2019 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
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
 
 
February 15, 2019                                     
 
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 2019, 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, 2019. If compliance is not complete by April 30, 2019, 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 2019 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, 2019
 
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, 2019 through June 30, 2019
 

NO BRUSH CLEARANCE INITIAL INSPECTION FEE IF COMPLIANT BY APRIL 30, 2019

 
THE FEE SCHEDULE FOR NONCOMPLIANCE IS AS FOLLOWS
 
- INITIAL INSPECTION COMPLIANT (PASSED) NO FEE IS ASSESSED
- INITIAL INSPECTION (FAIL), INITIAL INSPECTION FEE IS $29
 
ALL PARCELS RECEIVING A FAILED INITIAL INSPECTION WILL RECEIVE A RE-INSPECTION
 
- COMPLIANT ON REINSPECTION (PASSED) – NO ADDITIONAL FEES ($29.00 ASSESSED FOR INITIAL ONLY)
- NON COMPLIANT RE-INSPECTION (FAIL) FEE $508
- RED TAG AND CONTRACTING ADMINISTRATIVE FEE $1312 + 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
 
 

Check The Status of Your Parcel any time after May 1, 2019 by logging onto vms3.lafd.org.  Simply enter your APN in the “Check APN Status” box. If your property has not yet been inspected, the Status Box will indicate “N/A”. 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 see "passed," in the Status box and will not receive any further correspondence from the LAFD Brush Clearance Unit.

 
To View Secured Information regarding your annual brush inspection, log onto vms3.lafd.org and GO GREEN, GO PAPERLESS register a Brush Clearance account and follow the brush status of your property through 2019. Simply use the APN and PIN located on the INDEX CARD provided. With a registered account: photos taken by the Inspector of brush hazards on your property are viewable, and having a registered account, you agree to receive all Brush Clearance Notifications (pass or fail) via email from the Los Angeles Fire Department Brush Clearance Unit.  
 
Maintaining Your Property in accordance with L.A.M.C Section 57.322 is due by April 30, 2019 and is a year-round responsibility. To assure continuous compliance, it may be necessary for you to conduct a thorough and comprehensive inspection of your property more than once a year.

 

IMPORTANT PROCEDURAL CHANGES- MUST READ

 

L. A.M.C Sec 57.305.5.2.  RESTRICTION ON USE OF CERTAIN METAL CUTTING BLADES

Use of metal cutting blades for grass or brush clearance shall be limited to those which are non-ferrous/non-sparking.

The provisions of this section shall apply when grass or brush clearance operations are being conducted in accordance with Section 57.322.1 in areas within the Very High Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) as defined in Figure 57.4908.1.1

Sec. 2 A new Section 57.305.5.2.1 is added to Article 7, Chapter V of the Los Angeles Municipal Code to read as follows:

L. A.M.C Sec 57.322.1.1.10.  ADDITIONAL BRUSH CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS

All individuals performing grass or brush clearance activities in the VHFHSZ shall adhere to the following specific requirements:

  1. Grass or brush clearance operations shall not be conducted on red flag days.
  2. Individuals engaged in grass or brush clearance operations shall not engage in any other activities during their actual clearance of grass or brush.
  3. Individuals engaged in grass or brush clearance operations shall use an appropriate extinguishing agent immediately to extinguish a fire.
  4. All fires, regardless of size, shall be reported immediately via the 9-1-1 system to the Fire Department.
  5. A class 2-A two (2) gallon water fire extinguisher, pressurized garden hose with attached nozzle (fully open), or comparable pressurized Class 2-A extinguishing device, shall be within 10 feet of any grass or brush clearance operation.
  6. Where a gasoline container is present at the site of the grass or brush clearance operation, a minimum 4A 60 BC dry chemical fire extinguisher shall be within 10 feet of the brush clearance operation.
  7. A cell phone capable of dialing 9-1-1 shall be charged and readily accessible to the grass or brush clearance operation.
  8. A safety strap shall be used at all times for any tool or appliance with hot exhaust. Hot exhaust shall not come in contact with any brush, grass, flash fuels, or other flammable material.

L.A.M.C Sec 57.322.1.1.10.1. PENALTY

   A first violation of this section shall be an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. A second and all subsequent violations of this section shall be subject to the provisions of Section 11.00 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, including prosecution as an infraction or prosecution as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, by imprisonment in the County jail for a period not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition to the aforementioned penalties, any violator convicted under this section, which resulted in a fire, may be liable for any civil cost recovery associated with the fire, as permitted by law.

For more information about Restrictions On Use Of Metal Cutting Blades, please visit www.lafd.org/brush and click on RESTRICTIONS ON METAL CUTTING BLADES.

 

Homeless Encampments Are A Public Safety Concern

 

Please call 311 or go to myla311@lacity.org to report a homeless encampment in your area. If a homeless encampment has developed on your property go to lapdonline.org/trespass for an LAPD Trespass Instruction Sheet and Trespass Arrest Authorization Form.

 

Brush Notice FAQs

Q. What procedures must I complete to ensure I am not assessed brush clearance fees?
A. Prior to May 1, 2019, 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, 2019  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, 2019 in order to be exempt from the 2019 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, 2019 and should be completed by June 30, 2019.
 
Check the status of your parcel anytime after May 1st by logging onto vms3.lafd.org. Simply enter your APN in the “Check APN Status” box. If your property has not yet been inspected, the Status Box will indicate “N/A”. If your property failed the Initial Inspection, expect to see a notice in the mail within 7-10 days. If your property passed the Initial Inspection, you will not receive any correspondence from the LAFD Brush Clearance Unit.
 
To view secured information regarding your annual brush inspection, log onto vms3.lafd.org and GO GREEN, GO PAPERLESS. Register a Brush Clearance account and follow the brush status of your property through 2019. Simply use the APN and PIN located on the INDEX CARD provided with your Owner Notification mailer. With a registered account: photos taken by the Inspector of brush hazards on your property are viewable, and having a registered account, you agree to receive all Brush Clearance Notifications (pass or fail) via email from the Los Angeles Fire Department Brush Clearance Unit (in real time).  
 
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, 2019 and should be completed with all 141,000 Initial Inspections by June 30, 2019. 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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