Those planning to rebuild their homes that were lost or damaged in the November 2018 Woolsey Fire have been given an extended deadline to begin the permitting process without incurring city planning fees.
On Monday, June 22, city council voted to enact a six-month extension on fee waivers to residents seeking to rebuild primary residences lost in the blaze, which destroyed 471 homes in the city. The waiver was specifically designed for those being rebuilt as “like-for-like” or “like-for-like-plus-10-percent”—in other words, homes that were being built to be about the same size as the home that burned in the fire. The fee waiver was expected to save homeowners $10,000 or more, covering city planning and building permit fees.
The fee waivers are estimated to cost the city a total of nearly $6 million in lost income.
“Despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the city was able to use a combination of cost cutting, using staff rather than consultants, and applying a large portion of the city’s Woolsey Fire settlement from Southern California Edison (SCE) to cover the cost,” a statement from city spokespeople described. “Council extended the fee waivers in response to concerns from homeowners whose efforts to rebuild and meet the fee waiver deadlines have been hindered by ongoing insurance claims, the COVID-19 pandemic and other circumstances beyond their control.”
The fee waiver deadline is now Dec. 30, 2020.