5.0 Safety

5.1 Findings
The hillside planning area is a geologically hazardous one and any development allowed to proceed should do so with proper respect and detailed attention to the various geologic hazards involved. These hazards include possibilities of landslides as well as ground shaking and fracturing due to seismic activity. Development activities such as grading of slopes, clearing of vegetation, altering of drainage courses and concentration of water, if not properly controlled, may reduce the relative geologic stability of the underlying colluvium and bedrock. Man's activity, along with rainstorm or earthquake, may "trigger" a landslide.

The hillside study area is characterized as a high fire hazard one because of the combustibility of the vegetation, the steep terrain, the low humidity during the dry hot summers, the lack of adequate access, and lack of adequate water supply for fire fighting. The areas which have the highest flammability and steepest slopes are often the most difficult to reach with fire equipment. Of particular significance is the fact that this area is an important portion of the local watershed for northern Santa Clara County. The soils are subject to extreme erosion whenever vegetation is removed or when grading disturbs soil mantle. Poor site drainage design, increased runoff from roofs and paved surfaces, construction of septic drainfields all remove vegetation, cut into slopes, cause excessive erosion, increase potential for landsliding, and place excessive burdens on existing downhill drainage systems.

Because of inadequate water supplies and potential fire danger of the vegetation, great care needs to be taken in structural plans for all residences and landscape plans for the surrounding site development.

5.2 Goals
Prevention of loss of life or property through careful regulation of development in areas subject to geologic hazard, or high fire risk.

5.3 Policies

1. Geologic Hazards Reviews:

Development shall be avoided or carefully controlled in potentially hazardous geologic areas.

Fire Protection:

Development should be avoided in areas subject to severe fire danger.

Development should be avoided unless measures designed to assure the highest degree of fire prevention and fast, effective means of fire suppression are provided.

5.4 Implementation
1. Geologic Hazards Reviews:

Geologic engineering investigations and reports shall be required in areas believed to be geologically hazardous.

b. Construction shall be prohibited in areas with geologic hazards (such as slope instability, seismic hazards, etc.) as identified in the geologic investigations and reports.

2. Fire Protection:

a. Adequate water supply for fire protection and suppression purposes as required by the Uniform Fire Code shall be required for all properties being developed. If no public hydrant is readily available, then there shall be an on-site water supply in a storage facility with the appropriate outlet valve no less than six to eight feet from an accessible hard surface road. The specific size of such a facility shall be based upon the number of dwelling units and be determined by the Central Fire District.

b. Minimum fire protection standards for building construction in hazardous areas as established in Appendix E of the Uniform Fire Code shall be implemented and reviewed at the Architectural and Site Review level.

Building construction shall implement special hazardous area recommendations of fire protection agencies regarding roofing materials, retaining and screening walls, and fire retardant structural members in pole construction.

3.Fire Protection and Suppression Services:

Properties outside of Central Fire District shall be required to annex to the District at the time of development if contiguous to the District, unless denied by the District for locational reasons.