15.04.090   Appendix Chapter J.
   (CBC Appendix J)
   Chapter J of the Appendices to the California Building Code is amended as follows:
   A.   Section J101.3 Amended - Purpose. (CBC J101.3) Section J101 of the appendix to the California Building Code is added to read as follows:
   Section J101.3. The purpose and intent of this appendix is to implement the programs and policies of the General Plan relating to the maintenance of the natural character and amenity of hillsides as a scenic resource of the City; and to safeguard life, limb, property and the public welfare by regulating grading on private property.
   B.   Section J102 Amended - Definitions. Section J102.1 of Appendix J of the California Building Code is amended by adding an additional sentence after the first sentence in the section to read as follows:
   Additional definitions may be included in the City of Signal Hill Grading Manual, as adopted and approved by resolution of the City Council.
   C.   Section J103 Amended - Permits Required. Section J103.2 of the appendix to the California Building Code is amended to read as follows:
   Section J103.2 Exemptions. No person shall do any grading without first having obtained a grading permit from the Building Official except for the following:
   1.   An excavation below finished grade for basements and footings of a building retaining wall or other structure authorized by a valid building permit. This shall not exempt any fill made with the material from such excavation nor exempt any excavation having an unsupported height greater than five (5) feet after the completion of such a structure.
   2.   Cemetery graves.
   3.   Refuse disposal sites controlled by other regulations.
   4.   Excavations for wells or tunnels or utilities.
   5.   Exploratory excavations under the direction of soil engineers or engineering geologists. Excavations shall be backfilled immediately or protected as directed by the Building Official. Locations of the exploratory excavations shall be shown accurately on a drawing. The Building Official shall determine the size and dimensions on the drawing. The City’s geotechnical consultant shall approve any use of temporary backfill materials.
   6.   Restricted grading permits may be issued when the application has been approved by the City Engineer.
   D.   Section J104 Amended - Engineered Grading Requirements. Section J104.5 is added to read as follows:
   J104.5 Engineering grading requirements.
   Section J 104.5.1 Plans and Specifications.
   1.   Each application for a grading permit shall be accompanied by: three (3) sets of approved Grading Plans, two (2) copies of a soils engineering report and two (2) copies of an engineering geology report (if the site is in the Alquist-Priolo Special Studies Zone or if required by the Building Official).
   2.   The City Engineer may further require that preliminary soils reports by submitted to the City for review. Pursuant to such review,    the City Engineer may require additional    information or reject the report if it is found to be incomplete, inaccurate or unsatisfactory.
   3.   The grading plan shall be prepared under the supervision of a civil engineer, signed by a civil engineer and stamped with the civil engineer’s seal.
   4.   The soils engineering and engineering geology reports shall be signed by those professionals authorized by the State of California to sign these reports.
   Section J104.5.2 City Review of Plans.
   1.   The City will review each site with the intent of achieving the following objectives:
      a.   Minimize the height of slopes between building pads;
      b.   Encourage the use of retaining walls of less than six (6) feet in height to create a landscaped, terraced appearance. Provide four (4) foot wide landscaped terraces;
      c.   Encourage the use of multi levels within buildings and use building walls to take up slopes;
      d.   Preserve existing or introduce plant materials so as to protect slopes from soil erosion;
      e.   Avoid long uniform slopes and successive terracing of building pads;
      f.   The introduction and utilization of permanent full coverage irrigation systems adequate to sustain existing and developed slope plantings and to help protect against potential hazards due to fire; and
      g.   The utilization of street designs and improvements which serve to reduce grading alterations and harmonize with the natural contours and character of the hillside.
   2.   Upon determination by the City, the applicant may be required to submit a scaled profile model depicting any or all portions of the site proposed for development.
   3.   The City of Signal Hill Grading Manual authorizes the Building Official to formulate such rules, procedures, and interpretations as may be necessary or convenient to administer the Excavation and Grading Code. Such rules, procedures and interpretations, and amendments thereto shall be referred to as the City of Signal Hill Grading Manual upon resolution of the City Council.
   E.   Section J106.1 Amended - Maximum slope. Section J106.1 of the California Building Code is amended to read:
   J106.1 Maximum slope. The slope of cut surfaces shall be no steeper than is safe for the intended use and shall be no steeper than two units horizontal to one unit vertical.
   F.   Section J108.2 Amended - Setbacks. Section J108.2 of the California Building Code is amended to read:
   Section J108.2 Top of slope. The tops of cuts and toes of fill slopes exposed to weathering shall be set back as far as necessary from the outer property boundaries of the permit area, including slope easements and in accordance with this section. Setback dimensions shall be horizontal distances measured perpendicular to the site boundary. The top of cut or fill slopes exposed to weathering shall not be made nearer to the site boundary and/or permit area boundary line than three (3) feet for height of cut or fill or six (6) feet or less and five (5) feet for height of cut or fill more than six (6) feet. The tops and the toes of cut and fill slopes exposed to weathering shall be setback from structures as far as is necessary for adequacy of foundation support and to prevent damage as a result of water runoff, erosion or maintenance of the slopes. Unless otherwise approved by the Building Official based on recommendations in the approved soil engineering and/or    engineering geology report on the approved     grading plan, structure setbacks from slopes exposed to weathering shall be:
   1.   From top of cut or fill slope to building wall, one half of the height of cut or fill with seven (7) foot minimum and ten (10) foot maximum.
   2.   From the lower outside edge of the footing along a horizontal line to the face of the slope, the distance shall be one half of the height of cut or fill with five (5) foot minimum and ten (10) foot maximum.
   3.   From the toe of cut or fill slope to building wall, the distance shall be one half of the height of cut or fill with three (3) foot minimum and fifteen (15) foot maximum.
   4.   The use of retaining walls to reduce setbacks must be approved by the Building Official.
   G.   Section J109.3 and J109.4 Amended - Drainage and Terracing. Section J109.3 and J109.4 of the California Building Code are amended to read:
   Section J109.3 Disposal. All drainage facilities shall be designed to carry waters to the nearest practicable drainage course approved by the City Engineer. Erosion of ground in the area of concentrated discharge shall be prevented by installation of non-erosive down drains, riprap, energy dissipaters or other approved devices including a return of flow to a natural sheet flow condition provided the potential effects of greater volume than existing conditions generated are accounted for. Where surface waters are to be conveyed or directed onto adjacent property in an unnatural manner, the applicant shall be required, prior to issuance of a grading permit, to obtain a drainage easement from the owner of said property. This easement shall be recorded. There shall be a drainage gradient of two percent (2%) from the building pad toward an approved drainage facility.
   Section J109.4 Interceptor drains. Paved interceptor drains shall be installed along the top of all cut and fill slopes where the tributary drainage area above slopes towards the cut or fill and has a drainage path greater than forty (40) feet measured horizontally. Interceptor drains shall be paved with a minimum of three (3) inches of concrete or gunite and reinforced. They shall have a minimum depth of twelve (12) inches and a minimum paved width of thirty (30) inches measured horizontally across the drain. The slope of the drain shall be approved by the Building Official.
(Ord. 2019-12-1510 § 2 (part))