Debris Removal Deadline Extended to February 15th
Many deadlines are swiftly approaching for victims of the Woolsey Fire to: (1) apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency grants, (2) apply to the Small Business Administration for home or business loans, (3) apply for California Disaster Unemployment Insurance, and/or (4) opt in or out of the government backed Debris Removal Program. The deadline for each of the Federal and/or State programs was recently extended to February 15th, 2019, with the exception being that the CA. Disaster Unemployment Insurance deadline is extended to March 15th, 2019. [] Woolsey Fire Victims should make sure to timely submit any of these applications if they wish to utilize the programs or obtain any disaster relief or SBA loan that they might be eligible to receive/obtain.
In light of the extra time Woolsey Fire victims have to apply for these benefits, we asked Fire Litigation Specialists Robins Cloud to help us identify answers to frequently asked questions about the Debris Removal Program:
1. I have elected to opt-out of the State’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program, what application do I submit for debris removal?
Property owners who elect to opt-out of the State-sponsored Program must submit a“Los Angeles County Local Fire Debris Removal Program Application” (available at the following website: lacounty.gov/LACountyRecovers)and work plan to their local government (City or County) building official forapproval.
2. What is the Los Angeles County Local Fire Debris RemovalProgram?
The Local Program is the removal of debris from private property done by the property owner (or hired contractor) at the homeowner’s expense and must meet or exceed the program standards set by local, state, and federal agencies. State funding will not reimburse this work.
3. Where do I turn in my application and work plan?
The application and work plan can be submitted in person at the Debris Removal Operations Center, or at the local government (City or County) building official’s office. Please note February 15th, 2019 is the deadline for submitting application for the Local Fire Debris Removal Program.
4. Where is the Debris Removal Operations Centers located?
Debris Removal Operations Center is located at 26610 Agoura Road, Calabasas, CA 91302 and the County Building and Safety Field Office – Calabasas is located at 26600 Agoura Road, Suite 110 Calabasas, CA 91302
5. Can I go to any city to submit my opt-out application and work plan?
Yes. Additional locations to submit opt-out applications and get tailored support are being finalized as part of the Memorandums of Understanding being negotiated between the cities and the County.
6. Can I submit my opt-out application to The Office of Building and Safety?
Yes. Additional locations to submit opt-out applications are being finalized, for now property owners should submit applications using one of the options described above, on question no.3.
7. What department in the City or County will review my application?
Applications and workplan will be reviewed by the building official for the City or County where the property is located.
8. Who issues permits for debris removal for applicants who elect toopt-out?
The Office of Building and Safety for the City or County where the property is located.
9. Do I have to pay for permits? If so, how much do permitscost?
This will depend on the City or County where the property is located in and other factors. Please see your local building official fordetails.
10. How long does it take to receive a permit once my opt-out application is submitted?
A few days to a few weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the property and completeness of the application and workplan.
11. Does the County have a list of certified companies to remove debris?
No. The County does not endorse any companies to provide debris removal services. Owners are encouraged to visit the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board website at: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Media_Room/Disaster_Help_Center/for general information regarding contractors.
The County has prepared a list and map with the locations of the franchised waste haulers, Construction and Demolition Recycling Facilities, Inert Waste Facilities, and Municipal Solid Waste Facilities in Los Angeles County at the following website as an additional resource for property owners https://www.lacounty.gov/lacountyrecovers/debris-removal/, under Phase II – Option Two.
12. Is there an expedited permitting process to remove debris if I opt out ofthe government program?
While every effort will be made to expedite permits, each application and workplan must be reviewed for completeness. There is no guarantee that the private, opt-out debris removal will be any faster than the government-sponsored program.
13. Can the County remove cars from the property that have been destroyedby the fire? If not, who can residents call to remove the cars from theproperty?
Yes, if property owners opt-in to the government-sponsored program, damaged vehicles on the property will be removed. Property owners who opt-out will have to hire a private company to remove vehicles along with other fire debris.
14. Can burned bushes and vegetation be removed?
Yes, burned vegetation can be removed by property owners. If small enough, burned vegetation can be disposed in your regular trash, or with a call to your waste hauler as a bulkyitem.Largeritemsorvolumestoolargeforregulartrashserviceshouldbedisposed by taking the material to a certified waste disposal facility or calling a qualifiedcompany.
15. How do I know my property is clear of fire debris and I can start the rebuilding process?
After implementation of the approved work plan and final inspection by the building official, the property owner must submit a certification showing that all work has been completed as specified. The work must be completed in accordance to the program standards set forth by the City, County and State by March 15, 2019.
16. How can I access or get copies of my building permit records?
TheCounty maintains building permit records for properties located in the unincorporated area and cities where the County serves as the Building Official. You can download permit data form the Building Permit Viewer website at http://dpw.lacounty.gov/bsd/bpv. For more information please see the Permit Records Search Document or contact your local building official fordetails.
17. Can I reuse my building foundation if my structure was damaged by thefire?
Existing footings and slabs in fire damaged buildings and structures are not typically permitted to be reused due to the intense heat and fire that the foundation is exposed to. If a homeowner or contractor proposes to reuse the existing foundation, in addition to submitting a debris removal work plan, an engineering report/plan prepared by a licensed civil engineer, structural engineer, or architect. For additional information please see the Concrete Slabs and Foundation Policy for properties where the County serves as the Building Official or contact your local building official fordetails. [The Los Angeles County Department of Public Work’s Policy regarding Concrete Slabs & Foundations Damaged by the Woolsey Fire is set forth below]: