Common engineering questions can be found here along with some answers. If you don’t find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us here.
Call the City of Madera’s Engineering Division at (559) 661-5418. We will perform a search based on the address of your property and provide you with any applicable documentation that has been provided by FEMA. In the event there is no documentation available for your address, please visit FEMA’s website directly. Please be advised that the City of Madera’s Engineering Division does not provide elevation certificates or perform land surveying for this purpose. It is the responsibility of the property owner to contract with an independent land surveyor to provide this service.
Any work or other obstruction in, over, or on any public sidewalk, street, avenue, alley, or public place in the City that requires inspection to ensure City-owned facilities have been constructed to City standards requires a permit.
Any activity that creates a liability due to obvious safety concerns of the proposed activity may also require a permit. Per Madera Municipal Code, “No person shall grade, prepare, subgrade, pave, excavate, or construct sewers, drains, curbs, gutters, driveways, sidewalks, manholes, catch-basins or similar structures or works in any street, alley, or way, which street, alley, or way is dedicated or proposed to be dedicated for public use, within the city unless and until a permit for the work has been issued by the Department in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.('61 Code, § 7-3.02) (Ord. 37 C.S., passed 12-4-62).”
Contractors performing work for compensation within the City must obtain a City of Madera Business License from the Finance Department. Per Madera Municipal Code, “Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, license taxes in the amounts prescribed in this chapter are imposed upon all business transacted or carried on in the City. It shall be unlawful for any person to commence, transact, engage in, or carry on any business in the city without first having procured a license from the city to do so, or without complying with any and all applicable regulations of this chapter and other related or relevant laws of the city. Each day any such business is carried on without a license and/or•• without such compliance shall constitute a separate violation of the provisions of this chapter for each and every day such business is so carried on. Such license, when issued, shall authorize the person obtaining the same to transact the business described therein at the particular locality within the city designated in such license during the term stated therein. (‘61 Code, § 6-1.05) (Ord. 228 N.S., passed - -).”
PLEASE NOTE: The City can’t give authorization for a property owner to use a third party’s easement based upon a letter. One of the reasons for this is that it does not give a future property owner notice that there is a structure intruding into the easement, and that the easement holder would be entitled to require the future owner to remove the intruding part of a structure or pool (thereby emptying it) in order to access the easement.
The simplest approach is to design all structures, including pools, so that they do not intrude into existing easements. If this is not an option, then property owners must contact the easement holder and enter into a special covenant for use of the easement, or the equivalent, and have it recorded against the property. If the City is also a holder the easement or has an interest in the easement, it would also need to be a signatory to the covenant. The covenant would basically state that the property owner can make special use of the easement “at risk” of having to remove the structure at the homeowner’s own expense if the easement holder needs access to the easement.
Examples of activities NOT requiring a permit from the City of Madera Engineering Division include:
Work that is not within the City Limits, work that is completely on private property, work that includes, but is not limited to, sprinkler repair or typical landscape maintenance such as mowing, trimming, etc. However, some activities may require a permit from another division within the City.
A special event can be described as any march or procession of persons or animals or vehicles, or any combination thereof, except funeral processions, over or upon any public street, sidewalk, alley, or other public place, which the march or procession does not comply with normal and usual traffic regulations or controls. Or any congregation, meeting, or gathering of persons and/or objects upon any public street, sidewalk, alley, or public place so as to obstruct the free passage or use of any such street, alley, sidewalk, or place.
An oversized load permit is issued to any load or vehicle exceeding applicable length, width, height, or weight limits as defined by Caltrans that needs to travel within the City of Madera’s City Limits. You can review the Caltrans Transportation Permits Manual by visiting their website.
Although these items are usually located within the City’s Right-of-Way, the property owner is responsible per California Streets and Highways Code Section 5610.
The property owner is responsible per California Streets and Highways Code Section 5610. All trees removed must be replaced with a tree from the City of Madera’s Street Tree List. If the tree is a hazard, or if you are cited by Code Enforcement for a diseased or dead tree, or if there are other special circumstances out of your control, you will be issued a no-fee Encroachment Permit following the standard guidelines of Encroachment Permit issuance. If you want to remove a tree for any other reason than the ones stated above, John Scarborough from Parks & Community Services must perform a pre-inspection before we can issue an Encroachment Permit. If the tree removal is approved, the permit will then be issued at the property owner’s expense following the standard guidelines of Encroachment Permit issuance.
John Scarborough can be reached by calling Parks and Community Services at (559) 661-5495.
Speeding: If traffic appears to be going too fast, please contact the Madera Police Department at (559) 675-4200. Enforcement is our primary tool at this time in dealing with unsuitable driving conditions on residential streets. Because of their potential to impair emergency services, speed bumps are not used by the City of Madera as traffic calming measures.
Stop Signs: All intersections that do not have posted stop signs have the right of way assigned by the California Vehicle code. When we receive a complaint about an intersection, we first need to determine if the intersection is under the jurisdiction of the City of Madera. Once we have determined that, the information is turned over to the Traffic Engineer, or the City Engineer. The location is investigated, studied, and checked to see if warrants are met following the guideline in the California Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The City of Madera’s past policy has not been to install stop signs at all residential streets. Those locations may be subject to installation of stop control if accident histories suggest a need or sight distance is below minimum standards.
Traffic Signals: When we receive a complaint about an intersection, we first need to determine if the intersection is under the jurisdiction of the City of Madera. Once we have determined that, the information is turned over to the Traffic Engineer, or the City Engineer. The location is investigated, studied and checked to see if warrants are met following the guidelines in the California Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. When an intersection meets warrants for signals, the location is added to a list of priority intersections to be modified. Before signals can be installed they must be assigned funding as it becomes available.
Other issues not listed: When complaints are received, the course of action varies depending on the type of complaint and if it is an issue that can be resolved by the City of Madera’s Engineering Division. Usually, the complaint is investigated using different methods ranging from accident report data studies to field visits. The best practical solution for the issue, if any, will be determined by the City Engineer. If the complaint is not an issue that can be resolved by the City of Madera’s Engineering Division, we will do our best to direct you to the proper authority that will be able to resolve your issue.