The February 4th Paradise Community Information Meeting included updates on the Hazard Tree Removal Program, the opening of the Building Resiliency Center (BRC or "brick") at 6295 Skyway, and the process for obtaining a permit for a Manufactured Home on private property in the Town of Paradise.
The next Community Information Meeting will be held Tuesday, March 3rd at 6 PM.
Greg Eaton –Town of Paradise – Update on Tree Program
The Tree Program is designed to help property owners with their requirement to remove hazardous trees damaged during the Camp Fire.
CalOES/FEMA, working with Butte County and the Town of Paradise, have designed a first-of-its-kind Tree Removal program similar to the debris removal program to remove eligible hazard trees. Because something like this has never been done following a disaster, some details are being refined as the program rolls out.
What is an eligible Hazard Tree?
Eligibility of individual trees is calculated by comparing 2X the height of tree to the distance to the nearest roadway to assess if it could fall into the roadway. If the tree is closer to the roadway than twice its height and is deemed a hazard by a certified arborist or forester, the tree must be removed. Certified arborists and/or foresters contracted by CalOES will be looking at the health of a tree to assess whether it is likely to die within the next 5 years (or is already dead), in which case it would be deemed a hazard. The determination of the CalOES-contracted experts will not be debatable.
When comparing the height of the trees to roadway distance, roadways include any public road (or public improved property such as the bike path or a park) and has now been expanded to include private roads served by NRWS (garbage service) or private roads that connect 2 public roads. With the addition of the eligible private roads identified there is only about 1 mile of private roads in Paradise that don’t fall into one of these categories.
They are working to update the public-facing map on the Butte County Recovers Tree Program Website – which also has links to forms, Frequently Asked Questions answered, and other information. The updated map should be available soon.
What Property Owners Need to Do
Property owners are required to enter either the government program (in which case they would submit a completed ROE packet) or enter the private program (in which case they would submit a completed Inspection Access Form). ROE packets and Inspection Access Forms are available via the Butte County Recovers Tree Program Website as well as at the ROE Center located at the Paradise Library (open Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM).
Cathi Grams manages the ROE Processing Center. She spoke and answered questions about enrollment. Of the property owners near public roads only about half have enrolled in either the government program or private program. Once private roads are added to the system, it will add people that are required to enroll. They are working on outreach – mailing letters and making phone calls; sometimes there is an accidental duplication but they are doing their best trying to blanket the community and connect with property owners.
The ROE Processing Center accepts enrollment paperwork (completed ROE packets for the government program or completed Inspection Access Forms for the private program) for property owners in the Town of Paradise and outside the Town in Butte County. The ROE Center is currently located at Paradise Library – they hope to move into Building Resiliency Center (BRC) at 6295 in the former Bank of America building after February.
Enrollment paperwork may be mailed in, emailed to email@example.com, or dropped off in person at the ROE Center (currently at the Paradise Library and open Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM). [I emailed my paperwork in and received a confirmation email back a few days later that it was received and appeared complete.]
They also have a call center to answer any questions you may have: (530) 552-3030.
The public-facing map with eligibility and submission status – also accessed through the Butte County Recovers website – may take about a week to process submitted paperwork and update the map, but be sure to check in if you believe you submitted paperwork and that isn't reflected on the map.
For the Town of Paradise, nearly all parcels will require enrollment in either the government or the private program – if in town and not on map, PLEASE ENROLL (property owners that don't enroll will be subject to abatement). The ROE Center will accept enrollment paperwork for any property and hold onto it if the parcel is currently not eligible – they are not turning anyone away.
If trees are removed through government program – they will take the entire tree but not other vegetative waste from the property or stumps. This now includes slash (small limbs and brush from the tree). *The removal of slash is a recent change to the scope of the work that will be performed within the government program! Previously this removal was the responsibility of the property owner - this is GREAT news!
