Water Resources Environmental Group
Annual Creek Maintenance Plan
In April 1992, the County initiated a routine creek maintenance program which includes an annual planning process. The Annual Maintenance Plan identifies priorities for creek maintenance and includes standard maintenance and mitigation practices, associated District policy statements, and annual planning and project approval.
Generation of annual maintenance plans provides multiple
benefits. The plan serves as a basis for demonstrating need, analyzing
alternatives, proposing mitigation and selecting the most effective and least
environmentally damaging District maintenance practice. The plan also allows
the District to prioritize maintenance efforts and expenditures early-on which
not only helps in preparation of budgets but also helps in the management of
The annual planning process as adopted by the Board requires that the District assess the maintenance needs, prepare preliminary project descriptions with engineering analysis and conduct public workshops to hear public/agency input and concerns about the proposed Annual Plan.
Pursuant to the annual planning process outline, the next step requires a public hearing regarding projects included within the Annual Plan. The Annual Maintenance Plan summary listing consists of CEQA exempt projects (EXEMPT), projects defined within the scope of impacts identified by the Program EIR requiring addenda (PEIR) for projects beyond the scope of the Program EIR requiring further environmental documentation to address impacts (ND, EIR).
The CEQA exempt projects are described in Section 1 of the Annual Plan and are based on CEQA Section 15301 (b) "Maintenance of existing facilities" or Section 15061 (b)(3) "No significant effect on the environment". Projects that are exempt fall into one of the following five categories:
1) Removal of rubbish or other unnatural material from riparian corridors or estuaries, but only where there is no impact to any significant resource at the site, downstream, or adjacent to the site.
2) Maintenance activities in existing non-perennial, fully concrete-lined stream channels, but only where there is no impact to any significant downstream or adjacent resource.
3) Clearing, repair, and replacement of such flood control devices as check structures, drop structures, levees, chute structures, culverts, weirs, or stream flow measuring stations, but only where there is no impact to any significant resource at the site, downstream or along access routes.
4) Maintenance activities on access ways outside of estuaries and riparian corridors, but only where there is no impact to any significant resource.
5) Maintenance activities on earthen channels which have been developed to convey urban stormwater, agriculture stormwater, or agriculture tailwater and have little or no vegetation in them.
The described exempt projects have been exempted in prior years with Planning and Development Department concurrence.
Projects within the scope of the Program EIR are described in Section 2 of the Annual Plan. Each of the projects are presented as addenda to the Program EIR, utilizing appropriate standard maintenance practices for the project impacts. Each of these PEIR projects has a mitigation and monitoring program attached to the addendum.
Projects beyond the scope of the Program EIR require additional environmental documentation. Individual hearings will be utilized to consider these projects. Projects within this category are identified within the Annual Plan for reference and disclosure purposes only.
Once the Board has approved projects described in Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Maintenance Plan, application can be made to the State Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Coastal Commission, and other regulatory agencies for environmental permits or approvals. Applicable permits will be obtained from local, State and Federal regulatory agencies prior to project implementation.
Creek Care Guide
The Santa Barbara County Flood Control District along with the Community Environmental Council developed a Creek Care Guide, educating and advising property owners how to care for our creeks. This Creek Care Guide will help you understand how our creeks and watersheds function, what factors influence their health, and what you can do to improve or restore our creeks. Click Here Creek Care
Please follow the link below to view the Annual Plan online: