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This Section provides regulations to conserve soil resources and to minimize the injurious effects of dust storms.
(a) Statement of Hazardous Wind Erosion Conditions. The Board finds and determines that:
(1) Existence of Hazardous Wind Erosion Conditions. Serious and hazardous wind erosion problems exist within portions of the County creating conditions that adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, and property of residents of the County.
(2) Reasons for Hazardous Wind Erosion Conditions. These conditions exist because of:
(A) Improper and untimely disturbance of the surface or subsurface of land, the soil of which is coarse textured and of a sandy nature; and
(B) The character and the presence of strong prevailing winds, seasonal and otherwise, that progressively erode land and blow soil in substantial quantity onto public and private property.
(3) Public Nuisance. The hazardous wind erosion conditions constitute a public nuisance.
(4) Areas of Hazardous Wind Erosion Conditions. Hazardous wind erosion conditions are prevalent and in need of immediate correction within the boundaries of property described in Subdivision (b) (Applicability), below.
(b) Applicability. The following areas of the County shall be subject to the provisions of this Section:
(1) Unincorporated Area near Rancho Cucamonga in the Valley Region. Beginning at the north quarter corner of Section 26, Township 1 north, Range 7 west, San Bernardino Meridian, said corner being also the centerline intersection of Hermosa and Wilson Avenues; Thence north along said centerline of Hermosa Avenue and its prolongation to the southerly boundary of the San Bernardino National Forest; Thence easterly along said southerly boundary, following all of its various courses to the centerline of Interstate 15;Thence southwesterly along said centerline to the centerline of East End Avenue; Thence south along said centerline of East End Avenue and its prolongation to the boundary of San Bernardino County; Thence west along said County boundary and continuing along said County boundary, following all of its various courses to the centerline of State Highway 71; Thence northerly along said centerline of State Highway 71 to the centerline of Euclid Ave.; Thence northerly along said centerline of Euclid Ave. to the north quarter corner of Section 30, Township 1 north, Range 7 west, said corner being also the centerline intersection of Euclid Ave. and 24th Street; Thence easterly along said centerline of 24th street to the point of beginning.
(2) Unincorporated area In Wonder Valley Fire and Road District in the Desert Region. That territory commonly known as Wonder Valley and more particularly described as follows:
T2N, R9E, Sections 25 and 36;
T2N, R9E, Sections 1, 12, 13 and 24;
T1N, R10E, Sections 1 through 25;
T1N, R11E, Sections 1 through 30; and
T1N, R12E, Sections 1 through 30.
(3) Other Unincorporated Territory. On recommendation of the Agricultural Commissioner and with the approval of the Board, additional unincorporated areas of the County may be made subject to this Section when conditions exist as stated in Subdivision (a) (Statement of Hazardous Wind Erosion Conditions), above.
(4) Territory Within City Limits. The Agricultural Commissioner may enforce the provisions of this Section within the city limits of any city located in the County upon the occurrence of all of the following:
(A) Adoption by the governing body of the city of all provisions of this Section (excluding those in this Subdivision (b) (Applicability).
(B) Designation of the city’s geographical area to which the provisions of this Chapter shall apply.
(C) Entrance by the city into a contract with the County for enforcement of this Chapter by the Agricultural Commissioner. The Board’s Fee Resolution shall set the fee for enforcement.
(c) Dust Prevention Required. To conserve the soil resources within the areas described in Subdivision (b) (Applicability), above, and to minimize the injurious effects of dust storms, the owner and all persons in possession of real property within the identified areas shall take reasonable measures and means to prevent dust blowing from the property.
(d) Soil Erosion Permit - When Required. A Soil Erosion Permit issued by the Agricultural Commissioner shall be required before undertaking activities that will result in:
(1) Disturbing the surface or subsurface of land by excavating, leveling, cultivating, discing, plowing, blading, removing residues, natural or planted tree, vine or root crops; or by distributing or spreading a substantial quantity of similar soil on the land; or
(2) Aggravating erosion, whether by any of the activities described in Subdivision (1), above, or by the recreational use of off-road vehicles at any time;
(e) Exempt Activities. A Soil Erosion Permit shall not be required to disturb the surface or subsurface of the land under the following circumstances; however, prevention of blowing dust as required by Subdivision (c) (Dust Prevention Required) shall still apply:
(1) When activities are required by another ordinance, statute, rule or regulation.
(2) When necessary to grade, trench, or otherwise install, repair or replace utility services within the boundaries of utility or public rights-of-way when the activities are completed within 72 hours.
(3) When the disturbance or proposed activity is confined to an area of one acre or less.
(4) When a viticulturist properly utilizes a Noble blade to control weed growth within a vineyard.
