Questions about Section 17-207 B
Requirement to install permanent vegetation
1) Am I required to have the site permanently stabilized within 9 months?
No. The ordinance requirement is to install the permanent vegetation within 9 months. Staff knows it will take much longer for the installed permanent vegetation to become well established.
2) It is going to take me much longer than nine months to complete my building. What happens if that area does not have permanent vegetation installed within that period?
This requirement does not apply to areas covered by an approved building permit. Subsection B. 2. specifically exempts areas that the program authority finds are necessary parts of the construction within an active building permit. This would include areas for construction trailers, worker parking, equipment storage and maintenance, material storage or assembly, and final grading for the completed building. For example, perhaps you started work under a permit to rough grade your site and prepare a building pad. You completed this rough grading within six months and then applied for a building permit. The area associated with the building permit would be exempted from this requirement. For the remainder of the site, you would still have 3 months to install permanent vegetation or other non-erosive surfaces.
3) What if I donít agree with staff on how big an area is needed for construction with my building permit.
While we certainly hope that everyone is reasonable and this never becomes an issue, a decision of staff acting as the Program Authority can be appealed to the Board. Additionally, if the contractor felt he needed a larger area, he could still satisfy this requirement if the area was covered with gravel. For example, you may place gravel on a parking lot area or driveway and use it for the construction while still complying with this requirement. Weíve noted many contractors already place gravel on these areas to avoid weather related construction delays and we encourage others to do so.
4) I really believe I am going to need more time to complete my project. What can I do about this?
The ordinance provides for 2 types of extensions. Staff can provide an administrative extension of up to 3 months where conditions beyond the control of the contractor prevent the grading from being completed on time. In addition, the Board can approve an extension of any time limit where the permit holder has shown there is a legitimate need for this extension. It should be noted that staff is not proposing a fee with either of these extension requests and trusts the development community will not abuse this opportunity.
5) What if I need to regrade an area after I have installed permanent vegetation?
The requirement is to install permanent vegetation. Once that has been done, regrading can be handled in two ways. First, it could be done under the original erosion and sediment control permit provided that permit was still active. County inspectors would consult with the contractor to assure areas are not being left disturbed for extended periods of time. Second, if that permit has already been closed, it would require a new plan and permit. That new permit would have the same nine month requirement.
6) What happens if I havenít installed permanent vegetation within the time limit?
This is treated the same as any other permit violation. We first cite the permit holder (property owner) with a notice to comply and attempt to work out a compliance schedule that completes the installation of the permanent vegetation as quickly as possible. Failing to agree upon a compliance schedule, we would issue a stop work order. Failing to reach an answer after the stop work order, the County will revoke the permit and call the bond, so the work can be completed by the County. Violations of a permit may also be enforced in the courts in a criminal or civil proceeding. Typically, no other permits are acted upon until the violation is mitigated.
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