As recovery efforts begin, it is important to know what steps should be taken to rebuild as effectively and efficiently as possible. We are here to help you navigate through this strenuous process.
Fire Rebuild Services and Assistance
Just as significant progress has been made to restore the destruction caused by the October 2017 Tubbs firestorm and Kincaid fire of 2019, we are again faced with fire crisis in our community. Many of our friends and neighbors will face tough decisions and a long road to rebuilding their homes and properties which have been damaged or destroyed. As a local small business, we also feel significant impact from multiple disasters endured over the past three years. We maintain our commitment to the rebuilding efforts and desire to be a part of the success story of this community for the long-term.
County of Sonoma PRMD required soil testing for septic development for an onsite septic disposal system.
A Pre-Perc Site Evaluation is the formal documentation of the onsite soil conditions located on a subject parcel. This is commonly mistaken for a percolation test, or perc test. Although both are testing procedures for gathering data related to soil for use in a septic design, one is used to determine septic system type, while the other is used to determine the overall size of the proposed septic system.
County of Sonoma PRMD required testing for septic development for an onsite septic disposal system.
If you’re looking to upgrade an existing septic system or construct a new septic system, you may be required to have a Qualified Consultant perform a Wet-Weather Groundwater Determination Test in the area of the proposed septic improvements and required septic reserve area.
Water Source Considerations For Commercial Cannabis Cultivation
When you think of commercial cannabis one of the first important things to consider, is how the cannabis plants will be watered. This can be one of the most important factors to consider when beginning your commercial cannabis operation. Most cultivators may believe that they have water rights to a waterway on their property or they plan on using a natural spring that they have always used, however, this may no longer be the case. There are four types of water sources that you may consider for your cannabis cultivation project. Those four sources are municipal water, recycled water, surface water, and groundwater. Read on for details of these sources.
Building Permits for Manufactured Homes
Since the wild fires destroyed homes all over California over the past few years, there has been an increase in demand for manufactured and modular homes. These homes are occasionally a great fit for fire victims and they are affordable. Modular homes come in many shapes and sizes providing a wide range of options in both price and style for clients. Some of the other benefits include shorter build time, quality of materials and construction, and energy savings on production. Since the homes are built in a facility, the process goes much faster and there is substantially less waste associated.
Rebuilding after the 2017 Napa Fire Complex
The 2017 Napa Complex Fire also known as a the “Atlas Fire” burned about 51,000 acres. Many people lost their homes and/or businesses due to the fire. The County has taken measures to expedite processing of permits for fire victims. Fire victims are also able to apply for a fee reduction for their required permits. The County has created three review categories that range from 7 to 28 days for review time. The three categories are 7 business day/expedited, quick permit-priority processing over non-fire related permits, and standard permit-priority processing over non-fire related permits. The fee reduction is available for all fire rebuild projects including commercial and residential accessory structures.
Fire Damaged Rebuild and Permitting in the Redwood Valley County Water District
County of Mendocino hosted a Town Hall meeting on Thursday October 11th, in Redwood Valley, with the key topics of water system improvements and a planned water system replacement project. This meeting was to inform and address any questions from residents about the Redwood Valley County Water District infrastructure project specifically residents served by Redwood Valley County Water District. The project has been completely funded by state and federal disaster relief funds. The allotted funds will be used to upsize existing water lines and create loops where dead ends exist. The improvements will cover about 4-miles; with 3-miles being replacement and 1-mile of new installation. This will update current water lines by creating enough pressure and flow to support fire sprinklers which are required under the building code, Title 24. The current water infrastructure was developed prior to some of the safety requirements required under California’s new building code. The funding will cover all costs of the public right of way improvements.
Part 1 of 2 of the Cannabis Ordinance Amendments
Potential big changes may come for Cannabis Ordinances and may affect project!
