2020 Owner Notification Mailer

BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
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DELIA IBARRA
PRESIDENT
 
ANDREW GLAZIER
VICE PRESIDENT
 
JIMMY H. HARA, M.D.
REBECCA NINBURG
JIMMIE WOODS -GRAY
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LETICIA GOMEZ
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT II
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
CALIFORNIA
City of Los Angeles Seal
ERIC GARCETTI
MAYOR
FIRE DEPARTMENT
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RALPH M. TERRAZAS
FIRE CHIEF
 
BRUSH CLEARANCE UNIT
6262 VAN NUYS BLVD. #451
VAN NUYS, CA 91401
(800) 994-4444
Phone Hours: 8:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m
www.lafd.org/brush
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 OWNER NOTIFICATION

THIS NOTICE IS INFORMATION ONLY - THIS IS NOT A BILL

AN EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY-AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER
The LAFD provides reasonable accommodations to assure equal access to its programs, services and facilities.  For more information call (800) 994-4444
 
 
March 1, 2020                                     
 
Dear Property Owner,     
The Los Angeles Fire Department provides a thorough and comprehensive brush program in order to protect lives and property for those who live and enjoy the hillside communities within the City of Los Angeles.  Section 57.322.2 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code and Ordinance No. 172449 adopted by the Los Angeles City Council and approved by the Mayor, provides the Fire Department the authority to collect a fee for inspection of properties located in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ).
 
A $29 Inspection fee has been instituted to recover the cost associated with the initial brush inspection, which is conducted by a team of Fire Inspectors during the months of May and June to identify hazards. Property owners that are not in compliance with the Brush Clearance Ordinance shall be issued a Notice of Noncompliance, and billed $29 for the inspection.  Inspection billing will begin during the month of July 2020, and must be paid by the dates specified on the bill. Failure to submit payment will result in an assessment of a 200% penalty.
 
However, the Ordinance provides an opportunity for the property owner to avoid the $29 inspection fee by maintaining their property in accordance with the provisions set forth in L.A.M.C Section 57.322, et seq. In order to avoid assessment of an inspection fee, brush clearance shall be conducted and complete compliance is required as defined in L.A.M.C Section 57.322 by April 30, 2020. If compliance is not complete by April 30, 2020, property owners are subject to the $29.00 fee if their property fails the inspection.
 
The safety of your home can be significantly increased with proper brush clearance, advanced planning, and preparation. Brush clearance is a year-round responsibility. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. For questions or concerns, please contact the Brush Clearance Unit via phone at (800) 994-4444 between the hours of 8:00 a.m and 11:00 a.m, email us at lafdbrush@lacity.org or visit our website at www.lafd.org/brush
 
Kristin M. Crowley
Fire Marshal

 

 

TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS TO EXEMPT YOUR PARCEL(S) FROM THE 2020 INSPECTION FEE ($29)

 
 
Step 1. Conduct a thorough and comprehensive inspection of your property.
 
Step 2. Remove from the property any hazardous refuse or hazardous vegetation, as defined in L.A.M.C. Section 57.322 (See page 3 for minimum requirements) by April 30, 2020
 
It is not necessary to notify the Fire Department after completing Steps 1 and 2.  The Fire Department will automatically conduct the initial inspection of your parcel(s) beginning  May 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020
 

NO BRUSH CLEARANCE INITIAL INSPECTION FEE IF COMPLIANT BY APRIL 30, 2020

 
THE FEE SCHEDULE FOR NONCOMPLIANCE IS AS FOLLOWS
- INITIAL INSPECTION (PASSED), NO INITIAL INSPECTION FEE ASSESSED
- INITIAL INSPECTION (FAIL), INITIAL INSPECTION FEE IS $29*
 
ALL PARCELS RECEIVING A FAILED INITIAL INSPECTION WILL RECEIVE A RE-INSPECTION
- RE-INSPECTION (PASS) NO RE-INSPECTION FEE ASSESSED
- RE-INSPECTION (FAIL) FEE IS $516*
- RED TAG AND CONTRACTING ADMINISTRATIVE FEE $1303* + CONTRACTOR’S PRICE IS $29*
 
PARCELS RECEIVING A FAILED RE-INSPECTION AND REMAIN IN NONCOMPLIANCE WILL BE CLEARED BY CITY CONTRACTORS.
- CONTRACTING ADMINISTRATIVE FEE IS $1303* + CONTRACTOR’S PRICE
 
Each parcel located in the VHFHSZ is subject to the $29* Initial Inspection Fee.
The Fire Department is the final authority in determining compliance.
 
