Purpose

The environmental safety element focuses the protection of the community from environmental and man-made hazards. 

Key Issues

The environmental safety element identifies safety issues and provides policy direction to minimize risk and to protect people, property, and the environment. Of primary concern is the protection of the community from floods, hazardous materials, and noise. The element also considers ways to better involve and inform the public.

Goals and Policies

OVERARCHING GOAL: A well-prepared community that understands and limits exposure to potential natural and human-made hazards and effectively responds to and recovers from public safety emergencies.

Policy 1.1: Flood zone. Prohibit development within the 100-year flood zone and dam inundation areas unless adequate mitigation is provided against flood hazards. Participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Policy 1.2: Water system for fire hazards. Maintain a water system to provide adequate peak water supply and system redundancy for firefighting services.

Policy 1.3: Geologic and seismic risk. Prohibit development on unstable terrain, excessively steep slopes, and other areas deemed hazardous due to geologic and seismic hazards unless acceptable mitigation measures are implemented. Require that underground utilities be designed to withstand seismic forces and accommodate ground settlement. 

Policy 1.4: Facilities that use hazardous materials. Prohibit facilities using, storing, or otherwise involved with hazardous or toxic materials to be located in the 100-year flood zone unless all standards of elevation, flood proofing, and storage have been implemented.

Policy 1.5: Critical and public facilities. Locate and design critical and public facilities to minimize their exposure and susceptibility to flooding, seismic and geological effects, fire, and explosions. Ensure critical use facilities (e.g., hospital, police, and fire facilities) can remain operational during an emergency. 

Policy 1.6: Public information and emergency preparedness. Provide the public with accurate and reliable information regarding natural hazards to prevent and mitigate potential risks and exposure for life and property. Continue to maintain a local hazard mitigation plan and conduct programs to inform the general public of the City’s emergency preparedness and disaster response procedures.

Policy 2.1: Safe storage and maintenance. The use and storage of hazardous materials shall comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws to prevent and mitigate hazardous materials releases.

Policy 2.2: Mitigation and remediation of groundwater contamination. Actively participate in local and regional efforts directed at mitigating environmental exposure to and cleaning up contaminated groundwater.

Policy 2.3: Truck routes for hazardous materials. Maintain designated truck routes for the transportation of hazardous materials through the City. Discourage routes that pass through residential neighborhoods to the maximum extent feasible.

Policy 2.4: Hazardous materials response team. Maintain a Type 1 hazardous materials response team serving the City of Clovis.

Policy 2.5: Safer Alternatives. Minimize the use of hazardous materials by encouraging the selection of non-toxic alternatives that do not pose a threat to the environment.

Policy 2.6: Community education. Provide educational resources to residents and businesses to promote safe practices related to the use, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous materials.

Policy 3.1 Land use compatibility. Approve development and require mitigation measures to ensure existing and future land use compatibility as shown in the Table ES-2 Land Use and Noise Compatibility Matrix and the city’s noise ordinance.

Policy 3.2 Land use and traffic patterns. Discourage land use and traffic patterns that would expose sensitive land uses or noise-sensitive areas to unacceptable noise levels. 

Policy 3.3 New residential. When new residential development is proposed adjacent to land designated for industrial or commercial uses, require the proposed development to assess potential noise impacts and fund feasible noise-related mitigation measures.

Policy 3.4 Acoustical study. Require an acoustical study for proposed projects that have the potential to exceed acceptable noise thresholds or are exposed to existing or future noise levels in excess of the thresholds in the city’s noise ordinance.

Policy 3.5 Site and building design. Minimize noise impacts by requiring appropriate site, circulation, equipment, and building design, and sound walls, landscaping, and other buffers. 

Policy 3.6 Noise impacts. Minimize or eliminate persistent, periodic, or impulsive noise impacts of business operations. 

Policy 3.7 Mixed-use buildings. Require that mixed-use structures be designed to prevent transfer of noise and vibration between uses.

Policy 3.8 Existing uses. Require the use of noise abatement devices for existing uses that exceed acceptable noise thresholds. 

Policy 3.9 Caltrans facilities. Coordinate with Caltrans to ensure the inclusion of noise mitigation measures in the design of new highway projects or improvements to existing facilities.

Policy 3.10 Airport changes. Coordinate with the Fresno Yosemite International Airport to minimize noise impacts on properties in Clovis due to changes in flight patterns or airport expansion.

Policy 3.11 Airport land use compatibility. Approve land uses in a manner that is consistent with the Fresno Yosemite International Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan.

Policy 3.12 Truck traffic. Plan and maintain truck routes that avoid noise-sensitive land uses and areas. Encourage business delivery areas to be located away from residential properties and to mitigate associated noise impacts. 

Policy 3.13 Small aircraft and helicopters. Minimize the noise impact of small aircraft and helicopters on residential neighborhoods. 

Policy 3.14 Control sound at the source. Prioritize using noise mitigation measures to control sound at the source before buffers, soundwalls, and other perimeter measures.

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