The County of Sonoma proposes to amend the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance, Cannabis Health Ordinance, and Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance. These updates will be in two parts. Part 1 of the amendment is geared towards fixing neighborhood compatibility problems that have arisen since the arrival of the Cannabis Ordinance. These updates can have a large impact on your cannabis cultivation plans. Some of the proposed changes could impede some use permits, while having a beneficial impact on others.
Fire Damaged Septic regulations and permitting
Many properties damaged or destroyed in the Sonoma Complex Fire were served by septic systems. These parcels must have their septic system(s) inspected in order to connect rebuilt dwellings to the onsite sewage disposal system. The County of Sonoma is allowing for structures to be rebuilt, on Sonoma Complex Fire damaged parcels, without having to upgrade the septic system to current County of Sonoma septic standards. This means many homes served by a septic system can be rebuilt with little to no septic repairs being made. The existing septic system must meet County of Sonoma Class III septic system standards.
What septic clearance do I need to rebuild?
Properties served by septic systems must obtain clearance prior to rebuilding. The existing septic system must be inspected by a qualified professional; which includes Civil Engineers, Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), or a Contractor with an “A”, “C-36”, or “C-42” license. The qualified professional must complete the Septic System Evaluation Form for Rebuilds and Temporary Housing (Sonoma Complex Fire) Document and provide a 1”=20’ scaled Site Map depicting the septic system location. If the existing permit does not contain a map drawn to the required scale, a plan showing the system location must be produced by the Qualified Professional.
Is my system acceptable for reuse (reutilization)?
Most septic systems will be able to be reutilized as is or with minor modifications. The septic system must have a two compartment septic tank made of approved materials and a dispersal area leach field. This means properties served by cesspools and systems with no septic tank will need to be upgraded in order to rebuild dwellings on the parcel. Basic sanitary fixtures must exist or be installed. The septic system must meet County of Sonoma Class III standards.
The existing septic system must be permitted or pre-code in order to be reutilized. Systems installed without benefit of permits will not be eligible for reuse until required permits are obtained.
What if my system requires minor repairs?
The County of Sonoma is allowing many minor repairs to be performed without permits. These include system components such as riser lids, monitoring wells, valve boxes, etc. Approved repairs made without permits shall be listed on the Septic System Evaluation Form for Rebuilds and Temporary Housing (Sonoma Complex Fire) Document by the Qualified Professional.
Repairs to the dispersal area (leach field), electrical components, or other non-permit exempt portions of the septic system must have a permit obtained prior to construction. Please consult BC Engineering Group to determine if you require a permit to perform necessary septic system repairs.
Can I hook up an RV or Travel Trailer to my septic system?
Once your septic system is inspected by a Qualified Professional and deemed acceptable for reutilization, a RV or Travel Trailer can be temporarily connected to it. A permit is required to connect a RV or Travel Trailer to the existing septic system.
What if I want to add bedrooms to my new dwelling or build a new accessory dwelling unit?
In order to increase the bedroom count of the prior structure, a new septic system will likely be required. This will require the parcel to go through the standard soil testing, design, and permitting process, as required by the County of Sonoma OWTS Manual.
My house survived but my septic system was damaged by the fire, can I live in the dwelling?
All dwellings must have an approved and functioning septic system in order to be occupied. This means that regardless of the structure’s condition, the building(s) cannot be occupied until septic clearance is granted. If the dispersal area (leach field) is damaged or destroyed, but your septic tank is undamaged, or minor repairs are completed, the existing septic tank can be used as a temporary holding tank. This requires a permit to be obtained and a pumping contract to remain in effect until the dispersal area is repaired.
We Can Help!
If you’re planning to rebuild on a Sonoma Complex Fire damaged parcel, contact BC Engineering Group, we know the applicable laws and ordinances, and have been actively involved in septic policies for fire parcels as they have been developed. For more details about your septic system and septic regulations, please contact BC Engineering Group today at (707) 542-4321. Like us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our blog.