Answers to Tree Program related questions at end of meeting
Immediate Hazards: the government program will take time to assess trees and prioritize removals for rebuilds and standing homes. If there is a tree that poses an imminent threat, the property owner should have it removed immediately. If you neighbor's tree threatens your home, you should attempt to contact them [updated mailing addresses may be obtained from the Butte County Assessor's Office Parcel Search Tool.] The government removal program is projected to take about 9 months and be completed by the end of 2020.
Financial Impact: if your insurance provided coverage for hazard tree removal and you enroll in the government program, CalOES will work to collect any remaining funds at the end of the Tree Removal program. If you spend money to remove ineligible trees or to remove stumps or any other related expenses, keep the receipts. Those expenses will be considered first, and CalOES would collect any remaining funds. Consult with your insurance adjustor about your specific coverage at the time of the Fire.
Can new property owners sign up? YES. The government program would collect available funds from an insurance policy that was effective the date of the Fire. If the property was purchased after the fire, the new property owner would be considered uninsured and government-sponsored removal of trees would be at no expense to the homeowner or any insurance policy funds.
Why are healthy trees being removed now? The government program has not begun any tree removal activities. Private removal and PG&E removals are taking place now. PG&E is trimming and/or removing trees that threaten power lines. CalOES contracted arborists will look to assess whether trees that may appear healthy now are likely to die in the next five years. Other arborists are likely doing the same type of assessments; trees may look healthy now but indicate they are likely to die in the near future and are being removed now.
Collette Curtis – Building Resiliency Center
The Building Resiliency Center (BRC or "brick") is now open at 6295 Skyway (in the former Bank of America building). It opened to the public on 1/27/2020 to support the Town Council’s goal of bringing residents home as soon as possible.
A Ribbon Cutting celebration will be held this Friday 2/7/2020 at 10 AM – thanking people that donated to make it possible: the building was donated by Bank of America, but they also received grants from other agencies including USDA, Ray Morgan, AT&T, and the Butte Strong Fund.
Resources at the BRC
Expanded Town of Paradise building department
Butte County building division
Agencies with office hours in BRC (PID, PG&E) - you can make an appointment to speak with an agency during office hours
Rebuild Advocates – the Town recognizes that rebuilding is complicated process that is new to many – a Rebuild Advocate will sit down with residents and go through the building checklist and financial resources that can make rebuilding more affordable. There are LOTS of financial resources including loans and grants. It is a free service to meet with Rebuild Advocates – you can make an appoint through BRC coordinator or walk in (Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM).
Greg Adams – Building Official, Town of Paradise – Manufactured Home Permit Process
Greg went over the Manufactured Home Building Checklist (available at the link).
First steps: ensure that debris removal is complete and the property owner has enrolled in hazard tree removal program (government or private program enrollment only is required to obtain a building permit, the removal does not need to be complete).
Septic/zoning verification (this info is needed for site plans), determine if the property is in a Special Permit Zone (typically a flood zone), in which case an elevation certificate is required in addition to the other paperwork.
The rebuild checklist lists two columns – the left column indicates the required plans required to submit a permit application (and # sets to submit) and the right column lists the general info required to file/record with the County upon conclusion of installation.
Greg next went through each of the 11 bullets in the left-hand column of the Rebuild Checklist one by one to explain a bit more:
1. Permit Application – basic information. The circled area is the trickiest for people - you'll indicate the zoning, occupancy type, and construction value cost. The Town can help you determine those things. As indicated, a manufactured home is an R-3 occupancy, U indicates a garage). Construction valuation cost = unit cost + foundation cost. For square footage, separately list square footage of house, deck, and garage (if applicable).
2. Site Plan: map that indicates the location of home, septic, and leech field on the property. Maps drawn to a 1” to 20’ scale are preferred, but they will accept others. Three sets of site map plans are required.
3. Foundation Plan (3 sets) – there is a State requirement for a permanent foundation system approved by CA – could be concrete or blocks or frame. No matter which type you choose, it must meet code and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) requirements. The Building department can answer questions.
