Paradise Town Council approves new safety standards

[view original post]

The Paradise Town Council on Tuesday unanimously approved new building standards related to defensible space.

“What we’re looking at is that these changes to this would then get us to that wildfire prepared home standard but it’s not getting us to the plus,” Town Manager Kevin Phillips said. “What we’re recommending is that as many items as we can to get to that plus we’re going to put it in there but not to that full extent.”

He said builders will be given information in their packets telling them what additional items can’t be added to build that would get the home standard plus rating.

The council approved four changes to the ordinance that will apply only to new home builds in Paradise. Phillips told the council that it wouldn’t apply to people who gain permits to build in Paradise prior to the ordinances going into effect.

“After the ordinance would go into place then it would be effective upon those builds at that point in time so any permits that have been issued or issued before this goes into effect would not be required to meet these standards,” he said.

The first change would require that only non-combustible material will be allowed within 5 feet of any building or structure. It would also outlaw any vegetation within 5 feet of the structure, including the overhang. The ordinance calls for removing any overhanging limbs or branches within 5 feet of the structure. It would also regulate all exterior walls to have a 6-inches of noncombustible vertical clearance from grade.

The ordinance change would also require all unattached accessory structures and outbuildings to be 10 feet away from the primary dwelling.

Phillips also told the council that those structures would have to be built to the wildland interface standard in order to be 10 feet from the primary dwelling.

“Something that is not built to (wildlife urban interface) standard, we are requiring that to be 30 feet away from the primary building at that point,” he said.

At that point Councilor Greg Bolin pointed out storage sheds being sold on the Ridge part up to the wildland interface standards.

The change in ordnance would also outlaw the storing of combustible materials under decks and disallow any vegetative material under the decks. The ordinance would also regulate decks or porches that are 4 feet or less above grade to be fully enclosed to reduce the accumulation of debris with the non-combustible wall material. The new ordinance would allow non-combustible, corrosion-resistant mesh material with openings not to exceed 1/8-inch may be used.

The new ordinance also outlaws any fencing material constructive combustible material anywhere within 5 feet of any structure. It also says that all fencing shall be a single line and back-to-back fencing is not permitted in which fences are nominally parallel and spaced within 3 feet apart.

This address fences between property lines where each resident has a fence between properties where combustible material can build up between the fence lines.