San Mateo Law Library
City of San Mateo Municipal Code.

10.16.030 FIRE HYDRANT—OBSTRUCTING PROHIBITED.

(a) No person shall obstruct any fire hydrant in any manner.

(b) No person shall place or deposit lumber, rock, sand, debris or other substance within a minimum three foot clear space around the circumference of any fire hydrant nor within fifteen feet from the face or sides of the outlets of any hydrant on any public or private property in the City.

(c) No person shall plant or maintain shrubs, bushes, or other vegetation, or construct or maintain any fences or poles, or any other structures on any public or private property, any of which are a danger to the public health, safety or welfare within a minimum three foot clear space around the circumference of any fire hydrant nor within fifteen feet from the face or sides of the outlets of any fire hydrant.

(d) If any obstruction is maintained in violation of subsection (b) of this section, it shall be summarily removed on order of the City Manager, Chief of the Fire Department, or Chief of the Police Department.

(e) If any obstruction is maintained in violation of subsection (c) of this section, and the chief of the fire department finds that it is dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare, he or she may give notice in writing to the person maintaining such obstruction to remove it within ten days after receipt of such notice. The notice herein prescribed shall be delivered in person or transmitted by United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person maintaining such obstruction, or owning the premises, at his or her last known residence or business address.

In the event that the obstruction has not been removed to the satisfaction of the chief of the fire department within ten days after giving the notice, the chief of the fire department may forthwith cause the obstruction to be removed, provided as follows:

(1) That within ten days after giving such notice, the person maintaining the obstruction may appeal in writing to the City Council, and during the period of pendency of the appeal, and until final determination by the Council the chief of the fire department shall not remove the obstruction unless he or she determines that its continuance is hazardous;

(2) The appeal shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk;

(3) The appeal shall be set for hearing at the meeting of the Council next succeeding the receipt of notice thereof by the City Clerk, if the notice of appeal is received five or more days prior to such meeting; if the notice of appeal is received less than five days prior to such meeting, the hearing shall be set for the second succeeding regular meeting of the Council after receipt of the notice;

(4) Evidence may be submitted at the hearing in behalf of the appellant and the City, and the Council shall make finding thereon. The findings of the Council shall be final, conclusive and binding upon all parties.

(f) The use of any wrenches, other than approved fire department spanners, for the purpose of opening or shutting any fire hydrant is prohibited. No fire hydrant shall be used by any person other than a member of the fire department, a city employee, or an employee of the water company supplying water to the hydrant of the City, without first having secured a permit in writing from the fire department. The permit shall contain such conditions as may be specified by the chief of the fire department, and may restrict the permittee to the use of specified hydrants.

The chief of the fire department may also require that the applicant for such permit post a cash security or a surety bond with the City Clerk in such form and amount as the chief of the fire department shall determine, guaranteeing to save the City harmless from any and all damage which may accrue by reason of the use of any fire hydrant.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the violation of any portion hereof is a misdemeanor or infraction as charged pursuant to Chapter 1.04 and shall be punishable pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1.04.