Chapter 11.20


Article I. In General

11.20.010    Definitions.

11.20.020    Applications and permits.

11.20.030    City free from liability.

11.20.040    Fee.

11.20.050    Approval of application.

11.20.060    Application of public agencies or public utilities.

11.20.070    Permittee responsible for ensuring adequate warning to public.

11.20.080    Amendments of permit conditions.

11.20.090    Duration and revocation of permit.

11.20.100    Licensed contractors.

11.20.110    Enforcement by city engineer.

11.20.120    Violation – Penalty.

Article II. Encroachments

11.20.200    Permit – Required.

11.20.210    Permit – Application.

11.20.220    Restoration of highway.

11.20.230    Special deposit.

11.20.240    General deposit.

11.20.250    Charges against deposit.

11.20.260    Refund or deficiency payment.

11.20.270    Billing in lieu of reductions.

11.20.280    Installation without permission.

11.20.290    Exceptions.

11.20.295    Utility facility encroachment.

Article III. Work in Public Rights-of-Way

11.20.300    Permit – Required.

11.20.310    Permit – Application.

11.20.320    Closure of highway.

11.20.330    Permits subject to provision of this chapter relating to encroachments.

11.20.340    Exemptions from permits.

11.20.350    Restoration of fill and road surfaces.

Article IV. Moving of Buildings and Structures on City Streets and Highways

11.20.400    Permit – Required.

11.20.410    Permit – Application.

11.20.420    Review by sheriff’s office.

11.20.430    Permit issuance.

11.20.440    Supervision by inspector.

11.20.450    Charge for damage to highway.

11.20.460    Warning lights.

11.20.470    Defacing trees not permitted.

11.20.480    Trimming of trees.

Article I. In General

11.20.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings established in this section.

A. “Building or structure,” in addition to the meaning ordinarily ascribed thereto, includes any matching, implement, device, tree, derrick, stage or other setting, lumber, sash or door, structural steel, pipe bend, dynamo, transformer, generator, punch, agitator, object or thing having a width of more than eight feet, other than any implement of husbandry or any special mobile equipment, as defined in the Vehicle Code of the state, having a width of 10 feet or less. The term also includes a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicle or load exceeding the maximum permitted by said Vehicle Code.

B. “City engineer” means the city engineer of the city or the engineer’s authorized designee.

C. “Commercial driveway” means any driveway that is not a “residential driveway” as defined in this section.

D. “Driveway” means a vehicular access from a public street to one or more properties.

E. “Encroachment” means any tower, pole, poleline, pipe, pipeline, driveway, private road, fence, sign, stand or building or any structure or object of any kind or character not particularly mentioned in this chapter, which is placed in, under or over any portion of the highway, public right-of-way or public easement.

F. “Highway” means any public highway, public street, public way, or public place in the city, either owned by the city or dedicated to the public or to the city on behalf of the public for purpose of travel.

G. “Moving contractor” means any person who for himself or another moves or causes to be moved any building or structure over, upon, along or across any highway.

H. “Person” means any person defined in SBMC 1.04.010(K) and also includes the United States, this state, this county, this city, including all departments and bureaus thereof, except the department of public works of the city.

I. “Public easement” means any easement granted to the city for the construction, installation or maintenance of any city or public facility or improvement; including, but not limited to, sewer, drainage, water, storm drain, or other similar facilities or improvements.

J. “Public right-of-way” means any right-of-way granted to the city or to the city on behalf of the public, for the construction, installation or maintenance of any highway, way, utility, or other appurtenant facility or improvement.

K. “Residential driveway” means any driveway servicing any property which is used solely as a private residence consisting of one, two or three dwelling units, including farms or ranches which are not used as retail outlets.

L. “Street” means highway.

M. “Total number of tire inches” means that number calculated by adding the respective tire sizes as specified by the manufacturer of all tires resting upon the surface of the highway.

N. “Vehicle Code” means the Vehicle Code of the state of California.

O. “Width” means the dimension measured at right angles to the anterior-posterior axis of the conveyance upon which the building or structure or portion thereof is to be loaded or moved, or the median line of the highway over which the same is being or is to be moved. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.010)

11.20.020 Applications and permits.

A. Whenever a permit or license is required by this chapter, the application therefor shall be submitted to the city engineer, along with the appropriate application fee or deposit.

B. Whenever a permit or license is required by this chapter for the doing of any act, no person shall do the act, or cause any person to do the act, unless the appropriate permit or license has been validly and finally issued.

