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Debris Removal Status Maps and When Can I Rebuild?

Coffey Park debris removal status maps

Debris Removal Status Maps and When Can I Rebuild?

Mapping the progress of debris removal

Screenshot of the Debris Removal Map
Mapping Debris Removal Progress. Click to view interactive map on the sonomacountyrecovers.org website

The City and County have teamed up to provide an interactive online map displaying debris cleanup status of all the properties impacted by the fires. In addition to the map, a great deal of helpful information about debris removal requirements are provided on their website.

The map is searchable by address, and shows which properties have submitted a right of entry but are not cleared (white), which have opted for a private cleanup (ochre), which are waiting for soil sampling (blue) and which are ready for rebuilding (green).

First came the EPA

EPA cleanup sign in front of a fire damaged property
Sign in front of a property indicating they have been cleared by the EPA

Before the major ash and debris removal, the EPA came through to check for hazardous household waste.  As of December 20, the EPA had nearly completed all of this work throughout Sonoma County. This includes removal of everyday products like paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, herbicides and pesticides, which often contain hazardous ingredients. Following a fire, these products require special handling and disposal, especially if their containers are compromised.  For more information on the EPA’s work, see the agency’s fire response  webpage.

Phase II: Clearing and Soil Sampling

Once the Army Corps has completed the removal of all ash and debris, and sprayed erosion control material on the lot, then there is a soil sampling phase.  Already a week before Christmas more than half of Coffey Park’s lots had been cleared, and the Army Corps reports that their goal is to have them all done in our neighborhood by January 15, 2018.

Why isn’t mine clear yet?

Looking at the map, it seems that there is no particular order in which the lots have been cleared.  My own lot is still not clear, yet the properties on all sides of mine are all complete.  We are told that there are several factors determining the order of work, including

1. Density – the closer together the lots, the easier it is for the crews to clean more lots, faster.

2. Severity – are there critical facilities nearby, such as schools and other public needs

3. Protecting the watershed – creeks and riparian areas have been identified by specialists for prioritization

4. The date the Right of Entry form was accepted

Regardless, we can all be happy to know that the lots should all be clear in less than a month’s time for those who went with the public cleanup option.

I got the ready to build notification…now what?

Once all the debris cleanup is all done, and the soil samples come back clean, the Army Corps will notify the county that they have finished with your property.  The county will enter the data in their own information system and send you a robotic call to let you know you are cleared for rebuilding. The county will also send you a follow up notice in the mail. Once you receive that notice you are ‘ready to rebuild’, which means:

  1. You can prepare your lot with fill/grading which may be necessary to meet building site specifications. (Your selected builder/contractor might be taking care of this! You should ask!)
  2. You can consult with a professional land surveyor/engineer to get an accurate determination of where your legal property lines are. Work together with your neighbors to share the cost! Additional information may be included in your deed and in Assessor’s maps.
  3. Drainage must be verified by a civil engineer (Your selected builder might take care of this!)
  4. You can start the process of obtaining permits for your rebuild.
  5. Weather must cooperate!  Can’t rebuild in pouring rain!

For more information on Debris Removal visit https://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/debris-removal/

posted 12-27-2017 by Pamela Van Halsema