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Posted on: May 21, 2019

Woolsey Fire Rebuilding Progress - Debris Removal, Rebuild Permits, etc. Updated May 21, 2019

Woolsey Rebuild Progress

Updated May 21, 2019

The City has been compiling information on the progress being made on rebuilding the community after the devastating Woolsey Fire. The City is doing everything possible to help Malibu residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged in the fire to rebuild as quickly and safely as possible. The City has already passed several amendments to the Local Coastal Program and Municipal Code to facilitate temporary housing and streamline the rebuild process.

The Fire Rebuild Counter is open every day to assist residents with any questions related to rebuilding their homes, cleaning up their property, placing temporary structures, and more. An L.A. County Fire Department official is stationed at City Hall every Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM to offer specific guidance on Fire Department requirements for rebuilding. The City has hired additional professional contract staff to support the Planning, Public Works and Building Safety Department rebuilding activities.

The City held two Rebuild Workshops and Consultations on March 28 and 31 to offer assistance and resources to help residents rebuilding their home building professionals working with them. All City City departments and numerous outside agencies provided information, answered questions and had one on one consultations, and the City had special public counter hours. Videos of both workshops are available to view online: March 28, for building professionals. March 31, for homeowners.  

Fire Damage

  • 488 residential structures destroyed.
  • 100 residential structures damaged.
  • 2 commercial structures destroyed.
  • 1 commercial structures damaged.
  • 190 other structures destroyed.
  • 32 other structures damaged. 

Temporary Housing Applications

  • 31 temporary housing applications have been approved by the Planning Department.
  • 4 temporary housing permits have been issued by Building Safety.

Planning Verification Applications 

  • 97 planning verifications for in-kind replacement of structures have been approved by Planning and can be submitted for Building Safety plan check.

Administrative Plan Reviews

  • 19 administrative plan reviews have been received to replace damaged or destroyed structures.

Building Safety Plan Check

  • 25 building permits have been issued for repairs of partially burned structures.
  • 17 rebuild project applications, which required Planning Dept. approval, have been submitted to Building Safety plan check (10 of which are complete replacement of a home.) 


PERMIT TO BUILD a destroyed home

1. The first permit to rebuild a completely destroyed, complete home, was given on May 20, 2019.


Fire Debris Removal

  • 308 applications for the state-sponsored CalOES/CalRecycle fire debris removal program (Opt-In) have been received and approved.
  • 126 properties have been fully cleared of fire debris under the state-sponsored CalOES/CalRecycle program, completed soil testing and received certificates of completion.
  • 227 applications received and approved for private fire debris removal under the Local Program (Opt-Out).
  • 35 properties have been fully cleared of fire debris under the Local Program and received their certificates of completion.

Fire Rebuild Desk in City Hall

  • 20-30 people per day have been helped at the Fire Rebuild Desk in City Hall, Monday through Friday, since it was opened on November 26, 2018. On average, each planner dedicates a full day per week to the Fire Rebuild Desk.

Planning Dept. Phone, Email and In-Person Assistance

  • 1,400 combined total emails and phone calls responded to by City staff since the fire, the majority of which were fire rebuild-related requests.
    The number of calls and emails received from the Planning Department hotline at 310-456-2489, ext. 485 and the information email (mplanning@malibucity.org) has doubled since the Woolsey Fire. 
  • 10 hrs. per week - one-on-one appointments for City Planners with residents to review rebuild options have been conducted for 10 hrs. per week since November 26, 2018.

Public Records Requests

  • 600 + public records requests have been received since the Woolsey Fire, the majority of which are fire rebuild-related (records and plans needed to rebuild homes).
  • 600 public records requests have been completed.
  • 6,200 Planning Dept. records have been digitized since the Woolsey Fire, the majority of which are documents for parcels affected by the fire.
  • 4,700 Building Safety records have been digitized since the Woolsey Fire, the majority of which are documents for parcels affected by the fire. 

LA County Tax Assessor Records

Staff has collaborated with the LA County Tax Assessor Office to obtain digitized building records of parcels affected by the Woolsey Fire to provide to affected residents. These records can often be used as evidence of previously existing and permitted structures in addition to or in lieu of other planning records.

Disaster Recovery Center

City staff worked in the Disaster Recovery Center assisting residents impacted by the fire from November 17, 2018 through January 11, 2019.

Environmental Health and Geology

  • 15 hrs. per week - spent on average by each City staffer in Environmental Health and Geology providing rebuild information to residents.
  • 4 days per week - Environmental Health staff has also extended the counter hours for fire rebuild information and permit assistance to four days a week plus individual appointments.
  • 3 days per week - Geology has extended their counter hours to three days a week and offers appointments.