Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Rock retaining walls

  1. #1

    Rock retaining walls

    In our city of North Ogden, UT, we do not have an ordinance regarding the regulation of rock retaining walls. Builders and citizens are free to stack rocks and large boulders without any requirements for engineering, height limitations, stabilization, etc. Can anyone direct me to established ordinances which can provide us with some enforcement options?

  2. #2
         
    Registered
    Apr 1997
    Location
    In a Van Down By the River
    Posts
    107

    Rock Retaining Walls

    We have a set of development standards (incorporated into our zoning ordinance by reference) that address grading and retaining wall standards. Any walls under 4' are considered "landscaping." Once you hit 4' of height, we require a detailed structural plan with a P.E. stamp before a building permit may go out. This requirement came in response to a 25' retaining wall (on private property) in town that has failed 3 times in 10 years. The owners attempted to sue the town for permitting it (turns out it was done originally without a permit).

    That's about as detailed as it gets over here - hope that helps.

  3. #3

    Rock Retaining Walls

    Brent:

    Thanks for the input, I am hearing similar information from other sources.

    Jim Harris

  4. #4

    Rock Retaining Walls

    The stability of a rock retaining wall depends on the knowledge and skill of the mason or masons involved. It is notoriously difficult to calculate as more must be taken into account than its mass, that is to say its volume and weight; for instance the way each individual rock is oriented and how the assembled rocks are bonded or 'knit' together. With regard to the failed wall mentioned by Brent: twenty five feet is tall for any sort of retaining wall. I wonder if the wall was retaining or intended to retain, a cut bank or earthen fill; if the rocks were laid with or without mortar and, if the wall was mortared, were weep holes incorporated in tyhe masonry to relieve the build-up of hydrostatic pressure behind the wall? I suggest that a skillful mason and a structural engineer working in collaboration should be able to develop a definitive set of specifications for a structurally sound rock retaining wall, don't cha think?

  5. #5
         
    Registered
    Apr 1997
    Location
    In a Van Down By the River
    Posts
    107

    Rock Retaining Walls

    Why re-invent the wheel? It is much easier to require a structural stamp from a P.E. on any proposed wall (per the Uniform Building Code), that way every new wall should be structurally sound. BTW, if a 25-foot high wall that retains the slope for a residential road on both the uphill and downhill sides is not a "retaining" wall, what the hell is it?

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 2
    Last post: 30 Dec 2009, 8:10 PM
  2. Replies: 20
    Last post: 01 Oct 2008, 11:22 AM
  3. Model retaining wall ordinance
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 19 Apr 2007, 11:06 PM
  4. Rock retaining walls
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 22 Mar 2004, 10:44 PM
  5. retaining wall issues
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 02 Mar 2002, 11:29 PM