ORDINANCE NO. 477U ORDINANCE NO. 477U ORDINANCE NO. 477U

ORDINANCE NO. 477U

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING CHAPTER 15.42 (FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT) OF TITLE 15 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF.

                        THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES HEREBY ORDAINS AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1.     Findings.

A.                 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has completed a Flood Insurance Survey (FIS) report for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes (the “City”) and has determined, in accordance with Part 67, Chapter I, Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations, that no Special Flood Hazard Areas (“SFHAs”) exist at this time in within the City.  FEMA will use the City’s FIS report and Flood Insurance Rate Map (“FIRM”) to establish appropriate flood insurance rates for owners of property in flood-prone areas within the City.

B.                 Because FEMA has completed a Flood Insurance Survey (“FIS”) report, the City, as a condition of continued eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), must meet certain additional requirements under Section 1361 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 by September 26, 2008.

C.                Prior to September 26, 2008, the City is required to adopt or show evidence of adoption of floodplain management regulations that meet the standards of Paragraph 60.3(a) of the NFIP regulations (44 C.F.R. § 59 et seq.).

D.                While the City has enacted some of the standards of Paragraph 60.3(a), as codified in Chapter 42, Title 15 of the Municipal Code, the City desires to amend its existing regulations to incorporate additional requirements of Paragraph 60.3(a) to ensure the City’s continued participation in the NFIP.

E.                 The Legislature of the State of California has in Government Code Sections 65302, 65560, and 65800 conferred upon local governments the authority to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of their citizenry.

F.                 All legal prerequisites to the adoption of this Ordinance have occurred.

G.                Environmental Determination.  The City Council hereby finds that it can be seen with certainty that this Ordinance has no likelihood of causing a significant negative effect on the environment.  Therefore, both the City Council’s action of adopting this ordinance and the effects derivative from that adoption are found to be exempt from the application of the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970, as amended, pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the State CEQA Guidelines (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15061(b)(3)).  This finding is premised on the fact that the adoption of this Ordinance will maintain the current environmental conditions arising from the current land use regulatory structure as adopted by the City.

Section 2.     Section 15.42.030 of Chapter 15.42 of Title 15 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

15.42.030     Definitions.

      Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.

A.     “Area of special flood hazard” means the land in the floodplain within the City subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.

B.     “Base flood” means a flood, which has a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (also called a one hundred year flood).

C.    Development” means any man-made change to improved or unimproved real property, including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials, as defined in Section 17.96.560 of this Code.

D.    “Flood” or “flooding” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from: (1) the overflow of inland or tidal waters; (2) the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; (3) the collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusual and unforeseeable event that results in flooding, as defined in this definition.

E.     “Floodplain” or “flood-prone area” means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source (see definition of flooding).

F.     “Floodplain administrator” means the director of public works.

G.    “Floodplain management” means the operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage and preserving and enhancing, where possible, natural resources in the floodplain, including, but not limited to, emergency preparedness plans, flood control works, and floodplain management regulations.

H.     “Floodplain management regulations” means zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as a floodplain ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other applications of police power that control development in flood-prone areas. This term describes federal, state or local regulations in any combination thereof, which provide standards for preventing and reducing flood loss and damage.

I.         “Governing body” means the city council of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes .

J.      “Historic structure” means any structure that is:

1.      Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the United States Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the secretary of the interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;

2.      Certified or preliminarily determined by the secretary of the interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;

3.      Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the secretary of interior; or

4.      Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either by an approved state program, as determined by the secretary of the interior, or directly by the secretary of the interior in states with approved programs.

K.  “Manufactured home” means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. Under this chapter, this term does not include a recreational vehicle.

L.   “Manufactured home park” or “subdivision” means a parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.

M.  “New construction” means structures for which the “start of construction” commenced on or after the effective date of this chapter, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

     

N.  “One hundred year flood” shall have the same meaning as the term “base flood.”

O.  “Recreational vehicle” means any motor home, camper, house or tent trailer that may be used by persons for temporary occupancy (such as recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use), regardless of whether it has its own motor or is to be towed by a motorized vehicle. Recreational vehicle does not mean a manufactured home or mobile home.

