Chapter 14.20
EXCAVATIONS, GRADING AND FILLS

Sections:

14.20.005    Purpose and scope.

14.20.010    Authority.

14.20.020    Definitions.

14.20.025    Permits required.

14.20.030    Fees.

14.20.035    Application contents.

14.20.040    Issuance of permit – Prerequisites.

14.20.045    Bonds.

14.20.050    Permit commencement, duration and expiration.

14.20.100    Excavating, grading and filling requirements.

14.20.200    Erosion and sediment control regulations – Intent.

14.20.205    Erosion and sediment control plans.

14.20.210    Design criteria for erosion and sediment control plans.

14.20.300    Inspection.

14.20.305    Completion of work.

14.20.310    Enforcement – Stop work order and revocation of permit.

14.20.315    Violation – Enforcement.

14.20.320    Violation – Procedure for enforcement.

14.20.325    Violation – Additional remedy.

14.20.005 Purpose and scope.

A. Purpose. It is in the public interest, and it is necessary for the promotion and protection of the public safety, convenience, comfort, prosperity, general welfare and the protection of the city’s natural resources, to establish minimum requirements for grading on public or private property in order to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the land, streams and creek banks; and reduce or eliminate the hazards of earthslides, mud flows, rock falls, undue settlement, erosion, siltation and flooding.

B. Scope. This chapter sets forth rules and regulations to control excavation, grading and earthwork construction, including fills and embankments; establishes the administrative procedures for issuance of permits; and provides for approval of plans and inspection of grading activities. Any grading activity, whether or not a permit is required, is subject to erosion and sediment control regulations as provided for in SMC 14.20.205. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.010 Authority.

The public works director, or his/her designee, has authority for administering and carrying out the provisions in this chapter. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.020 Definitions.

The terms used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

“As-graded” means the actual surface conditions present on completion of grading.

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

“Best management practices (BMPs)” are construction site controls used to protect water quality.

“Certification” means a written engineering or geologist opinion concerning the progress and completion of the work.

“City engineer” means the city engineer of the city or his/her authorized representative.

“Clearing” is any activity that removes the vegetative surface cover.

“Compaction” is the densification of earth material by mechanical means.

“Contour rounding” means the rounding of cut and fill slopes in the horizontal plane to blend with existing contours or to provide horizontal variation, to eliminate the artificial appearance of slopes.

“Drainage channel or course” means a natural or artificial channel or depression of the ground that, due to its topology, periodically or continuously contains flowing stormwater on its surface, including, but not limited to, slopes, swales, ditches, channels, creeks, streams, rivers and similar waterways that carry stormwater.

“Drip line” means a line extending around a tree directly underneath the outermost branches of the tree.

“Earth material” is any rock, natural soil or fill and/or any combination thereof.

“Engineered grading” means grading in excess of 5,000 cubic yards or with cuts or fills with any part greater than four feet in cross sectional height or depth or when otherwise designated as such by the city engineer when he/she deems necessary due to hydraulic, geologic or other site conditions or factors.

“Engineering geologist” means a professional engineering geologist registered by the state to practice in the field of engineering geology.

“Erosion and sediment control plan” is a set of plans and/or specifications prepared by, or under the direction of, a licensed professional engineer indicating the specific measures and sequencing to be used to control erosion and sedimentation on a development site during and after construction.

“Erosion control” is a measure that prevents erosion or the wearing away of the ground surface as a result of the movement of wind, water, and/or ice.

“Excavation” means the mechanical removal of earth material.

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

“Grade” means the vertical location of the ground surface. “Existing grade” is the grade prior to grading; “rough grade” is the stage at which the grade approximately conforms to the approved plan; and “finish grade” is the final grade of the site which conforms to the approved plan.

“Grading” means any excavating or filling or combination thereof.

“Grading inspector” means the city representative authorized to inspect grading activities, as designated by the public works director.

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

“Permittee” is the person who is issued the permit. The permittee may also be the applicant but under all circumstances must either be the owner or an authorized representative of the owner of the property where the grading is being done.

“Phasing” is clearing a parcel of land in distinct phases, with the stabilization of each phase completed before the clearing of the next.

“Public works director” means the director of the city of Sonoma public works department.

“Rainy season” means that period of time when rains begin or October 15, whichever comes first, and ending on the following April 15 or when rains cease, whichever occurs last.

