Summary: The City of Pleasant Hill is requesting funding for repairs to the hillside adjacent to Alhambra Avenue. Portions of the slope failed during the 1995 winter storms. DSR 28435 was originally prepared as Category G Permanent Restoration to repair the hillside. FEMA determined that the hillside was a natural, unimproved feature, and as such, was ineligible for permanent restoration. Additionally, the initial inspection concluded that the condition of the slope did not pose a threat to an eligible facility. FEMA upheld this determination in first appeal. The applicant asserts that the hillside is an "improved" facility due to grading of the hillside performed in response to previous slope failures, and that the resulting condition of the slope does pose a threat to the adjacent properties. The applicant is requesting Category B funding to repair the slope by grading and installing a drainage system. It is noted that this work is complete.
Should the hillside be considered an "improved" property, eligible for permanent restoration?
Does the condition of the slope pose a threat to the adjacent improved properties?
The regraded slope does not constitute an "improved" facility, such that the slope is found to be a natural feature, ineligible for permanent restoration funding. Further, the slope has been defined as previously being unstable, such that even if the slope was found to be an eligible facility, the Landslide Policy indicates that permanent stabilization would be the responsibility of the applicant.
The available documentation does not support that the condition of the slope poses an "immediate threat" to the adjacent improved public or private property. Additionally, the scope of the completed repair exceeds the level of work generally eligible for emergency work. Therefore, there is no basis for FEMA to overturn the determination of ineligibility.
Permanent restoration is only eligible for natural features if they are "improved and maintained". Grading of a slope does not constitute an improvement.
FEMA funding for natural features is limited to providing emergency protective measures if it is demonstrated that the disaster related condition of the site poses an "immediate threat" to adjacent property. In the absence of such a threat, no funding is available. Stafford Act Section 403 and 406, 44 CFR