C. No person shall do any act prohibited, or fail to do any act required by any license or permit, or cause any other person to do or fail to do any prohibited or required act. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.020)

11.20.030 City free from liability.

As a requirement of issuance of any permit or license, the applicant shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless the city, each of its officers and its employees from any liability or responsibility for accident, loss or damage to persons or property arising by reason of the work done by the applicant, or the applicant’s agents, employees or representatives or as a result of any compliance or noncompliance with term or conditions of the permit or license by the applicant or the applicant’s agents, employees or representatives. Applicants, other than public agencies or utilities, shall submit proof of insurance, naming the city as an additional insured, in an amount satisfactory to the city engineer, before issuance of a permit or license. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.030)

11.20.040 Fee.

A. Every applicant for a permit or license required by this title shall, at the time of making application for the permit or license, pay the fees and make the deposits required for such permit or license.

B. If the United States, this state, this or any other city, any municipal corporation, school district, other public district or public body files with the city engineer a written guarantee of payment of all costs for which they may become liable to the city, then neither an issuance fee nor a deposit is required from such persons.

C. The amount of the fee or deposit shall be established by city council resolution and shall cover the city’s costs in reviewing, issuing, administering and enforcing the permits or licenses. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.040)

11.20.050 Approval of application.

The city engineer shall not approve an application if it appears to the engineer that the work proposed to be done will damage or interfere with the highways, public rights-of-way or public easement, or create an unreasonable risk of harm to persons or property and, that the approval of such application is in the public interest; provided, however, the city engineer may approve the application subject to conditions if the engineer determines that by doing so, it would be in the public interest, the damage to the highways would be insignificant and no unreasonable risk of harm to persons or property would be created by the work as conditioned. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.050)

11.20.060 Application of public agencies or public utilities.

Notwithstanding the provisions of SBMC 11.20.050, the city engineer shall approve the application for permit subject to conditions of any public agency or public utility having lawful authority to occupy the highways and being authorized by law or franchise to establish or maintain works or facilities in, over or under the highway where the work is to be done. All permits shall be subject to a requirement that in the event the future improvement of the highway necessitates the relocation of its facilities the permittee will relocate the same at its sole expense. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.060)

11.20.070 Permittee responsible for ensuring adequate warning to public.

The permittee shall be responsible for the planning, installation, erection and maintenance of all warning and protective devices, lights, barriers, signs or other apparatus appropriate to warn or protect persons traveling on or using the public highway or sidewalk. The city engineer may review the plans and conditions of any license or permit on the compliance with the approved plans. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.070)

11.20.080 Amendments of permit conditions.

Any permit issued by the city engineer under any of the provisions of this title, or the conditions to which it has been made subject, may be amended or changed if the city engineer deems such amendment or change to be necessary for the protection of the highways, or to prevent undue interference with traffic, or to protect both persons and property within or adjacent to such highways from damage or danger. Notification of the amendment or change shall be made by the city engineer, either by mailing written notice to the permittee at the address contained on his application for the permit, or by making personal service of said written notice to the permittee. The amendment or change shall be effective either 24 hours after the written notice is deposited in the United States mail or immediately upon completion of personal service. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.080)

11.20.090 Duration and revocation of permit.

A. The city engineer shall establish the duration of permits and licenses issued pursuant to this chapter.

B. In order to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and the prior right of the city to city highways and public rights-of-way, all permits or licenses, other than those issued to public agencies or a public utility having lawful authority to occupy the highways, are revocable on five days’ notice, and the encroachment must be removed or relocated within a reasonable time after the notice of removal or relocation. The city engineer shall specify the terms and conditions of the removal or relocation. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.090)

11.20.100 Licensed contractors.

All work pursuant to a permit shall be done by a contractor licensed by the state to perform the type of work authorized by the permit or by the employees of a public agency or public utility working in the course and scope of their employment with the agency or utility. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.100)

11.20.110 Enforcement by city engineer.

In addition to the general authority of the city manager to enforce all city codes, the city engineer is authorized to enforce the provisions of this title. The city engineer may delegate the enforcement responsibility to another city employee or employees. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.110)

11.20.120 Violation – Penalty.

A. Except where otherwise specifically provided by this title, every person who does or causes to be done any of the acts listed in this section before obtaining a construction, excavation or encroachment permit from the city engineer or in violation of any permit is guilty of an offense punishable as provided in Chapter 1.16 SBMC:

