Storm water runoff onto adjacent property – California

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Storm water runoff onto adjacent property – California

Please I would appreciate if someone could answer my question regarding
storm water runoff onto adjacent properties. The sides of my neighbor
and my front yards merge together with the city sidewalks in front. My
neighbor is wanting to extend his driveway right up to the property line
which means that storm water runoff would fall directly onto my
property. I get conflicting answers to my question from the city-
engineering dept says this is not allowed, but planning dept says it’s
allowed without a permit and the neighbor could pour the driveway
extension himself. I am very concerned about the negative impact this
would have on my property. Are there any laws or codes that would
protect me?

Asked on October 29, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Zoning, construction permits and rules about what can be built, how, are fundamentally local, so you need to consult with a local attorney who can review municipal ordinances, speak to the building department, advise you as to what is permitted and what your options are, and take legal action if appropriate. There is a general "common law" (i.e. applicable pretty much anywhere) concept that a neighbor may not deliberately cause damage, cost, inconvenience, etc. to a neighbor for a not-otherwise-legitimate reason, but this may not help you, because the kicker is "for a not-otherwise-legitimate reason": that is, a neighbor may not build, say, a retaining wall or water control system designed to divert floor or runoff water from his property to yours; but he can generally pave his land for walkways, parking pads, driveways, etc. even if a side effect is to affect you, since the basic purpose is not to burden you, but to utilize his own property. Therefore, you best best is to see if an attorneey can find something in local code or regulations barring this.


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