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It depends. A permit is required for the removal of a native tree, orchard tree or a tree of historical significance. To determine if a tree is protected, please see the Moraga Native Tree list (PDF), also found on the Planning Departments Applications and Important Documents page or contact the Planning Department at 925-888-7040
Pools, pool equipment and spas may be located a minimum distance of 5-feet from the side and rear property lines, with a minimum 20-foot front setback and 15-foot exterior side yard setback (MMC Section 8.70.050).
Pools and Spas require a building permit and can also require a grading permit if they involve excavation of more than 50-cubic yards or placement of the excavated soil on the project site. Pools on flat or "padded" lots may be approved by the Planning staff. If the excavated earth of the pool or spa is placed on the project site or moved to another site in Moraga, then a grading plan would be reviewed in accordance with the Town’s Grading Ordinance (MMC Chapter 14). Approval of the grading necessary to construct a pool on a hillside with a slope steeper than 20% would also require submittal of a geotechnical report and approval by the Design Review Board of a Hillside Development Permit (MMC Section 8.136.040).
The location of any sub-drains installed with the grading of the subdivision should be shown on the plans so that the pool contractor can avoid the sub-drains during excavation of the pool. An arborist’s report will be required if the pool is located within the drip line of any Native Tree over 5 inches in diameter measured three feet above the ground. Retaining walls or bond beams shall be limited to five feet in height, unless it is visible from off site, in which case it shall be no higher than three feet (Design Guidelines ID11.2).
For more information, please refer to the Town of Moraga Design Guidelines document.
Contact the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control at 925-771-6196, or visit their website.
Discussing the tree with your neighbor or homeowners association is the best way to approach the issue. Unfortunately, The Town cannot get involved if the issue cannot be solved since it is a civil matter between neighbors.
Shrubs and fences cannot exceed 3 feet in height and trees must be trimmed to the trunk below 6 feet in height to avoid sight obstructions at intersections of streets and driveways. You should consult MMC Section 8.80.010 for the required sight-distance triangle at intersections.
A building permit is required from the Contra Costa County Building Department for irrigation systems to verify that proper back flow devices have been installed and to ensure that negative pressure will not draw fertilizers into the drinking water supply. Landscaping for new homes would require irrigation controllers with rain sensors to shut them off during wet weather. Individuals installing irrigation systems should follow the water conservation guidelines promulgated by East Bay Municipal Utility District.
Generally, landscaping between the curb or edge of pavement and your front or exterior side property line does not require an encroachment permit; however, this landscaping can be removed if work is necessary by the Town or a public utility within the public right-of-way. The Town Engineering Department, at 329 Rheem Boulevard, has guidelines for landscaping within the right-of-way, such as the maximum size of boulders or rocks. Fences, retaining walls, drainage pipes and other structures are not "landscaping" and they would require an encroachment agreement from the Town.