Can I use any remaining structural elements?
  • OWTS - Onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS), sometimes called septic systems, need to be inspected by a City-registered OWTS practitioner to verify their functionality before they can be used for either a permanent rebuild or a temporary trailer. Most of the components of an OWTS are located below ground and are typically more resistant to fire damage. Damage to an OWTS may have occurred due to high heat, exposure to flames, smoke, ash, and power outages or equipment failure. Heavy firefighting equipment and heat from fires may also damage underground OWTS components, such as fiberglass tanks, piping, and old system components. In addition, fire materials may have contaminated the contents of tanks, and the liquid and waste may need to be pumped out. A City-registered Practitioner must inspect the OWTS for signs of damage and functionality of components and submit an inspection form prior to utilization of the system. View the OWTS Post-Fire Information sheet for additional information about fire-damaged OWTS and a list of practitioners.
  • FOUNDATIONS - The re-use of other structural elements, such as existing foundations in fire-damaged buildings and structures require a feasibility review by the City's Environmental Sustainability Department. This review only considers the durability and soundness of concrete foundations, including slabs, footings, piles, and retaining walls, based on the testing data described below. Find out more information about foundation feasibility reports by viewing the Foundation Feasibility Report for Fire-Damaged Structures and Foundation Re-Use after the Woolsey Fire.
  • CHIMNEYS AND FIREPLACES - The re-use of chimneys and fireplaces still standing after the completion of the debris removal process requires the confirmation of structural stability by a structural engineer. Fireplaces and chimneys destroyed or removed may be replaced per the permit process described below however, note that all new fireplaces must be gas-burning, as state law prohibits the construction of new wood-burning fireplaces.

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1. How do I find existing permits for my destroyed or damaged structures?
2. What steps toward rebuilding can I take now?
3. How do I request a fee waiver or fee refund for a fire rebuild?
4. When is the deadline to apply to rebuild?
5. Am I able to stay on my property while I process an application to rebuild?
6. If I choose to rebuild or repair my home, what kind of permits will I need?
7. Do I need a permit to install erosion control devices for storm preparation?
8. Can I use any remaining structural elements?
9. What if I have no plans to rebuild?
10. If I sell my property, is the new owner able to take advantage of the expedited processes and exemptions?
11. What are the property rights if a Woolsey affected property is sold?
12. What if I have charred landscaping but no structural damage?
13. Am I able to install temporary fencing to secure my property?
14. What are some resources to keep informed?