Here’s what he had to say:
1. Please have patience.
The City is working extremely hard to setup appropriate resources for those affected including plans for how the rebuilding process will work.
There will be a fully staffed department dedicated to Thomas Fire victims and upcoming construction needs. This should help with the over 500 requests they plan to receive from those who have lost their homes.
2. Do not remove debris from a burned down home.
The debris is most definitely toxic and harmful to come into contact with, especially if you are not a professional in this arena. The City has organizations who specialize in this type of removal and will be taking care of it.
3. Homeowner packets are forthcoming.
There will be a packet available for each property owner that will contain any plans, permits, CC&Rs (neighborhood rules and regulations), and anything else they might have on file to help in the rebuilding process.
4. Foundations may have been compromised.
In many cases homes that burned down could potentially have foundation issues. The City will be inspecting home sites and assessing the damage including soil testing before anyone breaks ground on construction.
5. We are looking at least 6 months before construction can begin.
If you are planning on rebuilding your home and seeking temporary housing it would be best to secure a place for at least a year if not 18 months to 2 years if possible. There is no definite timeline at this point and it would be better to seek a longer lease than a shorter one, especially due to the relative shortage of available homes for rent.
6. RVs might be allowed to be parked at property while being rebuilt.
As a temporary measure as many homeowners are concerned about security and don’t want to be separated from the construction process there will be an item on the City Council agenda allowing for RVs to be parked on the property during construction. Depending on the situation a neighbor could also let you park near your home if not possible at your own. If you wish to consider this and don’t have access to an RV there is a great organization called RVs Without Borders (http://rvswithoutborders.org/) that will donate RVs and travel trailers to those who have lost their home in a disaster.
7. Learn from those who have also experienced something like this.
Sonoma County has already weathered this storm and has setup a great website (https://sonomacounty.recovers.org/) that can be a great resource and a bit of a preview of what’s to come for all of us. I think it’s safe to assume, especially since in the same state, that many of the resources will cross over to us as well. Worth a look.
Please continue to say safe everyone. We are blessed to be part of such a strong, connected community with leaders who truly care about it’s citizens. Jeff is a perfect example of that.