1. Moves to causes to be moved along any highway, any building or structure;

2. Makes or causes to be made any excavation, fill or obstruction of, or lays, constructs or repairs any curb, sidewalk, gutter, driveway, roadway surface, retaining wall, storm drain or culvert or other work of any nature in, over, along, across or through any highway or city right-of-way;

3. Places, changes or renews any encroachment in, under or over any portion of a highway or city right-of-way.

B. In addition, any excavation, encroachment, construction or other work done or caused to be done in violation of this chapter shall constitute a public nuisance. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.120)

Article II. Encroachments

11.20.200 Permit – Required.

No person shall place, change or renew an encroachment in, under or over any portion of a highway, public right-of-way or easement owned by the city or public, without first obtaining a written permit from the city engineer in accordance with this chapter. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.200)

11.20.210 Permit – Application.

Application for an encroachment permit shall be made in writing on a form approved by the city engineer. The application shall contain the following information:

A. The location, description and justification for the encroachment;

B. The extent to which it will interfere with the public use and maintenance of the highway;

C. The duration for which a permit is sought and the date it is requested to be effective;

D. Such other information as the city engineer may require. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.210)

11.20.220 Restoration of highway.

Every encroachment permit shall contain an agreement, either as a condition included in the issuance of the encroachment permit or as a separate written instrument signed by the applicant, that if the permit expires or is revoked, or upon completion of work, the permittee will, within a reasonable time and to the satisfaction of the city engineer, restore the highway to the equivalent or better condition than it was prior to the date that permit became effective or prior to the date the encroachment was first placed, whichever is earlier. If the agreement is included as a condition of the permit, the applicant’s or its agent’s signature on the permit application and acceptance of the permit shall be deemed to be assent to the condition. (Ord. 514 § 3, 2020; Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.220)

11.20.230 Special deposit.

A. Each applicant for a permit, in addition to payment of the issuance fee, shall deposit a sum with the city engineer to guarantee the placement of protective measures, if required, and the removal of the encroachment and restoration of the highway. The amount of the deposit shall be twice the estimated cost of removing the encroachment, but in no case less than $50.00. Such a deposit may be waived by the city engineer if the encroachment existed prior to adoption of this chapter and any other applicable law regulating encroachments.

B. If the amount of the deposit exceeds $2,000, the permittee may guarantee the obligations imposed by this chapter by a bond, letter of credit, cash deposit, escrow deposit or other security in a form satisfactory to the city manager and acceptable to the city attorney. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.230)

11.20.240 General deposit.

In lieu of making the special deposits required by SBMC 11.20.230, an applicant who makes routine, periodic applications for temporary permits having a duration of 10 days or less may make and maintain with the city engineer a general security deposit, bond or other acceptable security as defined in SBMC 11.20.230, in an amount estimated by the city engineer to be sufficient to pay the cost of permit fees and to guarantee performance as required in SBMC 11.20.210 for future encroachments. Such a deposit shall not exceed $2,000. While a general deposit is maintained in an amount sufficient to cover the fees and deposits required for the placing, changing or renewing of all encroachments sought to be made, the applicant need not make any special deposit. If, in the opinion of the city engineer, a general deposit is not sufficient for the proper protection of the public interest in the highways on which encroachment permits are sought, he may require a special deposit under the provisions of SBMC 11.20.210. The city engineer may waive this provision for public utility companies. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.240)

11.20.250 Charges against deposit.

The city may charge against any deposit made or maintained by the permittee:

A. The permit issuance fee if that has not otherwise been paid;

B. The cost of any inspection by the city engineer;

C. The cost to the city of the placement of protective measures if required and the removal of the encroachment and restoration of the highway if the permittee fails or refuses to do so. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.250)

11.20.260 Refund or deficiency payment.

After making the required charges, the city shall refund to the applicant any amount still remaining in the special deposit. If any deposit made is less than sufficient to pay all fees and costs to be deducted, the permittee shall, upon demand, pay to the city engineer an amount equal to the deficiency. If the permittee fails or refuses to pay such deficiency upon demand, the city may recover the same plus lawful interest by action in any court of competent jurisdiction. Until such deficiency is paid in full, a permit shall not be issued to such permittee. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.260)

11.20.270 Billing in lieu of reductions.

If a person makes and maintains with the city engineer a general deposit, the deductions provided for in this chapter need not be made. In lieu of such deductions, the city engineer may bill such person for the amount owed by him to the city under the provisions of this chapter. If such amount is not paid within 15 days of the transmission of such bill, the city engineer may deduct such amount from the general deposit. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.270)

11.20.280 Installation without permission.

A. Any encroachment on a public right-of-way, of any nature whatsoever, which is installed without appropriate permission as required in this chapter, shall constitute violation of this chapter and shall immediately be removed.

