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The intent of this section is to prohibit culverting and riprapping, unless there is strong evidence that there is no other reasonable means to prevent the erosion of adjacent supports, foundations or other structures.

It is unlawful for any person, organization, institution, corporation or the City of Berkeley to construct or cause to be constructed, any wall, culvert, drain, bulkhead, or other structure in any natural watercourse or creek in the City of Berkeley, or to place riprap or any debris in the channel or on the banks, without first obtaining a permit therefor from the City Engineer. If a permit for construction is granted, the City Engineer shall require the applicant to submit plans and specifications for such a wall, bulkhead, culvert, drain, structure or bank protection work which shall specify the exact location and extent of the project. Any work that has been granted a permit, shall be carried out under the supervision of the City Engineer, or their designated representative.

Such a permit will not be granted if any one or more of the following alternatives, or any other is available to solve the problem.

A. Excavating to restore a natural meander, stream geometry and channel roughness.

B. Clearing debris cleanup.

C. Flood proofing: e.g. minor redesign of buildings, relocation of porches or other minor structures, sheds, garages; raising of such structures; raising the grade of adjacent land.

D. Removal of structures where feasible.

E. Bank stabilization using vegetation or combination revegetation construction (soil bioengineering) that does not degrade the existing natural environment. This may include the use of vegetated and dirt filled gabions, vegetated wood cribwalls, live and dead brush matting, fascines, brush layering and cuttings, and other similar strategies based on employing plants as the long-term stabilizing materials.

F. Vegetation management that can include selective clearing that retains a riparian canopy and root structure to preserve riparian habitat, control unwanted undergrowth, and stabilize banks.

G. Set-back levee construction: flood wall construction on the flood plain.

H. Changes in site design.

The request for any permit to culvert or perform any construction in a natural watercourse must conform to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (C.E.Q.A.) and its current amendments and guidelines.

If the City Engineer recommends the granting of a permit for culverting or any other construction in any natural watercourse, the matter shall be referred to the Public Works Commission for review. If the City Engineer denies a permit, the applicant may appeal to the Public Works Commission for review and recommendation. In all cases the decision of the Public Works Commission will be final, unless the matter is appealed within 15 days to the City Council by the applicant, City staff or an interested party. (Ord. 6956-NS § 1 (part), 2006: Ord. 5961-NS § 2, 1989)