Safety Element (Public Hearing Draft, 5/1/13)
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Flooding and Marine Hazards

Potential water-related hazards in San Clemente include flooding, tsunami, and sea level rise. Flood hazards include coastal inundation, flash flooding down watercourses and channels throughout the community, and sheet flooding across low lying areas adjacent to these watercourses. A tsunami is a series of ocean waves triggered by the displacement of a large volume of water after a submarine disturbance, such as an underwater earthquake or landslide. While there is no record of large or moderate tsunamis in the San Clemente area, the potential for tsunami damage exists, as it does in most coastal California communities. Distant source tsunamis have produced run-up of less than two feet in San Clemente; however global climate changes affecting sea level have been observed over time and if observed patterns continue, a sea level rise should be expected. Sea level rise is a long-range concern and while predictions vary, a significant rise in sea level rise could adversely affect land use, transportation and water quality in low-lying coastal areas. Marine hazards also include common ocean-related public safety concerns such as hazardous surf and navigational boating hazards.

GOAL:

Minimize risk to life, property, economic and social dislocation, disruption of vital services and environmental effects cause by flooding, tsunami, and sea level rise.

POLICIES:

S-2.01. Flood Control Channels. We use natural, unimproved watercourses as the City’s primary flood control channels, and whenever feasible, support the restoration of concrete lined channels back to natural earthen channels.
S-2.02. Drainage Obstruction. We require that property owners along canyons and watercourses keep natural drainage courses on their sites free of obstructions, such as structures and dams, which may adversely affect flooding on the site or on downstream properties.
S-2.03. 100-Year Flood Zone. We prohibit development within the 100-year flood zone unless adequate mitigation is provided against flood hazards.
S-2.04. Regulations. We implement Federal, State, County and local flood control regulations, as appropriate.
S-2.05. Interagency Coordination. We coordinate appropriate procedures for police, fire and other agency to respond during flooding, consistent with Federal, State, and County regulations, as well as the City of San Clemente Emergency Plan.
S-2.06. Information. Where accurate and reliable information regarding flooding, tsunami, and sea level rise hazards is available, the City seeks to make such information publicly available to help reduce flooding and marine hazards.
S-2.07. Marine Safety. We maintain adequate staffing for lifeguard services to address beach and swimmer safety needs.

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