“Sediment control measures” are measures that prevent eroded sediment from leaving a construction site.

“Sensitive area” refers to the limits of impervious area that will be located less than 200 feet away from a natural water quality resource including a wetland, stream, pond, spring or river.

“Site” is a parcel of land or a contiguous combination thereof.

“Soils engineer” means a civil engineer experienced and knowledgeable in the practice of soil engineering.

“Start of construction” is the first land-disturbing activity associated with a work of improvement, including clearing and grading.

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

“Variable slope” means the variation in steepness of a cut or fill slope in either a combination of the horizontal or vertical plans of the slope. (Ord. 05-2015 § 2, 2015; Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.025 Permits required.

No person, firm or corporation shall perform any grading without first having obtained a written grading permit from the building official or his/her designee. The exceptions outlined in this section shall not apply to grading within or immediately adjacent to drainage channels or courses.

A. Exceptions. A grading permit shall not be required for the following:

1. Excavations below finished grade for basements and footings of a building, retaining wall, swimming pool, or other structure authorized by a valid building permit. This subsection shall not exempt from permit requirements any excavation having an unsupported height greater than five feet after the completion of such structure;

2. Cemetery graves;

3. Refuse disposal sites controlled by other regulations;

4. Excavations for wells or underground storage tanks no greater than 10,000 gallons in size when work is being done under the authority of a valid county well permit or city building permit;

5. Excavation for utilities when performed by a public utility;

6. Stockpiling of dirt, rock, sand, gravel, aggregate or clay of 50 cubic yards or less for a period of 60 days or less; provided, that the stockpile does not obstruct a drainage course or alter the drainage of neighboring properties;

7. Exploratory excavations of 50 cubic yards or less under the direction of a soils engineer or engineering geologist;

8. An excavation of 50 cubic yards or less which is:

a. Less than two feet in depth at any given point; or

b. Does not create a cut slope greater than five feet in height and steeper than two horizontal to one vertical;

c. Outside of the special flood hazard area and does not obstruct a drainage course or alter the drainage of neighboring properties. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.030 Fees.1

A. Plan Check Fee. Before accepting a set of plans and specifications for checking, a plan check fee or deposit shall be paid by the applicant.

B. Grading Permit Fee. A grading permit fee shall be paid by the applicant prior to issuance of a grading permit.

C. Fees set forth in this section shall be established and may, from time to time, be amended by city council resolution. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.035 Application contents.

A. Applications for a grading permit shall be accompanied by plans 24 inches by 36 inches in size prepared at a scale of no smaller than one inch equals 40 feet or at another scale acceptable to the city engineer.

1. Title page shall identify owner’s name, owner’s mailing address, owner’s phone number, site address, assessor’s parcel number, planning application number (if any), cubic yards of cut and cubic yards of fill.

2. A vicinity sketch showing roads, adjoining subdivisions and other data to adequately indicate the site location and show its relation to the community.

3. Property lines of the property on which the work is to be performed. The widths, location and identity of all easements.

4. Location of any buildings, structures, drainage devices or public improvements within 50 feet of the proposed grading work.

5. Date, north arrow, scale and accurate contours showing the topography of the existing ground of the proposed site and at least 50 feet beyond its boundary. Indicate source and date of existing contours. Show all drainage courses, channels and creeks.

6. Elevations, dimensions, location, extent and slopes of all proposed grading shown by contours and/or other means. Contours shall be shown at intervals of not greater than five feet, and of not greater than two feet if slope of land is less than ten percent.

7. Details of all surface and subsurface drainage devices, walls or other protective devices to be constructed in connection with, or as part of, the proposed work.

8. A statement indicating the approximate amount and location of any material to be imported from or exported to areas other than that shown on the plans. Proof of permit to dispose of material to another site outside of the city may be required at the discretion of the public works director.

9. Type, circumference and drip line of existing trees with a trunk diameter of six inches or more, measured 24 inches above existing grade. Any trees or vegetation proposed to be removed shall be so indicated including protective fencing as required.

10. Estimated schedule of the grading work.

11. Specify if the property is located in a special flood hazard area as defined in Chapter 14.25 SMC.

12. Erosion and sediment control plan in accordance with SMC 14.20.205.

B. Additional Application Requirements for Engineered Grading. In addition to meeting the requirements under subsection (A) of this section, projects defined as engineered grading shall also contain the following documentation:

1. A map prepared by a civil engineer showing the location of all areas subject to stormwater runoff to and from the site and adjacent areas. A complete hydraulic analysis including the location, width, direction and quantity of flow of each watercourse shall accompany the map.

2. A soils engineering report prepared by a soils engineer, including data regarding the nature, distribution and strength of existing soils, conclusions, and recommendations for grading procedures and design criteria.

3. A geologist report, prepared by an engineering geologist, including an adequate description of the geology of the site and conclusions and recommendations regarding the effect of geologic conditions on the proposed work.

4. A letter from a soils engineer or engineering geologist verifying that he/she has been employed by the applicant and agrees to provide inspection, furnish as-built grading plans and submit final approval statement in accordance with this chapter.

5. The erosion and sediment control plan as provided for in SMC 14.20.205 shall be submitted to the city engineer and shall include the placement of structural and nonstructural stormwater pollution prevention controls that prevent erosion during construction and post construction. Erosion and sediment control plans for large-scale projects or when directed by the city engineer in sensitive areas shall be prepared by a certified erosion control specialist.

C. The city engineer, at his/her sole discretion, may allow waivers or deviations from the requirements specified in this section, depending on the site-specific conditions and the complexity of the work. Specific waivers or deviations from these requirements shall be made by written request by the applicant to the city engineer prior to submittal of the plans and specifications. (Ord. 05-2015 § 2, 2015; Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.040 Issuance of permit – Prerequisites.

A. No grading permit shall be issued until all required data has been approved by the planning director for conformance with CEQA, project entitlements, conditions of approval and/or zoning codes.

B. No grading permit shall be issued until all required plans and required documentation have been approved by the city engineer and all required fees have been paid.

C. In addition to the requirements of subsections (A) and (B) of this section, no grading permit shall be issued for a subdivision until:

1. All required grading bonds, subdivision improvement agreements and deeds (if applicable) have been received and approved; and

2. The planning commission and/or city council has approved the tentative map. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.045 Bonds.

A. Posting of Bond Required. A grading permit shall not be issued for a subdivision of five lots or more or for engineered grading unless the applicant has posted a bond executed by the applicant and a corporate surety authorized to do business in the state as a surety in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of corrective work necessary to clean up and remove all debris, to eliminate all hazards or to return the land to its natural condition as much as is possible should the project be abandoned and to ensure the installation of erosion control measures in accordance with an approved erosion and sediment control plan. The bond amount shall be based upon an engineer’s cost estimate furnished by the applicant and approved by the city engineer. In lieu of a surety bond, the city may consider at the discretion of city engineer and city attorney cash bond, certificate of deposit, or instrument of credit in an amount equal to that which would be required in the surety bond. Every bond or other surety shall:

1. Comply with all of the provisions of the applicable laws, ordinances and requirements of the city attorney; and

2. Comply with all terms and conditions of the grading permit to the satisfaction of the public works director; and

3. Include conditions that the applicant shall complete all of the work under the permit within the time limit specified in the permit. The public works director may, for sufficient cause, extend the time specified in the permit, but no such extension shall release the surety.

B. Term. The term of each bond shall begin upon the date of issuance of the grading permit and shall remain in effect until released by the public works director upon acceptance of completed grading improvements.

C. Failure to Complete Work. In the event of failure to complete the work and failure to comply with all of the conditions and terms of the permit, the public works director may order the work required by the permit to be completed to his/her satisfaction. The surety executing such bond or deposit shall continue to be firmly bound under a continuing obligation for the payment of all necessary costs and expenses that may be incurred or expended by the governing agency in causing any and all such required work to be done. If the work is not completed within the time period specified in SMC 14.20.050, the permittee shall be deemed to have abandoned the project and the public works director may, in his/her discretion, order the land to be returned as much as possible to its natural condition and the surety shall continue to be firmly bound under a continuing obligation for the payment of all necessary costs and expenses that may be incurred or expended by the governing agency in causing such restoration work to be done. In the case of cash deposit, said deposit or any unused portion thereof shall be refunded to the permittee in whatever amount is not necessary to complete the work described. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.050 Permit commencement, duration and expiration.

