Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS

FROM: CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY

DATE: JANUARY 7, 2003

SUBJECT: ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR GEOLOGICAL CONDITIONS IN CONNECTION WITH APPLICATIONS FOR PERMITS

RECOMMENDATION:

Adopt Ordinance No. ___ An Ordinance of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Establishing Disclosure Requirements for Geological Conditions in Connection with Applications for Permits.

BACKGROUND:

At their meeting of December 17, 2002 the City Council introduced and gave first reading to the proposed Ordinance.

The attached ordinance was prepared in response to the Mayor’s comments. The Ordinance amends three different Titles of the Municipal Code (Title 15, which governs the issuance of permits for building and construction and the Landslide Moratorium Ordinance; Title 16, which governs subdivisions, and Title 17, the City’s Development Code) to include identical provisions in each Title. The reason that Staff has proposed to insert identical provisions into each title was to ensure that they would be included in the portion of the code that governs each type of permit for which geologic review typically is required so that it applicants for the particular permit would be more likely to be aware of them and comply with the requirements. The other option is to place the provisions in only one title and add a cross-reference to that provision in the other two titles. This did not seem as "user-friendly" to the public as the approach of placing the language in each of the three titles.

Paragraph (1) of each Section requires the property owner or applicant to provide the City with the identity of each geological or geotechnical professional who that person has hired to study the condition of the property.

Paragraph (2) requires the owner or applicant to provide the City with any data or reports that have been prepared by any such geological or geotechnical professional.

Paragraph (3) requires the owner or applicant to provide the City with any geological or geotechnical reports that were prepared for prior owners or applicants, if they have been disclosed or provided to the current owner or applicant.

Paragraph (4) requires the owner or applicant to advise the City whether he or she has replaced any geological or geotechnical professional and, if so, the reason for the change. The explanation must include an affidavit or declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating whether the geological or geotechnical professional was replaced because that professional provided information that might adversely affect the application.

Paragraph (5) requires the applicant or property owner to disclose whether any geological or geotechnical professional has disagreed with or questioned any of the conclusions that were contained in any geological or geotechnical report that was prepared for the project.

These provisions were prepared to address the concerns that were raised by the Mayor. It should be noted that if these requirements are adopted by the City Council as proposed, they will apply throughout the entire City and are not limited to any one area. They have been drafted to apply to any project for which the City would require geologic review in connection with the issuance of a permit, including a building permit. Accordingly, these provisions are likely to apply to the majority of projects within the City and will require additional time and disclosure by applicants who are constructing individual single-family homes or additions thereto.

Finally, a new section is proposed to be added to Chapter 1.08 of Title 1 of the Municipal Code, which is the Chapter that sets forth the general penalty provisions. New Section 1.08.030 provides that if an applicant for any permit issued by the City provides false or fraudulent information in connection with the application, the City may deny or revoke the permit on that basis. This remedy is in addition to the other existing remedies provided in the Municipal Code.

Respectfully submitted:
Les Evans, City Manager
Carol Lynch, City Attorney

ORDINANCE NO.

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR GEOLOGICAL CONDITIONS IN CONNECTION WITH APPLICATIONS FOR PERMITS AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Title 15 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding new Chapter 15.38 to read as follows:

"Chapter 15.38

Disclosure of Geological Conditions

Sections:

15.38.010 Complete disclosure of geological conditions required.

15.38.010. Complete disclosure of geological conditions required.

Whenever any provision of this Title requires, or authorizes the City to require, the preparation of a geological or geotechnical report to evaluate the effect of any proposed building, grading and/or construction or the proposed use of a site, as part of such geological review the property owner shall disclose all of the following information:

(1) The identity of every licensed geological or geotechnical professional that has been engaged, hired or consulted (hereafter collectively referred to as "engaged") to study the geological condition of the property by any of the following: (a) the owner of the property that is the subject of the application; (b) the applicant, if different from the property owner; (c) any agent or representative of the owner or applicant, including any real estate licentiate or attorney; and

(2) Any evidence, whether written or oral, documenting data gathered by or the impressions and/or conclusions of the geological or geotechnical professionals identified in subparagraph (1). Such evidence includes, but is not limited to, statements made by the geological or geotechnical professionals, written notes, reports, draft reports, and field logs; and

(3) All known geological data regarding the property, including any reports or analyses obtained by prior owners of the property that is the subject of the application or by prior applicants, if such reports or analyses have been disclosed or made available to the current property owner or the applicant, regardless whether such data was relied upon by the property owner or the applicant or by the geological or geotechnical professionals identified in subparagraph (1); and

(4) If the current property owner or applicant replaced any licensed geologist or geotechnical professional identified in subparagraph (1), an explanation regarding the reasons why that geologist or geotechnical professional was replaced. The explanation must include an affidavit or declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating whether the geologist or geotechnical professional was replaced in whole or in part because the geologist or geotechnical professional provided information that might adversely affect the application; and

(5) Whether any licensed geologist or geotechnical professional that has been engaged by the property owner disagreed with or questioned any conclusions contained in any report identified in subparagraphs (2) or (3)."

