23.40.030 REQUIRED APPROVALS.
(a) Approval Authority. No person shall commence or perform any site development or slope construction, as detailed in (b) and (c) below, without first obtaining approval of a site development planning application followed by application for, and issuance of, a site development permit, which allows construction to proceed. the purpose of the planning application is to define the basic parameters of the proposed work, determine of viability of the site development project, and allow for public review. The purpose of the site development permit is to insure that the final construction documents comply with all code requirements and conditions of approval of the planning application.
(b) General Site Work. Site development occurring within any of the following provisions shall require a site development planning application and a site development permit unless such work is exempted by "d" below:
(1) Grading will exceed an area of 5,000 square feet and 5,000 cubic feet (185 cubic yards);
(2) Grading will exceed a volume of 550 cubic yards;
(3) Grading, regardless of quantity, where, in the opinion of the Building Official and/or Director of Public Works, special physical conditions of the site or protection of the public safety requires application of this chapter.
(4) Major vegetation is to be removed from any vacant parcel of land or from a parcel of land in conjunction with redevelopment or intensifying the use of the parcel or in preparation of such activity.
(c) Slope Work. Site development located on a slope of 15 percent or greater or within the slope setbacks as defined in the following table, shall require a site development planning application and a site development permit unless such work is exempted by "d" below;
|10 feet to 30 feet||Over 30 feet|
|15% up to 25%||15 feet from the top or toe of the slope.|
|Over 25% and up to 50%||The greater of either: 15 feet; the diagonal distance of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical measured from the toe of the slope; or a distance equal to the slope height from the top or the toe of the slope.||The work is located within the greater of either: the diagonal distance of 4 horizontal to 1 vertical, measured from the toe of the slope; or a distance equal to the height of the slope.|
|Over 50%||The greater of either: 15 feet; the diagonal distance of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical measured from the toe of the slope; or a distance equal to two times the slope height from the top of the slope or one times the slope height from the toe of the slope.|
(d) Exceptions. Site development meeting one of the following criteria is exempt from the requirement for a site development planning application and a site development permit.
(1) Excavation below finished grade for tanks, vaults, sewer facilities, tunnels, equipment basements, swimming pools, cellars or footings for building or structures authorized by a valid building permit;
(2) Excavations by public utility companies or the City in public utility easements, streets, rights-of-way, or on property owned in fee by the public utility companies, for the purpose of maintaining existing utilities or installing new facilities either above or below ground;
(3) Excavations for installation of fence posts or planting of trees;
(4) Interment operations of a cemetery, but not including grading for cemetery development;
(5) Excavation on slopes 10 feet, or less, in height;
(6) Excavation for pier or caisson footings for a nonhabitable structure such as a deck, gazebo, shed or similar structure, provided the slope is no greater than 25 percent;
(7) Excavations for storm drain facilities on properties in single family use and on other properties where the ground surface is brought back to its original level and the existing drainage pattern is maintained;
(8) Projects consisting of soil excavation for examination or contaminant remediation where soil is removed for testing or treatment and replaced with non-contaminated soil to the original surface condition and level; and
(9) Single family additions and accessory structures meeting one of the conditions set forth below:
(A) Single family additions and accessory structures located within slope setbacks or on slopes greater than 15 percent (unless governed by (B) below) provided:
(i) A geotechnical report containing applicable foundation, grading and drainage recommendations may be required at the discretion of the Director of Public Works or Building Official. Factors to be considered in determining whether a geotechnical report is required include, but are not limited to, slope gradient, potential affect upon adjacent properties, construction method and subsurface geology;
(B) Single family additions and accessory structures of more than 500 square feet located within slope setbacks or on slopes greater than twenty-five percent (25%), when supported by a geotechnical report containing applicable foundation, grading and drainage recommendations;
(C) Single family additions and accessory structures 5 feet or more from the top of creek banks, except where the "San Mateo Creek setback" (as defined in City of San Mateo Downtown Specific Plan Urban Design Policy UD-24 San Mateo Creek Flood Protection) applies.