Sadly, many areas of Ventura County suffered significant damage in the series of storms in early 2023. To help facilitate the cleanup effort, Watershed Protection (WP) prepared a regulatory guidance to private property owners which details various agencies and resources involved in emergency cleanup. The information below is specific to WP permits and the regulatory requirements of other agencies are neither expressed nor implied.
Cleanup within a channel under the jurisdiction of Ordinance WP-2, may require a permit from Watershed Protection. WP’s jurisdictional channels are commonly referred to as “redline channels” and a list adopted by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors can be found HERE. To see a map of redline channels, you can search your property address on PWA GIS Viewer with the layer “Watershed Protection” selected to determine if your work zone is within a redline channel. If your cleanup is within the banks of a redline channel, but the nature of the work is classified as “routine maintenance,” then a permit is NOT required. Routine maintenance is typically characterized as work that does NOT cause ground disturbance such as trash removal, vegetation trimming, removing loose branches/woody debris, cutting, and treating invasive vegetation such as giant reed, etc.
Alternatively, if cleanup work involves any ground disturbance including but not limited to; sediment removal, placing material into the channel (fill dirt, rock riprap, etc.), excavation, or regrading within a redline channel, then a permit is required. Emergency work that involves ground disturbance can be performed under the Emergency Work provisions of Ventura County Ordinance WP-2, Section 204, but you must apply for a permit within 15-days of starting work and comply with all provisions of the permit.
Ordinance WP-2 and the One Stop Permitting website have additional information on the permit process or you can contact the permit group directly at WP_Permits@ventura.org or (805) 662-6882 to learn more.
Please keep in mind this information only relates to the requirements of Ordinance WP-2. It is the responsibility of the project proponent to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and requirements.
Best of luck and stay safe.