State to require new building permit |

State to require new building permit

New permits are on the horizon for property owners contemplating construction that disturbs more than an acre of land.

In March 2003, the state will require a $500 storm water-discharge permit for such projects, as well as a storm water-pollution prevention plan with monitoring, said Bob Porta, supervising building inspector for Nevada County.

It should affect quite a few people building new houses, said Porta, because the requirement kicks in if a property owner disturbs an acre clearing ground for a driveway, septic leachfield, and clearing or removing brush.

So on Wednesday, the county held a workshop to alert people to the new permit. About 90 people, including contractors, engineers and county employees, showed up at the Nevada City Elks Lodge, he said.

“It was taken real well. They know what they have to do now,” Porta said. “I’m happy; we’re going to get some good compliance.”

The regulation is designed to minimize erosion, and a couple of vendors who sell erosion control devices were at the workshop, Porta said.

The new regulations will require that, during construction, people cover bare ground with erosion control devices such as jute netting, seeding or straw wattles, Porta said.

Monitoring is required to make sure the erosion control works, he added.

“You can do it yourself, or you can have somebody do it,” he said. “It’s really easy. There are books out. We’ve got (instruction) books that people can use and make copies out of.”

Storm water monitoring is required under the federal Clean Water Act, said Lynell Garfield, biologist for South Yuba River Citizens League.

Some counties just crack down on offenders, she said, “But this county, I’ll give them credit. They’re doing education before enforcement.”

Porta said the county would like to hold another workshop, but hasn’t yet set a date.

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