Natural Resources Element (Public Hearing Draft, 5/1/13)
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General Plan > Elements > Natural Resources Element > Aesthetic Resources
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Aesthetic Resources

Framed by the Pacific Ocean to the west, hillsides and ridgelines to the north and east, coastal bluffs and beaches, and with a number of winding canyons traversing the City, San Clemente offers diverse visual resources that enhance our appreciation of the natural landscape and provide relief from the built environment. Aesthetic resources include public views of natural landforms, the City’s Spanish Village by the Sea urban form and colors, natural vegetation colors and textures, and the shoreline and the Pacific Ocean. These resources help shape the City’s identity.

Our community is dedicated to protecting and enhancing these important resources. This section of the General Plan, in combination with the Urban Design, Land Use, and Mobility and Complete Streets Elements, provides goals and policies aimed at protecting these resources and minimizing or preventing development that detracts from their enjoyment by residents and visitors.

Goals and policies related to the protection of aesthetic resources in specific locations are provided in the Focus Areas section of the Land Use Element. Policies regarding the protection of San Clemente’s beaches and Coastal Canyons are included in the Coastal Element. Additional policies aimed at preserving and enhancing the character of the City, including the protection of historic resources, are included in the Historic Preservation and Urban Design Elements.

GOAL:

Preserve natural aesthetic resources of the City, including coastal bluffs, beaches, visually significant ridgelines, coastal canyons and significant public view corridors.

POLICIES:

NR-2.01. Hillside Development and Ridgeline Protection. We require that development in hillside areas comply with the Hillside Development Ordinance to maintain the natural topography of hillsides and ridgelines; protect natural vegetation and habitat; protect public view corridors and preserve special geological features, canyons, natural drainage swales, steep slopes and important historic and cultural features.
NR-2.02. Coastal Canyon Areas Protection. We preserve designated, undeveloped "natural" coastal canyon areas that were originally intended to be open space buffers, pursuant to the Coastal Element.
NR-2.03. Coastal Canyon Areas Restoration. We promote the restoration of coastal canyons as a visual resource in a manner that is consistent with the goals of the California Coastal Commission and the City's Coastal Element.
NR-2.04. Public View Corridors of Ocean. We preserve designated public view corridors to the ocean.
NR-2.05. Street Design. We respect and enhance public view corridors in the design and layout of new streets.
NR-2.06. Parks and Trails. We locate and design parks and trails to take advantage of ocean, canyon and hillside views.
NR-2.07. Underground Utilities. The City will develop and implement a utilities undergrounding plan to avoid the adverse impacts to aesthetic resources caused by public utilities and unmanned telecommunications facilities, where feasible and where costs of such undergrounding does not pose economic hardship. Where undergrounding is determined by the City to not be physically possible, such features shall be located and designed to reduce their visibility and in developed areas, consistent with prevailing architectural character and scale. In beaches, parks and open spaces areas, such facilities shall be designed and located to blend in with natural colors, textures and landforms.

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