Section 2. Title 16 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding new Chapter 16.36 to read as follows:

"Chapter 16.36

Disclosure of Geological Conditions

Sections:

16.36.010 Complete disclosure of geological conditions required.

16.36.010. Complete disclosure of geological conditions required.

Whenever any provision of this Title requires, or authorizes the City to require, the preparation of a geological or geotechnical report to evaluate the effect of any proposed building, grading and/or construction or the proposed use of a site, as part of such geological review the property owner shall disclose all of the following information:

(1) The identity of every licensed geological or geotechnical professional that has been engaged, hired or consulted (hereafter collectively referred to as "engaged") to study the geological condition of the property by any of the following: (a) the owner of the property that is the subject of the application; (b) the applicant, if different from the property owner; (c) any agent or representative of the owner or applicant, including any real estate licentiate or attorney; and

(2) Any evidence, whether written or oral, documenting data gathered by or the impressions and/or conclusions of the geological or geotechnical professionals identified in subparagraph (1). Such evidence includes, but is not limited to, statements made by the geological or geotechnical professionals, written notes, reports, draft reports, and field logs; and

(3) All known geological data regarding the property, including any reports or analyses obtained by prior owners of the property that is the subject of the application, or by prior applicants, if such reports or analyses have been disclosed or made available to the current property owner or the applicant, regardless whether such data was relied upon by the property owner or the applicant or by the geological or geotechnical professionals identified in subparagraph (1); and

(4) If the current property owner or applicant replaced any licensed geologist or geotechnical professional identified in subparagraph (1), an explanation regarding the reasons why that geologist or geotechnical professional was replaced. The explanation must include an affidavit or declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating whether the geologist or geotechnical professional was replaced in whole or in part because the geologist or geotechnical professional provided information that might adversely affect the application; and

(5) Whether any licensed geologist or geotechnical professional that has been engaged by the property owner disagreed with or questioned any conclusions contained in any report identified in subparagraphs (2) or (3)."

Section 3. Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding new Section 17.76.160 to Chapter 17.76 to read as follows:

"17.76.160. Disclosure of geological conditions.

Whenever any provision of this Title requires, or authorizes the City to require, the preparation of a geological or geotechnical report to evaluate the effect of any proposed building, grading and/or construction or the proposed use of a site, as part of such geological review the property owner shall disclose all of the following information:

(1) The identity of every licensed geological or geotechnical professional that has been engaged, hired or consulted (hereafter collectively referred to as "engaged") to study the geological condition of the property by any of the following: (a) the owner of the property that is the subject of the application; (b) the applicant, if different from the property owner; (c) any agent or representative of the owner or applicant, including any real estate licentiate or attorney; and

(2) Any evidence, whether written or oral, documenting data gathered by or the impressions and/or conclusions of the geological or geotechnical professionals identified in subparagraph (1). Such evidence includes, but is not limited to, statements made by the geological or geotechnical professionals, written notes, reports, draft reports, and field logs; and

(3) All known geological data regarding the property, including any reports or analyses obtained by prior owners of the property that is the subject of the application, or by prior applicants, if such reports or analyses have been disclosed or made available to the current property owner or the applicant, regardless whether such data was relied upon by the property owner or the applicant or by the geological or geotechnical professionals identified in subparagraph (1); and

(4) If the current property owner or applicant replaced any licensed geologist or geotechnical professional identified in subparagraph (1), an explanation regarding the reasons why that geologist or geotechnical professional was replaced. The explanation must include an affidavit or declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating whether the geologist or geotechnical professional was replaced in whole or in part because the geologist or geotechnical professional provided information that might adversely affect the application; and

(5) Whether any licensed geologist or geotechnical professional that has been engaged by the property owner disagreed with or questioned any conclusions contained in any report identified in subparagraphs (2) or (3)."

Section 4. Title 1 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding new Section 1.08.030 to Chapter 1.08 to read as follows:

"1.08.030. False Information – Fraud.

If an applicant supplies false or fraudulent information in an application for a permit pursuant to any provision of this Code, such action may constitute grounds for denying the application. If a permit is issued on the basis of false or fraudulent information supplied by the applicant, the permit may be revoked or suspended in accordance with the same procedures for approving such permit."

Section 5. The City Clerk shall cause this Ordinance to be posted in three (3) public places in the City within fifteen (15) days after its passage, in accordance with the provisions of Section 36933 of the Government Code. The City Clerk shall further certify to the adoption and posting of this Ordinance, and shall cause this Ordinance and its certification, together with proof of posting, to be entered in the Book of Ordinances of the Council of this City.

Section 3. This Ordinance shall go into effect and be in full force and effect at 12:01 a.m. on the thirty-first (31st) day after its passage.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this _______ day of _______________, 2003.

_____________________________
Mayor

ATTEST:

___________________________
City Clerk