(5) When the soil disturbance occurs as an agricultural practice within an Agricultural Preserve established in compliance with Chapter 86.10 (Agricultural Preserves/Land Conservation Contract Actions).
(f) Permit Application Filing, Processing, and Review Procedures.
(1) Permit Application. An application for the Soil Erosion Permit shall be made in writing to the Agricultural Commissioner on forms provided by the County.
(2) Contents of Application. The application shall include the following information:
(A) Applicant’s name, address, and phone number.
(B) Location and Assessor’s Parcel Number of the property.
(C) A description of the cause and purpose of the soil disruption.
(D) A description of the protective measures to be used by the applicant.
(E) Approximate starting and completion dates of the soil disruption and building construction/landscaping.
(F) Name and telephone number of the responsible person during windy periods.
(G) Other information as is required to enable the Agricultural Commissioner to fix and prescribe appropriate conditions that will prevent or minimize wind erosion of the permittee’s soil.
(3) Permit Fees. The fee for a Soil Erosion Permit shall be identified in the Planning Fee Schedule.
(4) Conditions. The Soil Erosion Permit shall be subject to conditions that the Agricultural Commissioner may impose to ensure that surface protection is provided before, during, and/or after the time of the disturbance of the surface or subsurface of the land. Protective measures required by the Agricultural Commissioner shall be provided by means of agricultural measures or any other effective method, or combination of methods, of holding the soil in place.
(5) Notification of Decision. The Agricultural Commissioner shall inform the applicant in writing of the Agricultural Commissioner’s decision. The notification shall include a description of the right to an appeal and the ten day deadline for filing an appeal as required in § 88.02.050(j) (Appeals), below.
(6) Annual Permit Renewals and Fee Payments. Annual renewal and payment of appropriate fees shall be required until the Agricultural Commissioner releases the permittee from the permittee’s obligations under the permit in compliance with Subdivision (7), (Continuing Obligation to Prevent Erosion until Release), below.
(7) Continuing Obligation to Prevent Erosion until Release. In order to prevent the soil on the land from being eroded by wind and blown onto public roads or other public or private property, the permittee’s obligations under the Soil Erosion Permit shall continue in force and effect, regardless of whether the permit has been renewed as required by Subdivision (6) (Annual Permit Renewals and Fee Payments), until the Agricultural Commissioner has notified the permittee in writing that the permittee’s obligations under the Soil Erosion Permit are released.
(g) Agricultural Commissioner Authority.
(1) Authorized Actions. Subject to the restrictions in this Section regarding constitutional freedoms and laws respecting rights of privacy, the Agricultural Commissioner shall have authority, at all reasonable times, to enforce this Section and to:
(A) Enter upon any property to investigate for violations of this Section.
(B) Detain any person for purposes of investigation.
(C) Issue Temporary Stop Work Orders in compliance with Subdivision (i) (Temporary Stop Work Orders), below.
(D) Issue a citation to a person committing a misdemeanor or an infraction offense under this Section within the presence of the Agricultural Commissioner.
(2) Inspection or Abatement.
(A) The inspection or abatement of a structure or private property shall be made:
(I) With the consent of the owner or occupant of the property; or
(II) If consent is refused, with a warrant issued in compliance with Code of Civil Procedure § 1822.50 (Title 13 [Inspection Warrants] of Part 3 [Special Proceedings of a Civil Nature]).
(B) However, in the event of an emergency affecting the public health or safety, an inspection or abatement may be made without consent or the issuance of a warrant.
(h) Abatement of Hazardous Conditions.
(1) Notice of Hazardous Conditions. When land presents a hazardous condition that may affect the health, safety, and welfare of neighboring residents (because of the condition of the land with regard to loose soil and windy conditions), the landowners of record shall be notified by the Agricultural Commissioner in writing by first class mail of the conditions.
(2) Deadline for Abatement. If these conditions are not corrected within 30 days of the mailing of the notice, the Agricultural Commissioner may order the conditions to be corrected as reasonably and economically as possible in compliance with the discretion of the Agricultural Commissioner. However, when time is of the essence and emergency action is necessary to put into effect these protective provisions, the Agricultural Commissioner may take immediate steps to abate the hazardous soil erosion condition.
(3) Assessment of Abatement Costs.
(A) The County Auditor shall pay the cost of the abatements that may be conducted by the County from the funds of the Agricultural Commissioner.
(B) The total cost of each abatement shall be computed and an administrative fee of 20 percent of the cost shall be added to the bill.
(C) A bill for the entire sum of the costs and administrative fee shall be mailed to the owner of record of the subject land, as determined by and at the address in the County Assessor’s records. A copy of the bill shall be sent to the County Auditor. The bill shall include an itemized statement covering the work necessary for the abatement of the hazardous condition.