B. The person causing the encroachment to exist may request a permit under this chapter. Such request shall forthwith be brought to the attention of the city council. The city council may then decide, in its sole discretion, whether or not to allow the maintenance of such encroachment, and if allowed, upon whatever conditions it may impose. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.280)

11.20.290 Exceptions.

In commercial and industrial zones, marquees, awnings, and building-mounted signs completely supported by a private building are excepted from the provisions of this chapter, provided the marquee, awning or sign is located so that the lowest point of the marquee, awning or sign is not less than eight feet from the highest point of the highway, right-of-way or easement. All such installations shall be in conformance with the requirements and regulations of the city building, zoning and sign ordinances. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.290)

11.20.295 Utility facility encroachment.

A. Purpose. In order to provide for the flexibility necessary to achieve the objectives of this title, this section provides for the administrative review and adjustment of selected site development regulations as set forth in subsection C of this section.

B. Authority. The city engineer is authorized to grant a utility facility encroachment in accordance with the procedures in this section and to impose reasonable conditions.

C. Development Regulations Which Qualify.

1. Construction or alteration of utility facilities in, on, over, upon, across, and along the public streets and public rights-of-way within the city of Solana Beach shall require approval of a utility facility encroachment permit by the city engineer in the following circumstances: (a) the cabinet is larger than 40 cubic feet, or (b) the facility is a surface-mounted cabinet with a dimension (width, height, or length) greater than 36 inches, or (c) the facility is a cabinet of any size being located closer than 100 feet to another cabinet of any size. Exempt from this requirement are facilities placed underground. The applicant shall comply with the “Guidelines for the Placement of Utility Facilities in the Public Rights-of-Way.”

D. Application. An application for a utility facility encroachment shall be filed with the department of public works/engineering on a form provided by the department. The application shall contain sufficient information to permit review pursuant to this section. An application processing fee in an amount established by city council resolution shall be paid at the time of submission of the application.

E. Notification. The applicant shall notify all property owners within 300 feet of the subject site for all utility facility encroachments (inclusive of public rights-of-way). The applicant shall notice all property owners located within 300 feet of the subject site. The applicant shall provide their own mailing list and labels through the San Diego County assessor’s office public files. The applicant shall provide a copy of the notice and mailing list for the proposed project with the application. Said notice shall state the following:

1. Requested action;

2. Location of the requested action;

3. Name and address (parcel and lot number) of the applicant;

4. Date which a decision will be made on application.

F. Findings. Before granting a utility facility encroachment, the city engineer shall make all of the following findings:

1. That the granting of the utility facility encroachment is consistent with the objectives of the general plan, “Guidelines for Placement of Utility Facilities in the Public Rights-of-Way,” and the intent of this title.

2. That the granting of the utility facility encroachment will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, welfare, or materially injurious to properties or improvements in the vicinity.

G. Abandonment and Decommissioning. Any utility facility that is no longer in operation for more than 90 consecutive days shall be considered abandoned. In such an event, the applicant/permittee must either (1) take action to reactivate the operation of the utility facility, or (2) decommission and remove all elements of the utility facility and restore the site to its original condition. In the event the applicant/permittee fails to reactivate the utility facility or perform the removal and restoration within 90 days, the city shall declare the utility facility abandoned and have the utility facility removed at the applicant/permittee’s expense.

H. Appeals. The granting or denial of a utility facility encroachment pursuant to this chapter by the city engineer shall, unless appealed to the city council, become final within 10 calendar days after the filing of the city engineer’s written decision setting forth the findings in support thereof. Any determination or action of the city engineer under this section may be appealed through the administrative hearing process in accordance with Chapter 2.32 SBMC. (Ord. 378 § 2, 2008)

Article III. Work in Public Rights-of-Way

11.20.300 Permit – Required.

No person or contractor (other than the city or a contractor of the city performing highway construction, or permit or repair, or other city works of improvement) shall excavate, fill, obstruct or do any other work in a city highway, street or right-of-way, for the purpose of installing sanitary sewers, storm drains, water lines, oil or natural gas lines, electrical, telephone or cable television lines or conduits, sidewalks, driveways, or curbs and gutters, without first obtaining a permit from the city engineer. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.300)

11.20.310 Permit – Application.

The application for the permit shall specify in detail:

A. The location, dimensions, purpose, extent and nature of the excavation, fill or obstruction;

B. The time during which it is estimated that such excavation, fill or obstruction shall exist;

C. The plan for providing protection and warning to persons using the public highway, street or right-of-way;

D. Such other information as the city engineer may require. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.310)

11.20.320 Closure of highway.

A permit issued under SBMC 11.20.300 shall not authorize the closure of any street or highway. An additional permit for the closure of a street or highway issued pursuant to this code shall be necessary for any street closure. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.320)

11.20.330 Permits subject to provision of this chapter relating to encroachments.

Unless otherwise specifically exempted pursuant to the provisions of this article, permits issued pursuant to SBMC 11.20.300 shall be subject to all the provisions in this chapter relating to encroachments. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.330)

11.20.340 Exemptions from permits.

Work by public utilities, including cable television companies, on poles, wires, lines or other facilities located above the ground, which work does not have a duration of more than one day, shall be exempt from the requirements for obtaining a permit. This exemption shall not relieve the public utility of any of the responsibilities or liabilities imposed under this chapter other than the requirement for obtaining a permit. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.340)

11.20.350 Restoration of fill and road surfaces.

As a condition of every permit issued under this part, the permittee shall refill and recompact all excavations and shall restore the surface of the highways, streets and rights-of-way, including curb, gutter and sidewalks, if any, to city standards to the satisfaction of the city engineer. The permittee shall, upon request of the city engineer, provide all compaction and other tests required by the city engineer. Failure of a permittee to restore the highway, street or right-of-way shall be deemed a violation of the permit. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.350)

Article IV. Moving of Buildings and Structures on City Streets and Highways

11.20.400 Permit – Required.

No person shall move or cause to be moved along any highway any building or structure without first obtaining a permit from the city engineer. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.400)

11.20.410 Permit – Application.

The application for a permit shall specify the kind of building or structure to be moved, the approximate weight thereof, as nearly as may be ascertained, the location of the same, the location to which and the route over or along which such building or structure and each section or portion of such building or structure is to be moved, the number of sections in which the building or structure will be moved, the type and number of conveyances upon which the same is to be moved, the total number of tire inches thereof for each separate section to be moved, and the time when such building, structure, or portion thereof is proposed to be moved and within which such removal will be completed. The applicant shall attach to the application a copy of a valid building permit for the building or structure at its destination point, or in the case of intended storage, a copy of an appropriate special use permit or other evidence that storage at the destination point is not in violation of the zoning ordinance. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.410)

11.20.420 Review by sheriff’s office.

A copy of the application may be sent to the sheriff’s office for review and recommendations on the proposed route and time of the move, and any traffic safety condition the sheriff deems necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public. The sheriff shall make any recommendation in writing within 15 days after the application is sent by the city engineer. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.420)

11.20.430 Permit issuance.

After receipt of the sheriff’s comments, or 20 working days after the filing of the completed application, the city engineer shall issue, conditionally issue, or deny the permit. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.430)

11.20.440 Supervision by inspector.

The city engineer may require that the moving of any building or structure be under the supervision of an inspector to be appointed by the city engineer. The permittee shall pay to the city engineer an amount equal to the compensation and cost of transportation of such inspector during the time he is assigned to such inspection. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.440)

11.20.450 Charge for damage to highway.

The city engineer may restore, or cause to be restored, every highway damaged by the moving of any building or structure thereon, to a condition equivalent to that prior to such damage. The moving contractor who caused such damage shall pay the cost of the repair thereof to the city engineer. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.450)

11.20.460 Warning lights.

When a building or structure, while being moved, is located on any highway, at all times between sunset and sunrise the moving contractor shall keep lit a red warning light not over six feet

above the surface of such highway at each corner of such building or structure, and unless the city engineer otherwise directs, on all sides and projections thereof, at intervals of not more than five feet. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.460)

11.20.470 Defacing trees not permitted.

A permit granted under this chapter does not permit, license, or allow any person, except the city engineer, to trim, prune, cut or deface in any manner any tree upon any grounds or property belonging to the city or upon any road, street or highway. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.470)

11.20.480 Trimming of trees.

At the request of a moving contractor holding an unrevoked permit granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the city engineer, within a reasonable time after such request, may trim such trees under his supervision as it is necessary to trim where it will not harm the trees, to the extent required to move the structure to the location specified in the permit. (Ord. 75 § 2, 1988; 1987 Code § 8.08.480)