The grading permit under this chapter shall be subject to the following conditions:

A. Commencement. Grading, erosion control and sediment control work may commence upon issuance of the grading permit by the public works director. During the rainy season, as defined in SMC 14.20.020, grading work may not commence or recommence if erosion and sediment control measures required by SMC 14.20.205 have not been installed, implemented and maintained on the site to the satisfaction of the public works director or his/her representative. Regardless of whether a grading permit has been issued, grading shall not commence or recommence within an area that is adjacent to and/or within 50 feet of a drainage channel or course during the rainy season without specific written authorization from the public works director.

B. Duration and Expiration. If the work authorized by any grading permit under this chapter is not commenced within 180 days of the date of issuance, or as otherwise indicated on the permit, or if the work is not completed within one year of the date of issuance, or sooner if indicated on the permit, the permit shall expire and become null and void. Any permittee holding an unexpired grading permit may apply for a one-time extension of the time within which grading must be completed and approved. The public works director may extend the expiration date of the permit for a period not exceeding 180 days. (Ord. 05-2015 § 2, 2015; Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.100 Excavating, grading and filling requirements.

A. General. The following shall apply to all grading work covered by a grading permit:

1. One copy of the approved plans and approved revisions thereof, the stormwater pollution prevention plan as required by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, and grading permit shall be kept on the site at all times during the progress of the grading and shall be made available during inspections.

2. All grading and noise therefrom, including but not limited to, warming of equipment motors, shall be subject to the city’s noise regulations and limited to the hours stated in Chapter 9.56 SMC.

3. All graded surfaces and materials, whether filled, excavated, transported or stockpiled, shall be wetted, protected, covered or contained in such a manner as to prevent any nuisance from dust, sediment, site runoff, or spillage onto adjoining property or streets. Best management practices in accordance with SMC 14.20.205 shall be incorporated in the grading activities.

4. No grading shall be conducted so as to encroach upon or alter the established gradient and riparian habitat of drainage courses except when a valid permit and other necessary approvals are obtained from the appropriate state and federal authorities and the necessary environmental review and approvals are received.

5. Whenever any portion of the work requires entry onto adjacent property for any reason, the permittee shall obtain a right of entry from the adjacent property owner in a form acceptable to the city attorney.

6. Grading shall be designed so that lot lines are at the top of slope and with adequate property line setback from the slope to provide for required vertical slope rounding. The tops and toes of cut lines and structures shall be designed to provide for:

a. Safety of adjacent property; and

b. Safety of pedestrians and vehicular traffic; and

c. Required slope rounding for adequate foundation support; and

d. Required swales, berms and drainage facilities; and

e. Sufficient setbacks to meet applicable zoning requirements.

7. The permittee and the grading contractor shall be responsible for the protection of adjacent properties during grading operations. Prior to commencing any grading of the site, the exterior boundaries shall be marked or staked as required by the grading inspector. Boundary markers shall be maintained throughout the grading operation. Temporary barriers and/or protective fencing shall be used when necessary to protect trees and adjacent properties.

8. Soil stabilization is required for all graded areas. Slopes, both cut and fill, shall be provided with subsurface drainage as necessary for stability.

9. Slopes, both cut and fill, shall not be steeper than two horizontal to one vertical (2:1), unless special circumstances applicable to the property, including size, shape, topography, location or surroundings, would cause the strict application of the standard to deprive such property of reasonable use. If these conditions exist, a geological and engineering analysis shall verify that steeper slopes are safe and appropriate erosion control measures are specified.

10. Cut and fill slopes shall be contour-rounded unless the city engineer finds special circumstances applicable to the property that would require deviation from this requirement.

11. Variable slopes shall be used to mitigate environmental and visual impacts of grading unless the city engineer finds special circumstances applicable to the property that would require deviation from this requirement.

12. Terraces at least six feet in width shall be established at not more than 30-foot vertical intervals, subject to maximum height limitations, to control surface drainage and debris on cut or fill slopes. Suitable access shall be provided to permit proper cleaning and maintenance.

13. All drainage facilities shall be designed to carry waters to the nearest practical drainage way approved by the city and/or the Sonoma County water agency and/or other appropriate jurisdiction as a safe place to deposit such waters after all applicable on-site stormwater runoff management, detention, and/or infiltration requirements have been met. If drainage facilities discharge on natural ground, riprap, energy dissipaters or other devices approved by the city engineer shall be constructed.

