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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
FROM: CAROL W. LYNCH, CITY ATTORNEY
DATE: SEPTEMBER 7, 2004
SUBJECT: ADOPTION OF COUNTY FIRE ORDINANCE
(1) INTRODUCE Ordinance No. ____ "AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING BY REFERENCE TITLE 32, FIRE CODE, OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY CODE, AS AMENDED AND IN EFFECT ON DECEMBER 25, 2003, WHICH CONSTITUTES AN AMENDED VERSION OF THE CALIFORNIA FIRE CODE, 2001 EDITION, AND AMENDING CHAPTER 8.08 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE; and, (2) Direct the City Clerk to set a public hearing on the adoption of the Ordinance for October 5, at 7:00 p.m., at City Council Chambers and to advertise the public hearing according to Government Code Section 50022.3.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ("Board") has adopted an ordinance amending the 2002 Fire Code - Title 32 - for the Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County (the "Ordinance"). The City is part of the County’s Fire Protection District; therefore, the City adopts the County’s Fire Code along with any requirements that are stricter than the County’s Fire Code.
The Ordinance adds certain provisions of the 2001 Edition of the California Fire Code and modifies certain portions of the Uniform Fire Code that were previously incorporated into Title 32. Most of these changes to Title 32 are organizational and minor stylistic clarifications and do not affect the substance of the text. Some of the substantive changes to Title 32 include the following:
The County recently distributed the new Fire Code to the City so that it could be incorporated into the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code. Thus, Staff has prepared an ordinance that will adopt by reference Title 32, Fire Code, of the Los Angeles County Code as amended and in effect on December 25, 2003. The Ordinance also maintains amendments to the County Code that were previously adopted by the City Council relating to fireworks, flammable vegetation and fire warning systems (smoke detectors).
Because the proposed ordinance adopts another code by reference, State law requires that the City Council schedule a public hearing on the ordinance after the first reading, which is the converse of the usual process. The public hearing can occur in conjunction with the second reading of the ordinance. Pursuant to Government Code 50022.3, the notice of the public hearing must be published once a week for two successive weeks, with at least five days intervening between the respective publication dates. In addition, the City Clerk is required to keep on file a copy of the County Ordinance to be adopted by reference for at least 15 days before the public hearing as well as after its adoption.
Adopting the revised County Fire Code with the City’s local amendments will provide for uniform provisions throughout the County that will enable the Fire Protection District of the County of Los Angeles to continue its fire suppression and enforcement efforts in the City in accordance with the current County standards.
Carol Lynch, City Attorney
Les Evans, City Manager
Attachment: Proposed Ordinance
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING BY REFERENCE TITLE 32, FIRE CODE, OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY CODE, AS AMENDED AND IN EFFECT ON DECEMBER 25, 2003, WHICH CONSTITUTES AN AMENDED VERSION OF THE CALIFORNIA FIRE CODE, 2001 EDITION, AND AMENDING CHAPTER 8.08 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ORDAINS AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1: Section 8.08 of Chapter 8.08 (Fire Code) of Title 8 (Health and Safety) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
"8.08.010 Fire Code Adopted. A. Except as hereinafter provided in this Chapter, Title 32, Fire Code, of the Los Angeles County Code, as amended and in effect on December 25, 2003, which constitutes an amended version of the California Fire Code, 2001 Edition (Part 9 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations), including Appendix I-C, Appendix II-C, Appendix II-D, Appendix IV-A and Appendix VI-A excluding all other appendices, is hereby adopted by reference and shall constitute and may be cited as the Fire Code of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
B. In the event of any conflict between provisions of the California Fire Code, 2001 Edition, Title 32 of the Los Angeles County Code, or any amendment to the Fire Code contained in the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the provision contained in the later listed document shall control. A copy of the Fire Code shall be maintained in the office of the City Clerk and shall be made available for public inspection while the Code is in force.
C. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph A of this Section, Sections 103.4.7 and 103.4.8 and Articles 89 and 100 of the Fire Code are deleted.
8.08.020 Fire Code Amended, Fireworks. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8.08.010, paragraph 2 of Section 7801.3.1.4 of the Fire Code is amended to read:
7801.3.1.4 Displays. Permits are required from the City to conduct a fireworks display. The City Council shall have the power to adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the granting of permits for supervised public displays of fireworks by the municipality, fair associations, amusement parks or other organizations. Every such display shall be handled by a competent operator approved by the City Council, and shall be of such character and so located, discharged or fired as in the opinion of the City Council after proper investigation, so as not to be hazardous to property or endanger any person.
Applications for permits shall be made in writing to the Fire Chief not less than thirty days in advance of the date of display or other use. The Fire Chief shall within ten days after receipt of said application make a report and recommendation to the City Council. If the City Council finds that such display can be made without danger or nuisance to the general public, it shall grant the permit; otherwise it shall deny it. If the City Council finds that such display as applied for may create danger or nuisance to the public, but that if displayed subject to conditions may not create such danger or nuisance, it shall grant the permit subject to conditions. After such permit is granted, sale, possession, use and distribution of fireworks for such display subject to the conditions of this Chapter and such other conditions, if any, as may be imposed by the City Council, is lawful for the purpose only for which such permit is granted. In all cases the decision of the City Council shall be final.
B. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8.08.010, Section 7802.4.3 of the Fire Code is amended to read:
7802.4.3 Insurance. The permittee shall furnish a certificate of insurance in an amount deemed adequate by the City Council for the payment of all damages which may be caused either to a person or persons or to property by reason of the permitted display, and arising from any acts of the permittee, his agents, employees or subcontractors.
The policy shall provide limits of bodily injury and property damage liability of not less than two million dollars ($2,000,000) combined single limits for each occurrence annually. The policy may have a deductible not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). A deductible in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) may be permitted provided a security deposit, such as, but not limited to, a surety bond, pledge of assets or bank letter of credit covering the value of the excess is approved by the City Council.
The certificate of insurance shall provide that the insurer will not cancel the insured's coverage without fifteen (15) days prior written notice to the City, that the City shall not be responsible for any premium or assessments on the policy, and that the duly licensed pyrotechnic operator required by law to supervise and discharge the display, acting either as an employee of the insured or as an independent contractor and the City, its officers, agents, and employees are included as additional insureds, insofar as any operations under this Section are concerned."
8.08.030 Fire Code Amended, Flammable Vegetation. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8.08.010, Section 1117.2.2 of the Fire Code is amended to read:
1117.2.2 Clearances. Any owner of record of any land within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes which contains growth which in the opinion of the Fire Chief or Commissioner is then or may become dangerously flammable shall at all times on such person's own land, whether improved or unimproved:
1. Place or store firewood, manure, compost and other combustible materials a minimum of thirty (30) feet from any building or structure.
EXCEPTION: Up to one cord of firewood and/or two cubic yards of compost may by placed or stored within thirty (30) feet of a building or structure.
2. Maintain around and adjacent to each building, structure, or apiary, whether on such person's own land or adjacent thereto, an effective fire protection or firebreak made by completely removing and clearing away, for a distance from such house, building or structure of not less than thirty (30) lineal feet on each side thereof, growth which in the opinion of the Fire Chief or Commissioner is then or may become dangerously flammable.
EXCEPTIONS: 1. Ornamental plants and trees that are individually planted, spaced and maintained in such a manner that they do not form a means of transmitting fire from native growth to the structure.
2. Cultivated ground cover such as green grass, ivy, succulents or similar Plants provided that they are maintained in a condition that does not form a means of transmitting fire from native growth to the structure.
3. Maintain around and adjacent to each building or structure an additional fire protection or firebreak made by removing and clearing away all brush, vegetation or other growth which in the opinion of the Fire Chief or Commissioner is then or may become dangerously flammable on such land as may be required by the Fire Chief or Commissioner when he finds that because of extra hazardous conditions a firebreak of only thirty (30) lineal feet around such structures is not sufficient to provide reasonable fire safety for structures and landscaping within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Grass and other vegetation located more than thirty (30) lineal feet from such building or structure and kept at less than six (6) inches in height above the ground may be maintained where in the opinion of the Fire Chief or Commissioner retaining such growth is necessary to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion, provided all growth required to be cut in such location shall be removed by the owner of record of that property.
4. Remove that portion of any tree that extends within ten (10) lineal feet of the outlet of any chimney.
5. Maintain any tree adjacent to or overhanging any building free of dead wood.
6. Maintain the roof of any structure free of leaves, needles, or other dead vegetative growth.
8.08.040 Fire Code Amended, Fire-warning Systems. A. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8.08.010, Section 1007.2.9A of the Fire Code is added to read:
1007.2.9A Group R, Divisions 1 and 3 Occupancies.
1007.2.9A.1 General. In existing Group R, Divisions 1 and 3 occupancies, every dwelling unit and every guest room in a hotel, congregate residence or lodging house used for sleeping purposes shall be provided with smoke detectors conforming to State Fire Marshal Standard 12-72-2. All detectors shall be installed in accordance with the approved manufacturer's instructions.
1007.2.9A.2 Location within dwelling units. In dwelling units, a detector shall be installed in each sleeping room and at a point centrally located in the corridor or area giving access to each separate sleeping area. When the dwelling unit has more than one story and in dwellings with basements, a detector shall be installed on each story and in the basement. In dwelling units where a story or basement is split into two or more levels, the smoke detector shall be installed on each level. When sleeping rooms are on an upper level, the detector shall be placed at the ceiling of the upper level in close proximity to the stairway. In dwelling units where the ceiling height of a room open to the hallway serving the bedrooms exceeds that of the hallway by 24 inches or more, smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway and in the adjacent room. Detectors shall sound an alarm audible in all sleeping areas of the dwelling unit in which they are located.
