Weed and Rubbish Abatement Program

Coastside Fire District

Fire Prevention Division

I. Weed Abatement Standards

Items A through F are the basic standards employed by the Coastside Fire Protection District when abating hazardous conditions.  Owners or private contractors shall comply with these standards when cleaning their properties.

  • A. Grass, weeds, trash, rubbish, and other combustible materials which create a fire hazard shall be removed from vacant lots, yards, courtyards, parkways, and other locations as specified by the District.
  • B. Weed abatement shall be accomplished by mowing weeds and grasses to a height of no taller than four inches. THE CITY OF HALF MOON BAY AND THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO NO LONGER ALLOW DISKING AS A METHOD OF VEGETATION REMOVAL, THEREFORE THE COASTSIDE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT WILL ONLY BE CONDUCTING WEED ABATEMENT BY MOWING.
  • C. Unimproved properties of one acre or less shall be cleared in their entirety. EXCEPTION: PROPERTIES THAT CONTAIN SEASONAL OR YEAR-ROUND WETLANDS OR THAT CONTAIN RIPARIAN VEGETATION ALONG STREAMS ARE SUBJECT TO THE SPECIAL RULES IN SECTION II BELOW.
  • D. Unimproved properties of more than one acre shall be abated by the clearing of a fire break not less than 30 feet in width around the perimeter of the property. With approval of the Fire Marshal, firebreaks may be provided on just those sides of the property at risk to neighbors.
  • E. Open burning is prohibited except by special permit from the Fire Department and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
  • F. Do not let weed contractors stray from your property onto State, federal, or other private lands.

II.  Wetlands and Protected Areas

  • A. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A NOTICE TO ABATE WEEDS FOR A PARCEL YOU KNOW OR SUSPECT TO CONTAIN WETLAND OR RIPARIAN [STREAMSIDE] VEGETATION AREAS, YOU MUST NOTIFY THE COASTSIDE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT IMMEDIATELY FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.

Clearance of weeds and grasses in wetland, riparian, or resource sensitive areas may require a Coastal Development Permit from the City of Half Moon Bay or the County of San Mateo and/or a permit from the U.S Fish and Wildlife or California State Department of Fish and Game.

III.  Special Weed Abatement Standards

The following standards are required by the City of Half Moon Bay for wetland and riparian areas within the city limits.

  • A. No mowing shall be performed within any wetland area or within a 100-foot buffer zone surrounding a wetland or within any area with riparian [streamside] vegetation, including a 50-foot buffer zone surrounding the riparian vegetation.
  • B. Fire breaks shall not be closer than 100 feet to any wetland area or closer than 50 feet to any riparian [streamside] vegetation.

IV.  Clearance of Brush or Vegetation Growth from Roadways

The Fire Marshal is authorized to cause areas within 10 feet on each side of portions of highways and private streets which are improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic to be cleared of flammable vegetation and other combustible growth. The Fire Marshal is authorized to enter upon private property to do so.

EXCEPTION: Single specimens of trees, ornamental shrubbery, or cultivated ground cover such as green grass, ivy, succulents, or similar plants used as ground covers, provided that they do not form a means of readily transmitting fire.

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