14. All building sites shall be graded and sloped away from the building foundation with a minimum slope of two percent for a distance of 10 feet on all sides of every building. If physical obstructions or lot lines prohibit 10 feet of horizontal distance, a five percent slope shall be provided to an alternative method of diverting water away from the foundation as approved by the city engineer. Swales used for this purpose shall be sloped a minimum of two percent where located within 10 feet of the building foundation. Impervious surfaces within 10 feet of the building foundation shall be sloped a minimum of two percent away from the building. Lot surface drainage shall be directed toward approved drainage facilities at a minimum gradient of one-half percent and shall not cross property lines without the appropriate drainage facilities and/or easement.

15. No cut or fill may intrude closer than the drip line of any tree to be retained on the site unless otherwise recommended, in writing, by an arborist and approved by the city engineer.

B. Fills. Unless otherwise recommended in the approved soils report, fills shall conform to the following provisions:

1. The ground surface shall be prepared to receive fill by removing vegetation, non-complying fill, topsoil and other unsuitable materials, then scarifying surface to provide a bond with new fill.

2. Fill on slopes steeper than five horizontal to one vertical (20 percent) and higher than five feet shall require benching into sound bedrock or other competent material as determined by the soils engineer. Bench shall be a minimum width of 10 feet. The area beyond the top of fill shall be sloped for sheet overflow or an approved drainage facility provided.

3. When fill is placed over a cut, the bench under the top of fill shall be at least 10 feet wide and the cut shall be made before placement of the fill and acceptance by the soils engineer or engineering geologist as a suitable foundation for fill.

4. Detrimental amounts of organic material shall not be permitted in fills. No rocks or similar irreducible material with a minimum dimension greater than 12 inches shall be buried or placed in fills. The city engineer may permit placement of larger rock only upon receipt and approval of a method of placement prepared by a soils engineer and under his/her direction. The following conditions shall also apply:

a. Rock disposal areas shall be delineated on grading plan.

b. Rock sizes greater than 12 inches in maximum dimension shall be 10 feet or more below finished grade, measured vertically.

c. Rocks shall be placed so as to assure filling of all voids with fines.

5. All fills shall be compacted to a minimum 90 percent of maximum density. (Ord. 05-2015 § 2, 2015; Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.200 Erosion and sediment control regulations – Intent.

The intent of these erosion and sediment control requirements is to regulate construction activities on public and private property in order to control erosion and sedimentation and to protect stormwater quality. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.205 Erosion and sediment control plans.

A. An erosion and sediment control plan, prepared by a civil engineer or other professional who is qualified to prepare such a plan, shall be submitted as part of every grading permit application and shall delineate measures to appropriately and effectively minimize soil erosion and sedimentation and comply with the design standards and construction site control measures contained in this chapter. The erosion and sediment control plan shall be submitted to the city engineer and shall include the placement of structural and nonstructural stormwater pollution prevention controls that prevent erosion during construction. Erosion control plans for engineered grading projects or when directed by the city engineer in sensitive areas shall be prepared by a certified erosion control specialist. The erosion and sediment control plan shall include all of the following as applicable to the proposed grading activity:

1. A description and delineation of the vegetative measures to be taken to minimize erosion and sedimentation;

2. A description and delineation of the temporary and permanent measures to be taken to protect manufactured or disturbed slopes from erosion by mechanical means, such as with mulches, diversion dikes, etc.;

3. The delineation of the drainage control measures to be taken;

4. The extent and manner of the cutting of trees and the clearing of vegetation, the disposal of same, and the measures to be taken for the protection of undisturbed trees and vegetation;

5. The methods to be used for the disposal of excess materials;

6. The methods to be used for the control of dust;

7. A description and delineation of the temporary and permanent measures to be taken to retain sediment on the site;

8. A description of the measures to be taken and the associated best management practices (BMP) inspection schedule to maintain the devices shown on the plan during grading operations and construction on the site;

9. The extent of disturbed ground that will exist, what streets will be paved, and what drainage devices will be installed prior to the start of each rainy season;

10. Locations of at-grade or above-ground drainage facilities and channels;

11. Seeding mixtures and rates, types of sod, method of seedbed preparation, expected seeding dates, type and rate of lime and fertilizer application, and kind and quantity of mulching for both temporary and permanent vegetative control measures;

12. A list of applicable permits directly associated with the grading or building activity, including but not limited to the State Water Board’s construction general permit, State Water Board 401 water quality certification, U.S. Army Corps 404 permit, and California Department of Fish and Game 1600 agreement; and

13. Any other information required by the city engineer.

B. Exemptions. An erosion and sediment control plan, as defined in this chapter, shall not be required for construction activities that do not require a grading permit; however, the property owner and contractor shall be subject to applicable best management practices for preventing and controlling erosion, sedimentation, and other stormwater impacts associated with the work, including any BMPs or plan submission requirements in Chapter 13.32 SMC. (Ord. 05-2015 § 2, 2015; Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.210 Design criteria for erosion and sediment control plans.

