Division 8. Reserved

Division 9. Grading

Chapter 17.80


17.80.010    Scope.

17.80.020    Grading Permit Administration.

17.80.030    Responsibility of Permittee.

17.80.010 Scope.

A.    This chapter sets forth rules and regulations for the control of excavation, grading and earthwork construction, including fills or embankments and the control of runoff from graded sites, including erosion sediments and construction related pollutants.

B.    These rules and regulations establish minimum standards and are not intended to prevent the use of alternative materials, methods or means of conforming to such standards, provided such alternative has been approved.

C.    The City Engineer shall approve such an alternate, provided he finds that the alternate is for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, durability and safety.

D.    The City Engineer shall require that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claims regarding the alternate.

E.    These rules and regulations establish the administrative procedures for issuance of permits, and provide for approval of plans and inspection of grading construction. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)

17.80.020 Grading Permit Administration.

A.    Purpose. In order to implement the General Plan, protect ridgelines, promote sensitive hillside development, and ensure appropriate and reasonable grading in accordance with sound engineering and design standards, the City hereby establishes grading plans and permits. The purpose of this section is to supplement the grading provisions of the Uniform Building Code.

B.    Applicability. A grading permit shall be obtained for any grading performed within the City, unless the type/quantity of grading is included in the exceptions identified in Section 17.81.010 (Permits).

C.    Approvals and Extensions. Any approval of a grading permit application or grading permit shall expire within six (6) calendar months from the date of approval or issuance, except where grading construction, in reliance on an approved permit, has commenced prior to its expiration.

If at any time during the grading construction significant progress towards completion is halted, as determined by the City Engineer for six (6) months or longer, the City Engineer may provide written notification to the permittee that expires the grading permit.

The expiration date of the grading permit may be extended by the City Engineer for an additional six (6) months, if such a request is received by the City Engineer within thirty (30) days prior to the permit’s original expiration date. Only one (1) six (6) month extension to the expiration date of the grading permit may be granted by the City Engineer.

D.    Permit Authorization. The issuance of a grading permit shall constitute an authorization to do only that work which is described or illustrated on the application for the permit, or on the plans and specifications approved by the City Engineer and the work shall be done in accordance with any conditions imposed by the City Engineer and in accordance with the requirements of this section.

E.    Work Commencing before Permit Issuance. Any person who commences any work for which a grading permit is required by this code, before having obtained the necessary grading permits, shall be subject to an investigation fee, whether or not a permit is issued at that time, or subsequently. The investigation fee shall be equal to twice the amount of the permit fee. Payment of such fee shall not exempt any person from compliance with all other provisions of this code or from any other penalty prescribed by law.

F.    Other Permits May Be Required. Permits issued pursuant to this section shall not relieve the owner of responsibility for securing required permits for work to be done which is regulated by any other provision of this code or by any other person, body, or agency.

G.    Right of Entry—Indemnification. As a condition of issuance of any grading permit, the owner of the site to be graded and the contractor, if any, shall grant to the City a right of entry on the site for the purposes of inspection and for purposes of correction of grading not performed in compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit. The owner and the contractor shall agree to indemnify the City for any claims or damages which may result from the City’s entry onto the property including any corrective action taken pursuant to such right of entry. The right of entry and indemnification agreement shall be on a form approved by the City Attorney.

H.    Liability.

1.    Neither the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this chapter, nor the compliance with the provisions of this development code or with any conditions imposed by any City official under this section, shall relieve any person from any responsibility for damage to persons or property otherwise imposed by law, nor impose any liability upon the City for damage to persons or property.

2.    The City Engineer or any employee charged with the enforcement of this section, acting in good faith and without malice for the City in the discharge of their duties, shall not thereby render themselves liable personally and they are hereby relieved from all personal liability for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of their duties. Any suit brought against the City Engineer or employee, because of such act or omission performed by them in the enforcement of any provisions of this section, shall be defended by the legal department of the City until final termination of the proceedings.

I.    Temporary Suspension of Permit. The City Engineer shall have the authority to temporarily suspend all work on a grading project and suspend the permit if the City Engineer determines any one (1) of the following:

1.    That field conditions present an immediate hazard or danger to life or property;

2.    The permittee fails to or refuses to correct a deficiency or hazard;

3.    The work being done is contrary to the approved plans or conditions thereof;

4.    There is lack of supervision of the grading operation, lack of engineering control, soil engineering control is not being adequately provided;

5.    Any condition which, in the City Engineer’s opinion, presents a threat to the public safety or welfare immediately or in the future which may cause unstable earth until the hazard or condition is removed to the satisfaction of the City Engineer; or

6.    There is a violation of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code.

Revocation of the grading permit shall follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 17.08 (Revocations and Revisions).

J.    Time of Grading Operations. Grading and equipment operations within three hundred (300) feet of a structure for human occupancy shall not be conducted between the hours of seven p.m. and seven a.m. on weekdays and six p.m. to eight a.m. on Saturday. Further, no work shall be performed on Sundays and the following public holidays: New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. The City Engineer may, however, permit grading or equipment operations before seven a.m. or after seven p.m. on weekdays, and on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, if it is determined that such operations are not detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the inhabitants of such a structure. Permitted hours of operations may be shortened by the City Engineer’s finding of a previously unforeseen effect on the health, safety, or welfare of the surrounding community. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)

17.80.030 Responsibility of Permittee.

A.    Compliance with Plans and Code. The permittee or his agent shall carry out the proposed work in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and in compliance with all the requirements of this code.