To View Secured Information regarding your annual brush inspection, log onto vms3.lafd.org register a Brush Clearance account and follow the brush status of your property through 2020. Simply use the APN and PIN printed next to the name and address on the Owner Notification that was mailed to you in March. With a registered account: 1.The status of your property (Compliance or Noncompliance) can be determined, 2. If your property is found to be in noncompliance, photos taken by the Inspector of brush hazards on your property are viewable, and 3. You will receive a Noncompliance emailed notification at the time of the failed inspection.  
 
If your property failed the Initial Inspection, expect to see a notice in the mail within 7-10 days of the inspection. If your property passed the Initial Inspection you will not receive any further correspondence from the LAFD Brush Clearance Unit regarding your Annual Brush Inspection.

 

 *SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

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Brush Notice FAQs

Q. What procedures must I complete to ensure I am not assessed brush clearance fees?
A. Prior to May 1, 2020, compare your native brush and landscape vegetation with information on our website’s (vms3.lafd.org) “Clearance Requirement” tab.  If you are not able to clear your property yourself, hire a professional who can both understand the information and apply it to your property. If you need assistance securing a brush clearance contractor, visit the Brush Unit website at www.lafd.org/brush and click on ‘Brush Clearance Vendor List’. Clean your property as required prior to May 1, 2020  to ensure that you pass the Initial Inspection, avoiding potentially costly Non-Compliance fees.
 
Q. How can I check my property to ensure complete compliance?
A
.  It is the responsibility of every property owner to understand the boundaries of their entire parcel(s). If the property lines of your property are not clear, you can utilize the following websites for assistance:
 
LA County Property Assessment Information System- allows you to identify your parcel on the assessor map using your assessor parcel number (APN) or address. Property line dimensions are also included on this map. 
 
Zimas - allows you to view your parcel in a colored satellite view. The image may not be the most current but can allow you to see landmarks and how they relate to your parcel regarding property lines.
This site has other features that can be useful. For example, to check if your property is in the Zone - open the map of your parcel using your APN or address. In the left hand column, click on the blue line item labeled ‘Additional’. The row, Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone will read either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
 
The Brush Unit’s website www.lafd.org/brush is very informative and can be helpful prior to beginning the brush clearance on your parcel(s).
Satisfactorily complete your annual brush clearance by April 30, 2020 in order to be exempt from the 2020 Initial Inspection Fee of $29.
 
Q. How will I know when my property has been inspected?
A. The Brush Clearance Unit begins Initial Inspections on May 1, 2020 and should be completed by June 30, 2020.
 
Register a Brush Clearance account and follow the brush status of your property through 2020. Simply use the APN and PIN printed next to the name and address on the Owner Notification that was mailed to you in March and log onto vms3.lafd.org. With a registered account: 1.The status of your property (Compliance or Noncompliance) can be determined, 2. If your property is found to be in noncompliance, photos taken by the Inspector of brush hazards on your property are viewable, and 3. You will receive a Noncompliance emailed notification at the time of the failed inspection.
 
If your property failed the Initial Inspection, expect to see a notice in the mail within 7-10 days of the inspection. If your property passed the Initial Inspection you will not receive any further correspondence from the LAFD Brush Clearance Unit regarding your Annual Brush Inspection. Check the status of your parcel anytime after May 1st.  
 
Q. What if I cannot complete the brush clearance on my property by April 30th?
A. The Brush Clearance Unit begins Initial Inspections on May 1, 2020 and should be completed with all 141,000 Initial Inspections by June 30, 2020. It is not possible to schedule or reschedule your Initial Inspection.  Should the Brush Unit inspect and fail your parcel prior to brush clearance, you should expect to receive a notice of Non-Compliance in the mail within 7-10 days. As set forth in the notice, you will have 15 days to bring your property into compliance. Because the parcel failed the Initial Inspection, you will be assessed an Initial Inspection Fee of $29. An invoice for $29 should be mailed to you mid July- August. 
 
Q. Why am I receiving this mailer?
A
. The Los Angeles City Fire Department has the responsibility of notifying all property owners owning property in the VHFHSZ of the Brush Clearance Program. 

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