A. Technical Guidance. Grading, erosion control practices, sediment control practices, and waterway crossings shall meet the design criteria set forth in the most recent version of the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook, or other handbook authorized for use by the public works director, and shall be adequate to prevent transportation of sediment from the site to any off-site area. A rationale, including any applicable supporting engineering calculations, should be provided for all BMPs included in the erosion and sediment control plan.

B. Clearing. Clearing techniques that retain natural vegetation and drainage patterns, as described in the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook, shall be used to the satisfaction of the city engineer. Clearing, except that necessary to establish sediment control devices, shall not begin until all sediment control devices have been installed and have been stabilized.

C. Grading, erosion and sediment control and waterway crossings. Grading, erosion control practices, sediment control practices, and waterway crossings shall meet the design criteria set forth in the most recent version of the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook, or other handbook authorized for use by the public works director, and shall be adequate to prevent transportation of sediment from the site to any off-site area to the satisfaction of the city engineer.

D. General Housekeeping. The following general site and good housekeeping requirements shall be implemented and are special provisions of any grading permit issued:

1. Sufficient erosion and sediment control supplies shall be available on site during the rainy season to protect areas susceptible to erosion during rain events. Contractors shall be prepared year-round to deploy erosion and sediment treatment control practices.

2. Soil disturbance work shall be conducted during dry weather whenever possible.

3. The contractor shall provide adequate materials management, including covering, securing, and segregating potentially toxic materials (asphalt, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer, grease, oils, fuel, paints, stains, solvents, wood preservatives, etc.), and providing secondary containment for hazardous materials.

4. The contractor shall provide training and equipment to contain spills of oil and other hazardous materials.

5. Designated concrete washout areas shall be established at least 50 feet away from storm drain inlets or drainage facilities and away from the concrete truck access area so that construction traffic will not drive through wash waters. The wash out area shall have a contained area of sufficient volume to completely contain all liquid and waste concrete material plus a sufficient freeboard for rainwater.

6. Paving operations shall control run on and prevent runoff from areas being paved and be conducted in a manner that properly disposes of wastes.

7. Sanitary facilities of sufficient number and size to accommodate construction crews shall be located away from storm drain inlets and drainage facilities, and anchored to prevent being blown over or tipped by vandals. The facilities shall be maintained in good working order and emptied at regular intervals by a licensed sanitary waste hauler.

E. Erosion Control Requirements. The following erosion control requirements shall be incorporated in the erosion and sediment control plans:

1. Projects shall be designed to avoid disturbing land in sensitive areas and to preserve existing vegetation wherever possible.

2. Engineered grading operations shall be scheduled during dry months when practical, and shall allow adequate time before rainfall begins to stabilize the soil with erosion control materials.

3. Seeding and mulching shall be done as soon as grading is complete.

4. If seeding or another vegetative erosion control method is used, the vegetative cover shall become established within a time frame approved by the city engineer, or the city engineer may require the site to be reseeded or a nonvegetative option employed.

5. Special techniques that meet the design criteria outlined in the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook on steep slopes or in drainage ways shall be used to ensure stabilization.

6. Soil stockpiles must be stabilized and/or securely covered upon forecast of rain.

7. In areas where permanent re-seeding and planting is not established at the close of the construction season, additional control measures shall be used, such as a heavy mulch layer or another method that does not require germination, to ensure soil stabilization at the site.

8. Where runoff needs to be diverted from one area and conveyed to another, earth dikes, drainage swales, slope drains or other suitable practice shall be constructed in accordance with the design criteria set forth in the most recent version of the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook.

9. Techniques shall be employed to prevent the blowing of dust or sediment from the site.

10. Techniques that deliver upland runoff past disturbed slopes shall be employed when determined necessary by the city engineer.