B.    Contents of Permit. It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to be knowledgeable of the conditions and/or restrictions as placed on the grading permit, as outlined in applicable sections of this code, as contained on the approved grading plans, and as noted in the approved geotechnical report(s). The permittee shall also be responsible to maintain, in an obvious and accessible location on the site, a copy of the permit and grading plans bearing the approval of the City Engineer.

C.    Coordinator. The permittee shall act as the coordinator between the project consultants, contractor, and City Engineer. The permittee shall present to the City Engineer the names of all project consultants prior to obtaining a grading permit. In the event of changed conditions, the permittee shall be responsible for informing the City Engineer of such change and shall provide revised plans and reports for approval.

D.    Inspections. It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to notify the City Engineer when the work is ready for inspection, as required by Section 17.88.010 (Inspection). The notification shall be at least one (1) working day in advance of the inspection.

E.    Protection of Utilities. The permittee and the owner of the property upon which the grading is being performed shall be responsible for the prevention of damage to any public utilities or services. This responsibility applies not only to within the limits of grading, but also along any routes of travel of equipment.

F.    Protection of Adjacent Property. The permittee and the owner of the property upon which the grading is being performed shall be responsible for the prevention of damage to adjacent property. Additionally, no person shall excavate on land sufficiently close to the property line, if doing so may endanger any adjoining public street, sidewalk, alley, or other public or private property, without taking adequate measures to support and protect such property from settling, cracking, or other damage that might result from the grading operation. Any person performing any grading that involves imported or exported materials shall take special precautions, as approved by the City Engineer, to prevent such materials from being deposited on adjacent public way and/or drainage courses. Grading designs that serve to avoid disruption to adjacent property shall be utilized as governed by Section 17.51.020 (Hillside Development).

G.    Stormwater Control Measures. The permittee and the owner of the property upon which the grading is being performed shall put into effect and maintain all precautionary measures necessary to protect adjacent watercourses and public or private property from damage by erosion, flooding, and deposition of mud, debris, and construction-related pollutants, which originate from the site during grading and related construction activities.

H.    Termination of Consultants. The permittee and the owner of the property upon which the grading is being performed shall notify the City Engineer in writing, within forty-eight (48) hours, if any project consultant resigns or is terminated.

I.    Ownership Change. The permittee and the owner of the property upon which the grading is being performed shall notify the City Engineer in writing, within forty-eight (48) hours, if an ownership change occurs. The new owner and the permittee shall together apply for a grading permit in their names within forty-eight (48) hours of such a change. The grading permit may be terminated by the City Engineer for violation of this section of the code.

J.    Best Management Practices. The permittee and the owner of the property upon which the grading is being performed shall maintain the site in such a manner as to minimize the impacts of stormwater and construction-related pollutants due to the grading and related construction activities on adjacent public and private property and drainage courses. The required best management practices shall include, but not be limited to, those identified in the following section:

1.    All equipment used for grading and related activities shall be stored, serviced, and refueled in a designated area specifically designed to prevent waste oils, fuels, solvents, and other pollutants from contaminating the soil or being conveyed by stormwater;

2.    All fuels, solvents, oil, and other foreign substances, and their containers, shall be stored in accordance with their listing and protected from the weather in such a manner as to prevent them from contaminating the soil or being conveyed by stormwater;

3.    A covered receptacle shall be available on site for collection of trash and debris to be disposed of off site. The site shall be maintained in such a manner as to prevent the deposition of trash and debris onto adjacent public and private property; and

4.    All vehicles or equipment shall be free of mud and debris before leaving the site, so as not to track or deposit such material onto the public way when accidental depositions occur.

K.    Project Site Maintenance.

1.    Cleanup and Dust Control. Throughout all phases of construction, including suspension of waste and until final certification, the permittee shall keep the site free from rubbish and debris. The permittee shall also abate dust nuisance by cleaning, sweeping, and sprinkling water, or other means as necessary. The use of water resulting in mud on public streets will not be permitted as a substitute for sweeping or other methods. Care shall be taken to prevent spillage on haul routes. Any such spillage shall be removed immediately and the area cleaned.

2.    Vermin Control. At the time of official certification, the area graded under the permit shall be free of rodents, insects, vermin, and pests. Necessary extermination work shall be arranged and paid for by the permittee. The permittee shall be responsible for the elimination of offensive odors resulting from extermination operations.

3.    Sanitation. The permittee shall provide and maintain enclosed toilets for the use of employees engaged in the grading operation. These accommodations shall be maintained in a neat and sanitary condition. They shall also comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations pertaining to public health.

L.    Protection and Restoration of Existing Improvements. The permittee shall be responsible for the protection of public and private property adjacent to the site and shall exercise due caution to avoid damage to such property.

M.    Public Convenience and Safety.

1.    Traffic and Access. The permittee’s operations shall not cause an unnecessary inconvenience. The access rights of the public shall be considered and maintained at all times.

2.    Storage of Equipment and Materials in Public Streets. All applicable right-of-way permits shall be obtained with Chapter 13.06 (General Regulations) for all equipment and materials in a public street or right-of-way. Construction equipment shall not be stored at the worksite for more than five (5) days after it is no longer needed. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)