(D) If the record owner of the land or his or her agent does not pay the bill within 30 days after the mailing, the Agricultural Commissioner shall certify to the Auditor the demands remaining unpaid on the bill, together with any other information required by law. The County Auditor shall enter the amount of the bill on the tax roll as a special assessment and tax lien on the property from which abatement of the hazardous condition was accomplished. The special assessment shall be included on the next succeeding tax statement. From that time forward, the amounts of the assessment shall be:
(I) Collected at the same time and in the same manner as County taxes are collected; and
(II) Subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in cases of delinquencies as provided for ordinary taxes.
(4) Cancellation or Refund of Abatement Assessments. All or any portion of the assessment entered, shall, on order of the Board of Supervisors, be cancelled by the County Auditor if uncollected, or refunded by the County Treasurer under the order of the Board of Supervisors, if the assessment was entered, charged, or paid:
(A) More than once.
(B) Through clerical error.
(C) Through the error of the Board of Supervisors or of the Agricultural Commissioner in respect to any material fact, including the case where the expense records indicate the County abated a hazardous condition on the property, but in fact no hazardous condition existed on the property or the County did not abate the hazardous condition existing on the property.
(E) On property acquired after the lien by the State or any city, county, school district or other public entity, and because of public ownership the property is not subject to sale for delinquent taxes.
(5) Eligibility Requirements for Refund Claims. No order for refund shall be made except on a claim that is:
(A) Verified by the person who paid the special assessment or the representative of that person or that person’s estate; and
(B) Filed within three years after making the payment to be refunded.
(i) Temporary Stop Work Orders.
(1) Issuance. The Agricultural Commissioner may issue a Temporary Stop Work Order and the subject soil disturbing operation shall immediately be stopped, whether a permit has been issued or not, when:
(A) A permit has been issued, but not all of the permit requirements have been complied with. The Temporary Stop Work Order may require that all work cease until all the permit requirements have been met.
(B) Operations are in progress, with a permit or not, and weather conditions are causing substantial dust to be carried into the air. The Temporary Stop Work Order may require the cessation of all work until the current dust air pollution is abated.
(C) Operations are in progress, regardless of weather conditions, and a soil disturbance permit has not been issued.
(2) Appeal Not Allowed. A Temporary Stop Work Order shall not be subject to an appeal.
(1) Eligible Appellant. Upon receipt to the Agricultural Commissioner’s written decision to deny a Soil Erosion Permit or to impose conditions on the issuance of a Soil Erosion Permit, an applicant may appeal the decision to the Soil Erosion and Dust Prevention Appeals Board.
(2) Filing Deadline. The appeal shall be filed in writing within ten working days of the Agricultural Commissioner’s action.
(3) Soil Erosion and Dust Prevention Appeals Board. The Soil Erosion and Dust Prevention Appeals Board shall consist of the following members:
(A) An employee of the Office of the Agricultural Commissioner, but not any employee who acted on the subject permit request of the appellant;
(B) An employee of the General Services Group; and
(C) A designee of the Inland Empire West Resource Conservation District.
(4) Notice and Date of Hearing. The Soil Erosion and Dust Prevention Appeals Board shall, upon receipt of an appeal set the matter for hearing and shall notify the appellant of the hearing date at least 15 days before the date. If the appellant resides outside the County, the period of notice shall be at least 25 days.
(5) Action by Soil Erosion and Dust Prevention Appeals Board. The Soil Erosion and Dust Prevention Appeals Board shall act on the appeal and its determination shall be conclusive.
(6) Notification of Board’s Decision. Notification of the Soil Erosion and Dust Prevention Board’s decision shall be mailed to the appellant.
(k) Violation. Failure to comply with the terms of a Soil Erosion Permit shall be unlawful. A violation of this Section or the terms of the permit may be found without present evidence of blowing sand or soil erosion.
(l) Penalties for Violation. Unless otherwise provided, a person, firm, company, or corporation violating the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of an infraction or misdemeanor as specified below. Each day or portion of a day in which the violation exists shall be a new and separate offense.
(1) First and Second Violations. Any person convicted shall be:
(A) Guilty of an infraction offense and punished by fine not exceeding $100.00 and not less than $50.00 for a first violation.
(B) Guilty of an infraction offense and punished by a fine not exceeding $200.00, but not less than $100.00 for a second violation.
(C) Notwithstanding the above, a first or second offense may be charged and prosecuted as a misdemeanor.
(2) Third and Additional Violations. The third and any additional violations shall constitute a misdemeanor offense and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00 and not less than $500.00 or six months in jail, or both.
(3) Correction Required Even If Penalty Paid. Payment of a penalty shall not relieve a person, firm, corporation, or other entity from responsibility for correcting the condition resulting from the violation.
(Ord. 4011, passed - -2007)