Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
Show All Answers
Debris removal must occur on properties before temporary housing can be placed or new construction can start. Check your debris removal status at MalibuCity.org/Debris. While waiting for debris removal, staff recommends these steps:
City staff at the Fire Rebuild Desk at City Hall will be happy to discuss these steps in more detail.
Yes, temporary fencing may be installed to secure developed areas of the property, meaning the building pad(s) and any swimming pool or spa. No permit is required for this temporary fencing as long as it meets the parameters established for Post-Fire Temporary Fencing.
Erosion control devices help control or prevent wind- or water-induced erosion of exposed soil and debris. Normally, review and approval from the Building Safety Division is required before these devices can be installed. This will help ensure they are installed properly and do not cause further damage to the property or a neighboring property. However, if rain is expected in the upcoming 24 to 48 hours, property owners may proceed to put erosion control measures in place without obtaining a permit. For additional information, visit the Storm Preparation page on the MalibuRebuilds.org site.
To review and approve expedited rebuild applications, staff will need to determine what was legally on the property previously through the review of any available documentation. Records can come from a variety of sources, including but not limited to: previously issued coastal development permits, building permits, approved plans, tax assessor information, and aerial photographs. The City understands that some people may have lost records and plans in the fire. Staff is ready to help guide your research, help you complete any City public records request forms, and work with you on deciphering other types of documentation. A combination of sources may be used for permit research in order to establish building square footage, siting, height, number of bedrooms, and number of plumbing fixtures. For instruction on how to find or request public records, visit MalibuCity.org/PermitSearch.
Properties that have charred landscaping but no structural damage are not required to have a HazMat Clearance to remove this type of debris. Charred landscaping on these properties can be placed in green waste bins or removed by a City-permitted hauler.
Before removing any trees or Environmentally-Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA), residents must get approval from the City Biologist who is available at City Hall on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Native trees (Western Sycamore, Coast Live Oak, California Black Walnut, Toyon and Alder trees) with a trunk size more than six inches measured at a height of 4.5 feet above the ground MAY be removed without a permit if:
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 .
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.
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.
Projects must have a zoning approval, which is handled by the Planning Department, and a building permit, which is handled by the Building Safety Division of the Environmental Sustainability Department. Zoning rules primarily deal with where a structure can be placed on a site, its square footage, and its height, among other things. The building code specifies how a structure is actually constructed, such as materials and methods. The City has both zoning and building codes, so both approvals are necessary.
Those to rebuild an in-kind replacement of legally-permitted structures lost may submit a Planning Verification (PV) Application. Visit MalibuCity.org/PermitSearch for information on how to research documentation needed to verify previously existing structure(s). As of March 28, 2019, those planning to rebuild legally-permitted structures, in-kind plus 10% height, bulk, or square footage, may also submit a PV application, as long as the new area is built to development standards, below 18 feet, on slopes flatter than 3:1 or 4:1 on Point Dume, and does not encroach into setbacks. Call the Planning Department at 310-456-2489, extension 485, or emailing at email@example.com to set up a pre-submittal appointment. The application form and checklist are available at MalibuCity.org/PV.
If you wish to add more than 10%, or the new area does not conform to the standards listed above, review other options that may be available to you at MalibuRebuilds.org.
Fire rebuild applications must be submitted to the Planning Department by November 2020 (two years from the date of damage or destruction) if the applicant wishes to maintain any previously existing legal non-conformities, such as a house sited within normally required setbacks, etc., and a building permit must be diligently pursued and obtained within four years from the date of damage or destruction. A request for an extension of time to the two-year or four-year periods may be granted by the Planning Commission where it finds, based on substantial evidence, that due to unusual circumstances, strict compliance with the two- or four-year limit creates an undue hardship. Extensions may not total more than five years. Applications submitted more than two years from the date of damage or destruction may still be exempt from having to apply for a CDP; however, they may not maintain any previously existing non-conformities.
The Planning Department fee to submit a PV Application is $165. Other fees may apply in cases where discretionary requests are required for changes or additions to structures, and in the case of replacement structure that is not exempt from a coastal development permit. Review agencies and departments, as well as Building Plan Check fees, are determined on a case-by-case basis.
On June 24, 2019, the Malibu City Council adopted a resolution authorizing the waiving of City fees for rebuilding like-for-like or like-for-like plus 10% for rebuilding structures destroyed or damaged in the Woolsey Fire. The fee waiver will be offered for the period of November 8, 2018 through June 30, 2010. The fee waiver only applies to an owner that used the property as a primary residence at the time of the Woolsey Fire. If the property is sold, the new owner is not eligible for the waiving of fees.
A temporary, owner-occupied trailer or mobile home may be placed onsite if permits are obtained with certain conditions of approval. Debris clearance must be completed and a City-registered OWTS practitioner must verify that there is a functioning onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS, also known as a septic system) before permits may be issued. A Temporary Housing Brochure and Application, as well as other information, can be found at MalibuRebuilds.org.
If you choose not to rebuild your home, you still need to clear the site through the debris removal process. In addition, you may need to stabilize the site from potential mudslides or other types of erosion to prevent further damage to the property or neighboring property. Visit MalibuRebuilds.org for helpful information about Storm Preparation.
The in-kind rebuild property rights “go with the land” and, in the event of a change of ownership for a property affected by the Woolsey Fire, the new owner is able to take advantage of the expedited processes and CDP exemptions if all deadlines for submitting a rebuild application are met.