1007.2.9A.3 Location in efficiency dwelling units, congregate residences and hotels. In efficiency dwelling units, hotel, motel, lodging house and congregate residence sleeping rooms, and in hotel suites, detectors shall be located on the ceiling or wall of the main room or each sleeping room. Where sleeping rooms are on an upper level within the efficiency dwelling unit or hotel suite, the detector shall be placed at the ceiling of the upper level in close proximity to the stairway. When actuated, the detector shall sound an alarm audible within the sleeping area of the dwelling unit, hotel suite or sleeping room in which it is located.
1007.2.9A.4 Power source. Smoke detectors required by this section may be battery operated or they may be wired into the building wiring system when such wiring is served from a commercial source. The detector shall emit a signal when the batteries are low. When required smoke detectors receive their primary power from the building wiring, such wiring shall be permanent, without a disconnecting switch other than those required for overcurrent protection and equipped with a battery backup.
1007.2.9A.5 Transfer of title. No person may transfer title to a dwelling unit or guest room required by this section to be equipped with a smoke detector without first filing with the City and the purchaser a statement that the dwelling unit or guest room is equipped with smoke detectors meeting the requirements of this section.
8.08.050 Violations -- Penalties. A. Every person violating any provision of the fire code or of any permit or license granted hereunder, or any rule, regulation or policy promulgated pursuant hereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor unless such violation is otherwise declared to be an infraction by Section 8.08.070 of this chapter. Each such violation is a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which such violation is committed.
B. Every violation determined to be a misdemeanor hereunder is punishable in such manner and to such extent as is provided by Section 1.08.010.A of this Code. Every violation determined to be an infraction hereunder is punishable in such manner and to such extent as is provided by Section 1.08.010.B of this Code.
C. For the purposes of this section a forfeiture of bail shall be equivalent to a conviction.
8.08.060 Responsibility. Any person who personally or through another willfully, negligently, or in violation of law sets a fire, allows a fire to be set, or allows a fire kindled or attended by such person to escape from his or her control, allows any hazardous material to be handled, stored or transported in a manner not in accordance with nationally recognized standards, allows any hazardous material to escape from his or her control, neglects to properly comply with any written notice of the chief, or willfully or negligently allows the continuation of a violation of the fire code and amendments thereto is liable for the expense of fighting the fire or for the expense incurred during a hazardous materials incident, and such expense shall be a charge against that person. Such charge shall constitute a debt of such person and is collectible by the public agency incurring such expense in the same manner as in the case of an obligation under a contract, expressed or implied.
8.08.070 List of Infractions.
In accordance with Section 8.08.050 of this Chapter, the violation of the following sections or subsections of the fire code shall be infractions:
901.4.4 Premises identification
902.2.4.2 Trespassing on a closed road
1001.5.1 Maintenance of fire-protection systems and equipment
1001.5.3 Systems out of service
1001.7 Obstruction of fire protection equipment
1002 Portable fire extinguishers
1102.3 Open burning
1103 Combustible materials
1103.3 Combustible waste – storage within buildings
1105 Asphalt kettles
1109.5 Burning objects
1109.6 Hot ashes and spontaneous ignition sources
1117.2.3 Clearance of brush – extra hazard
1118.17 Fire roads and firebreaks
1207.3 Locking devices
1207.6 Door identification
1210.3 Storage under stairways
2901.6.2 Lubricating oil
3004.3 Waste removal
3008.5 Combustible waste
3214.2 Means of egress illumination
3221.2 Vegetation removal
3404 Fire apparatus access roads
3601.6 Fire protection
4501.5 Welding warning signs
4502.3.3 Filter disposal
4502.8.2 Fire extinguishers
4502.9 Operations and maintenance
4502.9.6 Combustible debris and metal waste cans
4503.8 Dip tank covers
4505.6.1 Dust accumulation
4506.6 Sources of ignition
5201.7 Sources of ignition
7607 Smoking and open flames
7901.7.2 Maintenance and operating practices
7901.10 Sources of ignition
7902.5.3 Empty containers and portable tanks
7904.3.2.1 Storage tanks and sources of ignition
7904.4.9 Fire protection
8003.1.12 Clearance from combustibles
8004.3.4 Clearance from combustibles
8208 Smoking and other sources of ignition
8506 Extension cords and flexible cords
Appendix IIC Sec. 5 Fire prevention regulations – marina
Appendix IIC Sec. 5.2 Open flame device – boat or marina
Appendix IIC Sec. 6.3 Access
Appendix IIC Sec. 6.4 Portable fire protection equipment
Section 2. If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or place, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this ordinance. The City Council hereby declares that it would have adopted this ordinance, and each and every section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions thereof be declared invalid or unconstitutional.
Section 3. The City Clerk is directed to forward a certified copy of this ordinance to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Fire Prevention Division, 5823 Rickenbacker Road, Commerce, CA 90040-3027, Attn: Captain Ricky Lewis.
PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this day of , 2004.