F. Sediment Control Requirements. The following sediment control requirements shall be incorporated in the sediment and erosion control plan:

1. Linear sediment barriers shall be placed below the toe of exposed and erodible slopes, down-slope of exposed soil areas, around soil stockpiles, and at other appropriate locations along the site perimeter.

2. Street sweeping shall be conducted on an as-needed basis to remove sediment from streets and roadways and to prevent the sediment from entering storm drains or receiving waters.

3. Every storm drain inlet with the potential to receive sediment-laden runoff shall be protected in accordance with the design criteria set forth in the most recent version of the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook. Inlet protection shall be inspected and maintained frequently.

4. Sediment basins or sediment traps shall be installed on projects where sediment-laden water may enter the drainage system or watercourses and in association with dikes, temporary channels, and pipes used to convey runoff from disturbed areas.

5. Protection for adjacent properties by the use of a vegetated buffer strip in combination with other perimeter controls or other appropriate method, as described in the most recent version of the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook or other manual as approved by the public works director.

G. Waterway and Watercourse Protection Requirements. The following waterway and watercourse protection requirements shall be incorporated in the erosion and sediment control plans and implemented when applicable:

1. A temporary stream crossing installed and approved by the appropriate regulatory agencies if a wet watercourse will be crossed regularly during construction.

2. Stabilization of the watercourse channel before, during, and after any in-channel work.

3. All on-site stormwater conveyance channels shall be designed according to the criteria outlined in the California Stormwater Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbook.

4. Stabilization adequate to prevent erosion located at the outlets of all pipes and paved channels.

H. Site Access Requirements. The following construction site access requirements shall be incorporated in the erosion and sediment control plans and implemented when applicable:

1. A temporary access road provided at all sites.

2. Other measures, such as track-out prevention devices, or as required by the grading inspector in order to ensure that sediment is not tracked onto public streets by construction vehicles or washed into storm drains. (Ord. 05-2015 § 2, 2015; Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.300 Inspection.

A. General. All grading operations for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the grading inspector. The permittee shall notify the grading inspector at least 48 hours prior to the start of construction.

B. Special Inspection. The city engineer, at his/her discretion, may require inspection and testing by an approved special inspection and/or testing agency to verify compliance with the requirements of this chapter at the permittee’s expense.

C. Inspection Responsibilities for Engineered Grading.

1. 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/she shall also be responsible for the professional inspection and approval of the grading within his/her area of technical specialty. The civil engineer shall act as the coordinating agent in the event the need arises for liaison between the other professionals, the contractor, the city engineer, and the grading inspector. The civil engineer shall also be responsible for the preparation of revised plans and the submission of as-built grading plans upon completion of the work.

2. During grading, all required test reports, compaction data and soil engineering and engineering geology reports and recommendations shall be submitted to the civil engineer and the grading inspector by the soil engineer and the engineering geologist.

3. The soil engineer’s area of responsibility shall include, but need not be limited to, 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 data supplied by the engineering geologist.

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

5. The grading inspector shall inspect the project at the various stages of the work requiring approvals and at more frequent intervals necessary to determine that adequate control is being exercised by the professional consultants.

D. 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 testing 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 the grading inspector. Recommendations for corrective measures, if necessary, shall be submitted.

E. Transfer of Responsibility. If the civil engineer, the soil engineer, the engineering geologist, or the testing agency of record is changed during the course of the work, the work shall be stopped until the replacement has agreed to accept the responsibility within the area of their technical competence for approval upon completion of the work. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.305 Completion of work.

A. Final Reports. Upon completion of the rough grading work and at the final completion of the work, the city engineer shall require the following reports and drawings and supplements thereto:

1. As-built grading plan, including original ground surface elevations, as-graded ground surface elevations, lot drainage patterns and locations and elevations of all surface and subsurface drainage facilities.

2. The grading contractor shall submit a statement that his work was in conformance to the as-built grading plan.

B. Final Reports for Engineered Grading. In addition to meeting the requirements in subsection (A) of this section, the following shall be required for engineered grading:

1. The soil engineer shall submit a statement certifying that, to the best of his/her knowledge, the work within his/her area of responsibility is in accordance with the approved soil engineering report.

2. The civil engineer shall submit a statement certifying that, to the best of his/her knowledge, the work within his/her area of responsibility was done in accordance with the approved grading plan.

3. A final soils grading report prepared by the soil engineer including locations and elevations of field density tests, 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 soil engineering investigation report.

4. If requested by the city engineer, a final 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 that geology on recommendations incorporated in the approved grading plan. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.310 Enforcement – Stop work order and revocation of permit.

In the event that any person doing work related to the approved grading permit pursuant to this chapter violates the terms of the approved plans or performs the work in such a manner as to materially adversely affect the health, welfare, or safety of persons residing or working in the neighborhood or the site so as to be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the neighborhood, the public works director may order the construction stopped by notice in writing, or may suspend or revoke the grading permit. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.315 Violation – Enforcement.

It is a violation for any person to fail to comply with any requirement of this chapter or any resolution adopted in connection with this chapter. Each and every day, or portion thereof, during which a violation is committed, continued, or permitted by any person shall constitute a separate offense. Each offense shall be enforced as either (A) an infraction, or (B) an administrative penalty enforced as set forth in this chapter. The administrative penalties for violating a provision of this chapter shall be $100.00 for the first violation, $200.00 for a second violation of the same code section within the same year, and $300.00 for the third or any subsequent violations of the same code section within the same year. If any person responsible for a violation of this chapter is a minor or incompetent, the parents or guardians of such persons shall be deemed responsible. Each person found responsible for a violation of this chapter shall be jointly and severally liable for such violation. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.320 Violation – Procedure for enforcement.

A. On the date of the initial site inspection or observation, the public works director or his/her designee shall make personal contact with the property owner, permittee or contractor at the grading site and serve the property owner, permittee or contractor with an initial notice of the violation. This initial notice shall include (1) the date the property was inspected; (2) the address or a definite description of the location where the violation occurred, such as a tax assessor parcel number (A.P.N.); (3) the provision of this chapter or resolution adopted pursuant to this chapter that the person has violated and a description of the violation; (4) a description of the action necessary to correct the violation; (5) a date that sets forth a reasonable time to correct the violation prior to the imposition of the administrative penalties in SMC 14.20.315; and (6) the name, date, and signature of the code enforcement officer that observed the violation. If personal contact cannot be made, the initial notice may be left on the premises, with a copy served by certified mail to the permittee, applicant, property owner, contractor and any other person the public works director or his/her designee determines to be responsible for a violation of this chapter.

B. Where a permittee deemed responsible for a violation of this chapter or resolution adopted in furtherance of this chapter fails to correct the violation within the time set forth in the initial notice, the public works director or his/her designee shall issue a notice and order. Each notice and order shall contain (1) the date of the first inspection when the violation was identified; (2) the address or a definite description of the location where the violation occurred, such as a tax assessor parcel number (A.P.N.); (3) the section of this chapter or resolution adopted pursuant to this chapter that the person has violated and a description of how the permittee has violated the section; (4) a description of the action necessary to correct the violation and thereby avoid additional penalties for each day the violation continues; (5) the current amount of the penalty for the code violation(s) calculated from the date of the initial inspection; (6) an explanation of how the penalty shall be paid, the time period in which it shall be paid, and the consequences of failure to pay the penalty; (7) an order prohibiting the continuation or repeated occurrence of the code violation(s) described within administrative notice and order; (8) the name, date, and signature of the code enforcement officer; (9) a copy of this chapter; (10) a statement that the person has a right to be heard before an independent hearing officer if a hearing is requested within 15 days of the notice and order being served upon them; (11) a form to request an administrative hearing; and (12) a statement that failure to request an administrative hearing within 15 days of the date of the notice and order shall constitute waiver of the right to a hearing and failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

C. If a permittee or other responsible person(s) files a timely request for a hearing, the public works director shall work with the city prosecutor to schedule an administrative hearing to be conducted in conformance with Chapter 1.30 SMC.

D. Where a permittee or other responsible person(s) fails to timely request an administrative hearing or the hearing officer issues a decision assessing penalties against a permittee or responsible person(s), those penalties may be collected in conformance with Chapter 1.30 SMC. (Ord. 03-2018 § 4, 2018; Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).

14.20.325 Violation – Additional remedy.

As an additional remedy, the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed, and is declared to be, a public nuisance and may be abated in accordance with Chapter 1.12 SMC. (Ord. 04-2010 § 1, 2010).


1

Code reviser’s note: Ord. 04-2010 added two sections numbered 14.20.025. This section has been editorially renumbered to prevent duplication of numbering.