P.  “Start of construction” means and includes substantial improvement and other proposed new development and shall mean the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement, or other improvement occurs within one hundred eighty days from the date of issuance of the permit. The actual start means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement to an existing structure, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

Q.  “Structure” means anything that is built or placed on top of the ground, including a gas or liquid storage tank, as defined in Section 17.96.2040 of this Code.

R.  “Substantial damage” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its pre-damaged condition would equal or exceed fifty percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

S.  “Substantial improvement” means any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other proposed new development of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds fifty percent of the market value of the structure before the “start of construction” of the improvement. This term includes structures that have incurred “substantial damage,” regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:

1.      Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations or state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications that have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or

2.      Any alteration of an “historic structure,” provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as an “historic structure.”

Section 3.     Chapter 15.42 of Title 15 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding a new Section 15.42.095 thereto to read as follows:

15.42.095     Review development permits.

      Development permits for all proposed development in the City, as defined in Section 17.96.560, including the placement of manufactured homes, shall be reviewed so that it can be determined whether such construction or development is within flood-prone areas.  The floodplain administrator shall not allow development within a flood-prone area unless the applicant has obtained all necessary permits from those governmental agencies whose approval is required by federal, state, or local law.”

Section 4.     Section 15.42.100 of Chapter 15.42 of Title 15 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

15.42.100     Designation of the floodplain administrator.

      The director of public works is designated as the floodplain administrator to administer, implement, and enforce this chapter by reviewing development permits in flood-prone areas of the City, by ensuring compliance with the provisions of this chapter, and by preventing development in flood-prone areas in the City unless the applicant has obtained all necessary permits from those governmental agencies whose approval is required by federal, state, or local law.”

Section 5.     Urgency Declaration.  This Ordinance is for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety and shall take effect immediately upon adoption pursuant to California Government Code Section 36937(b).  The facts constituting the urgency are as follows:

A.                 FEMA has completed a Flood Insurance Survey (“FIS”) report for the City, and as a condition of continued eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), the City must meet certain additional requirements under Section 1361 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 by September 26, 2008.

B.                 Prior to September 26, 2008, the City is required to adopt or show evidence of adoption of floodplain management regulations that meet the standards of Paragraph 60.3(a) of the NFIP regulations.

C.                While the City has enacted some of the standards of Paragraph 60.3(a), as codified in Chapter 42, Title 15 of the Municipal Code, the City desires to amend its existing regulations to incorporate additional requirements of Paragraph 60.3(a) to ensure the City’s continued participation in the NFIP.

D.                Should the City fail to enact the necessary floodplain management regulations, the City could be suspended from participation in the NFIP and subject to the prohibitions contained in Section 202(a) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973.

E.                 The City seeks to continue its participation in the NFIP in order for owners of property in flood-prone areas within the City to qualify for federally subsidized flood insurance protection.

F.                 Suspension from participation in the NFIP would result in high premium insurance rates for structures not built in compliance with the floodplain management regulations and would likely represent a hardship for those property owners in the City seeking to purchase flood insurance as a condition of mortgage approval, all of which would adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare.

G.                Therefore, in order to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of owners of property in flood hazard areas within the City, it is necessary that this Ordinance become effective immediately upon adoption.

Section 6.     The City Council declares that, should any provision, section, paragraph, sentence or word of this Ordinance be rendered or declared invalid by any final court action in a court of competent jurisdiction, or by reason of any preemptive legislation, the remaining provisions, sections, paragraphs, sentences and words of this Ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 7.     The City Clerk shall certify the passage and adoption of this Ordinance and shall cause the same to be posted in the manner required by law.

Section 8.     The City Clerk shall forward a certified copy of this Ordinance to the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Section 9.     This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon adoption.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 2nd day of September, 2008.

                                                                                                            /s/ Douglas W. Stern

                                                                                                                       Mayor

           

ATTEST:

/s/ Carla Morreale

     City Clerk

STATE OF CALIFORNIA                        )

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES               )ss

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES)

            I, Carla Morreale, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes , do hereby certify that the whole numbers of the City Council of said City is five; that the foregoing Ordinance No. 477U was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on September 2, 2008 by the following vote:

            AYES:                         Clark , Gardiner, Long, Wolowicz and Stern

            NOES:                        None

            ABSENT:                   None

ABSTAINED:             None

                                                                                    __________________________

                                                                                                 City Clerk