Winter Preparations High Priority for City Officials
Coronado’s temperate climate and scenic beauty make it one of the most desired locations to live in the world. However, an occasional storm may cause problems if the City is not well prepared. As a result, City officials take winter preparation very seriously each year.
Keeping storm drains clear of debris is a key component of the City’s winter preparation.
Topping the list is regular monitoring of the entire storm drain system (including curbs and gutters, catch basins, storm drain pipelines, pump stations and outfall channels). Topographically, Coronado is rather flat; rainwater collects rapidly and the storm drain system can be overwhelmed by heavy rain or when blocked by debris.
“In the event of a storm, like any emergency, the Public Services Department’s priority is to get critical City services and infrastructure back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.” said Scott Huth, Director of Public Services. “The City is best able to serve the private needs of residents by helping them prepare themselves for the winter season.”
The Public Services Department is committed to answering emergency calls from the community regarding floods, fallen branches and accidents. The City maintains a response plan for after-hours emergencies.
The City offers free sandbags for residents to protect their property during storms. Residents can contact the Public Services Department to obtain these barriers.
City officials advise residents who have underground garages or basements to make certain their water and wet well pumps are serviced and working properly prior to the rainy season, which usually lasts from December through April. This will help protect personal belongings from damage.
City officials are readily available to answer questions about how residents can protect their property and help ensure the safety of the surrounding community during a storm. For more information, please contact the Public Services Department at 619.522.7380.
Building Code Protects Residents
The City of Coronado goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of residents and protect the community’s unique village atmosphere. Adherence to zoning and building codes is an important part of this process.
The Community Development Department’s role is to make certain all building projects in the City are completed in compliance with building and zoning codes. The Building Division focuses on issues related to safety, such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical and building structure details. The Planning Division determines whether projects meet the necessary zoning and design standards.
| City building inspectors review plans for compliance with building and zoning codes.
The building code helps assure that new homes and businesses, additions or remodels are built safely for residents, employees and customers. The code also makes certain that the structural integrity of buildings is able to withstand a natural disaster. Furthermore, the code helps prevent problems that might impact neighboring buildings, such as preventing the spread of fires.
“The purpose of the City’s building code is to protect property owners,” said Tony Peña, Director of Community Development. “By administering building permits and performing regular site inspections, City officials can help ensure construction in Coronado is conducted and completed in a safe manner, thus protecting residents.”
To help residents better understand the role of the Community Development Department, which issues building permits and conducts routine inspections, a series of frequently asked questions and answers is provided below.
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Q&A with Community Development Director Tony Peña
| Community Development Director Tony Peña.
Q. What projects require a building permit?
A. A building permit is required for any structural alterations to homes or businesses, including but not limited to additions, repairs, expansions, any new buildings (excluding prefabricated sheds) and water heater replacements.
Q. How have building code requirements changed over the years?
A. State building code regulations are intended to ensure safety and protect the environment. The codes are updated as technical knowledge and experience increase regarding building safety.
Q. In addition to safety, does obtaining a building permit and having a project inspection provide any other benefits to homeowners?
A. By following proper building code procedures, residents will make certain they are protected from potential complications in the future, such as property damage. For example, in the event of a possible natural disaster, insurance companies may not cover home additions for which residents did not obtain a building permit.
Q. After a building permit has been obtained and construction begins, are there any other steps residents should take to protect the safety of their neighborhoods?
A. Construction sites are often considered an attractive nuisance, which means children may be drawn to the site for play purposes. In order to limit outside access to homes under construction, residents must fence their property.
Q. On average, how many building permits does the Community Development department administer each month?
A. Approximately 100 permits are processed each month. In addition to permits, the City’s three building inspectors perform up to 35 on-site inspections each day.
Q. Who should Coronado residents and businesses contact with questions regarding the City building code?
A. The Coronado Community Development Department is eager to help community members understand the City’s building code and construction process. For more information, please contact 619.522.7326.
Tony Peña has worked for the City of Coronado’s Community Development Department for more than 30 years. He was appointed Director of Community Development in 1983.
Prepare Now for Future Emergencies
The safety of Coronado residents is always the highest priority for City officials. This dedication is evident by the Fire Department’s ongoing efforts to provide the community with educational tools and other citywide precautionary measures, such as the City’s Emergency Siren System.
To ensure residents are prepared in the event of an emergency, the Fire Department offers local residents information on how they should prepare for a natural disaster. The first step residents should take is creating a home emergency preparedness kit.
The tools in this kit should enable residents to stay in their homes without assistance for up to 72 hours. These kits should be assembled in advance of an emergency and stored in easy-to-access locations in both homes and cars. (See graphic on the following page for a complete list of suggested kit items.)
Residents can purchase most parts of the kit at local Coronado stores. City officials advise inspecting emergency items twice a year for leakage, quality and expiration dates.
The City’s Emergency Siren System was installed in 2002 in response to citizen concerns about nuclear-powered vessels at Naval Air Station, North Island (NASNI). Coronado is the only city in San Diego County to have implemented this system for local emergency communication.
If the sirens are sounded, residents are advised to tune in to the San Diego County Emergency Alerting System on 600 KOGO AM radio for more information and instructions. Residents should not leave the City unless directed to do so by emergency radio broadcast or response personnel.
“The siren system was implemented to facilitate communication in the event of an emergency,” said Director of Fire Services Chief Kim Raddatz. “However, the City advises that residents learn how to be prepared prior to any possible event. Preparation is the key to minimizing the disastrous effects of an emergency.”
For more information on the Emergency Siren System or emergency preparedness, contact the Fire Department at 619.522.7374.
Emergency Preparedness Kit
Coronado city officials advise that residents prepare an emergency kit in advance of a possible urgent situation. Below is a list of suggested items for a home and car kit. These items should allow residents to stay in their homes without assistance for up to 72 hours. City officials remind residents to inspect emergency items twice a year for quality.
• Fire extinguisher
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Drinking water – one gallon per person
• Required medication
• Camping stove – outdoor use
• Blankets and extra clothes
• First aid kit and handbook
• Portable radio with extra batteries
• Canned food and hand can opener
• Crescent wrench for gas and water valves
• Trash bags
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