters. (Ord. 743 § 3, 2012)

16.58.050 Emergency work authorization.

PMC 16.58.020 and 16.58.030 do not prohibit any person from performing emergency maintenance or work within, upon, over, under or through any watercourse when such work is necessary and proper for the preservation of life or property and when an urgent necessity therefor has arisen; provided, that the person performing such emergency work applies for a written permit for such work within five calendar days after the commencement thereof, and complies with all terms and conditions of the permit so issued. In any action at law, or in equity between the City and the person doing the emergency work, the latter shall have the burden of proving that an emergency existed if such question be in issue. (Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.105)

16.58.060 Referral to Environmental Review Board.

Prior to the issuance of any watercourse permit, the Director shall refer the application for such permit to the Environmental Review Board (ERB) for review and determination whether the proposed work could have a significant effect upon the environment; provided, however, such application need not be referred to the ERB if any of the following conditions are met:

A. A City board, commission or officer having final authority for project approval has certified that the Environmental Impact Report which analyzed the proposed work has been completed in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the State guidelines and has considered the information in said report; or has determined that the project, which included the proposed work, would not have a significant effect upon the environment; or

B. The proposed work is pursuant to a tentative map of subdivision which has been approved or conditionally approved on or before April 4, 1973. (Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.106)

16.58.070 Determination that project does not have significant effect upon environment.

If the ERB determines that the proposed work would not have a significant effect upon the environment, it shall so inform the applicant and the Director. Upon receipt of notification of such determination by the ERB, the Director may issue the watercourse permit without requiring an Environmental Impact Report. (Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.107)

16.58.080 Determination that project could have significant effect upon environment.

If the ERB determines that the proposed work could have a significant effect upon the environment, the watercourse permit shall not be issued unless and until the City Council authorizes such issuance following the adoption of an Environmental Impact Report prepared pursuant to the Environmental Quality Act of 1970 and City rules and procedures adopted pursuant thereto. (Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.108)

16.58.090 Referral to the Director of Development Services.

Prior to the issuance of any watercourse permit for construction of any drainage or flood-control structure, the Director shall refer the application for such permit to the Director of Development Services for review and determination whether the proposed work is consistent with the City’s general plan; provided, however, such application need not be referred to the Director of Development Services if any of the following conditions are met:

A. A City board, commission, or officer having final authority for project approval has determined that the project, which included the proposed work, is consistent with the general plan; or

B. The proposed work is pursuant to a tentative map of subdivision which has been approved or conditionally approved. (Ord. 518, 1999; Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.109)

16.58.100 Determination that proposed drainage or flood-control structure is consistent with general plan.

If the Director of Development Services determines that the proposed work is consistent with the City’s general plan, he shall so inform the applicant and the Director. Upon receipt of notification of such determination by the Director of Development Services, the Director may issue the watercourse permit. (Ord. 518, 1999; Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.110)

16.58.110 Determination that proposed drainage or flood-control structure is not consistent with general plan.

If the Director of Development Services determines that the proposed work is not consistent with the general plan, he shall so inform the applicant, the Director and the Council. The watercourse permit shall not be issued unless and until the Council authorizes such issuance following a review of the permit application and making a finding that the proposed drainage or flood-control structure is consistent with the general plan. (Ord. 518, 1999; Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.111)

16.58.120 Information to be supplied by applicant.

When an application for a watercourse permit is referred to the Council pursuant to PMC 16.58.080 or 16.58.110, the City Clerk shall not place the matter on the Council agenda for consideration until the applicant has furnished to the Clerk a written statement disclosing the following information:

A. The names of all persons having an interest in the application as well as the names of all persons having any ownership interest in the property involved;

B. If any person identified pursuant to subsection A of this section is a corporation or partnership, the names of all persons owning more than 10 percent of the shares of a corporation or owning any partnership interest in the partnership;

C. If any person identified pursuant to subsection A of this section is a nonprofit organization or a trust, the names of any person serving as director of the nonprofit organization or a trustee or beneficiary or trustor of the trust. (Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.112)

16.58.130 Maintenance of floodway required.

A. The property owner is responsible for the timely maintenance of any floodway on the owner’s property. Failure to maintain a floodway in a safe and unobstructed condition is a violation of this section and a public nuisance.

B. The Director may serve a written notice of violation on the property owner personally or by registered or certified mail. The notice shall clearly state the nature of the violation and the work that will be required to correct the violation. If served by mail, the notice shall be sufficient if sent to the address of said owner as it appears on the last equalized assessment roll or, alternatively, as it appears from such other records of the Assessor or City Treasurer that contain the more recent addresses in the opinion of the Director.

C. The notice shall require the property owner to abate the conditions constituting the violation within 60 days of the date of the notice except that in case of an emergency, the property owner may be required to abate the nuisance in such shorter time as the Director requires.

D. If the property owner fails to abate the nuisance within the time specified, the Director may cause the abatement to be done with City forces or by contract, in which event the property owner shall be liable for all costs of such abatement, as described in Chapter 16.68 PMC. (Ord. 85 § 1(e), 1983; Ord. 29 § 1, 1981; CC § 88.113)