4. Floorplan of home – they will use this to check that the bedroom count matches the septic design
5. Manufacturer’s Installation Manual – one copy, it will be present on the job site so they can make sure the home is set up correctly. The instructions show the marriage points between the pieces of the home and where the foundation points go so the pieces match up properly.
6 and 7. Snow load and WUI requirements must be met. You'll include a quote from the home's manufacturer on what has been ordered for the home to meet these requirements.
8. Grading questionnaire and Best Management Practices:
8a. For grading, there are four questions about cuts and fills for the building footprint and outside it.
8b. BMPs are best management practices for erosion and sediment control – pick the best combination of controls and housekeeping practices for your application – these are not needed to submit, but good to have on hand. The Town verify you have controls in place when they inspect.
9. Surveyor’s Certification: verify pins existing, reset missing pins, complete new survey and file with Surveyor’s Office of Butte County. This is a requirement for all builds.
10. Fire Flow from station 81 – most manufactured home builds aren’t required to have a sprinkler system if they meet the requirements on the fire flow application – determines the build meets both required distance from hydrant and flow from the hydrant. Only a few issued so far have needed sprinklers because they were too far from hydrant; most meet requirements.
11. Electronic Site Plan showing you've applied with PG&E for service. This is done at same time as the permit application to avoid any delay in getting electrical service. Building department needs the PG&E service application number prior to issuing building permit.
Forms 433A and 433B: Owner and dealer info is completed when apply for permit. These forms are recorded after final inspection with County Recorder’s office.
Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin: without this, cannot file/record with County upon final inspection. It is supplied by the manufacturer after shipping. Once you receive it, get it to building department to be recorded; they’ll get it to Butte County Recorder's Office. The timeframe from final inspection to certificate of occupancy is very short, so need to have everything ready to avoid delays in occupancy.
Previously Owned Manufactured Homes: If installing previously owned unit – additional things to deal with for Housing and Community Development (HCD), including a title search – if moving it from Butte County into Town of Paradise, you will need a tax clearance form completed as well. [There is also an ordinance that limits the age of a previously owned installation.]
Paradise Building Department
Located in the BRC (6295 Skyway)
Hours: M-F 8 AM to 5 PM – they will not accept new submissions after 4 PM.
Phone: (530) 872-6291 ext 123
Questions about Manufactured Homes from the end of the meeting
What about homes in mobile home parks like the Plantation? Parks do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Town, they fall under Housing and Community Development (HCD) jurisdiction. HCD should be contacted with questions about mobile homes in parks.
Will the Town make sure manufactured homes are not installed where there are CC&Rs? NO. CC&Rs are not governed by any local jurisdiction – the State of CA indicates that a manufactured home may be installed anywhere a stick-framed home can be installed. [Added by the author: CC&Rs stand for covenants, conditions, and restrictions - these are the private rules put in place for particular neighborhoods by a committee of property owners in that neighborhood. They can vary greatly and should be reviewed for your particular property if you think they exist and should be enforced. They should be on record with the Butte County Recorder's Office. CC&Rs are not enforced by any government agency. CC&Rs need to go through committee that oversees CC&Rs. Often those committee members were established at the time the neighborhood was first developed and may need to be re-established, but it is possible.]
Did code regarding manufactured homes change in 2020? No. Codes changed 1/1/2020 but no codes changed for manufactured homes. Requirements for foundation, setbacks, materials used, etc have not changed.
Question regarding private road repair for Jody Jones
Someone heard Jody Jones got a grant to fix private roads - is that true? No, it is not a grant. Jody and her husband as property owners filed a class action claim against PG&E for repair of private roads in Paradise. The claim is currently going through the PG&E-bankruptcy process. If the claim is successful,n money would be put into trust to be spent on repair of private roads. People in the County have filed a similar claim for private roads in County.