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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. However, if the owner, at the time of the fire, qualified for a fee waiver, this benefit is non-transferable.
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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 information on public records, visit MalibuCity.org/PermitSearch or access printer-friendly instructions for searching OnBase.
City staff at the Rebuild Help Desk at City Hall is available to discuss your project; or view the rebuilding steps online. Staff recommends taking care of the following:
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 December 30, 2021. 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. Learn more about the fee waiver and important deadlines.
Fire rebuild applications must be submitted to the Planning Department by November 8, 2021 (three 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 five years from the date of damage or destruction. A request for an extension of time to the three-year or five-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 three- or five-year limit creates an undue hardship. Extensions may not total more than six years. Applications submitted more than three 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. Learn more about the fee waiver and important deadlines.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
If you decide to apply for an Administrative Plan Review or Coastal Development Permit (instead of PV), you must complete the Rebuild Option Acknowledgement form. Please review the Woolsey Fire Development Rebuild Options handout prior to your free consultation with the Rebuild Team.
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 new owner may take advantage of certain benefits before the deadline; see the Transfer of Ownership document for details. However, if the owner, at the time of the fire, qualified for a fee waiver, this benefit is non-transferable.
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:
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.