BRUSH CLEARANCE: BASIC INSPECTION PROCESS
Owner's Self Inspection
- Compare your native brush and landscape vegetation with the information on this website. If you are not able to do this yourself, hire a professional who can both understand the information and apply it to your property.
- Clean your property as required prior to May 1 each year so that you pass the first fire department inspection thus avoiding a time consuming second inspection and a costly $432 non-compliance fee.
- There is no need to call for an inspection at any time. Our computer system keeps track of all properties that are due for inspection. The appropriate inspector is notified that your property is due for inspection and/or reinspection.
- The first inspection is done by the LAFD Brush Task Force beginning the first week in May and continuing for approximately four to six weeks until all parcels in the brush zone have been inspected.
- Those parcels that are found to be in violation will be issued a notice of violation and assessed a $28 non-compliance fee.
- The homeowner or person responsible will have 15 days to comply with the notice of violation.
- Property Owners who were issued a notice of violation on the first inspection will be inspected a second time after the 15 day period.
- Owners can check the status of their property by going to vms3.lafd.org and entering their APN after May 1, 2019.
- If the property is not fully in compliance, the owner will be notified via the mail or email if registered with vms3.lafd.org. Otherwise the property will be cleared by the fire department.
- Please do not call the LAFD Brush Unit when you’re ready for this inspection. The inspection will be automatically scheduled and you will be mailed the findings of the inspection.
- The property owner will be charged for the cost of clearance, PLUS the $432* Inspection Fee, PLUS a $1304* Administrative Fee.
BRUSH CLEARANCE: DETAILED INSPECTION PROCESS
- In March, the Brush Clearance Unit inspects government owned lands and begin clearance (work is performed by a certified private contractor).
- In May, the Brush Task Force inspects all property (first Inspection) in the VHFHSZ and issues an “F-1308 Notice of Non-compliance” to each property that is not in compliance.
- If the property is not in compliance, a “Second Notice” is issued and sent to the property owner informing them and a work order is prepared for the private contractor. A "Red Card" is posted on the property which is still not in compliance informing the property owner that a Certified Private Contractor, hired by the City, will be on the property to begin work in 10 to 15 (or more) days.
- During the next two weeks, Certified Private Contractors may visit the property to view the hazard in order to estimate the work to be done and prepare their bids.
- The Brush Clearance Inspector will visit the property again to ensure that the property owner has still not cleared the property, and to take photographs documenting that a hazard still exists.
- Later that same day, private contractors will submit their bids for individual parcels of land grouped into “packages.” The contract is awarded to the lowest bidder and they are then given a period of time (normally two weeks) to complete the work described on the work order.
- Certified Private Contractors perform the work on the property according to the work order issued by the Brush Clearance Inspector. The contractor takes photos before, during and after to document the abatement of the hazardous conditions.
- After the Certified Private Contractor completes the work, the Brush Clearance Inspector is notified and makes an inspection to determine that the work was completed satisfactorily. The Brush Clearance Inspector takes photographs to document the completion of the work.
- All property owners whose property was cleared by the City through Certified Private Contractors are sent an invoice including the cost of the work performed, an administrative fee of $1304* and a non-compliance fee of $432*.
- Property Owners will also be notified by mail of Brush Clearance Appeal Hearings at which they have an opportunity to dispute the charges for the work that was completed on their property. An independent Hearing Officer appointed by the Board of Fire Commissioners conducts the Brush Clearance Appeal Hearings.
- After completion of the Brush Clearance Appeals Hearings, the Hearing Officer presents documents to the Board of Fire Commissioners detailing the arguments presented by the property owner and by the Fire Department. The Hearing Officer makes a recommendation to either grant or deny the appeal based on the evidence presented.
- The Board of Fire Commissioners reviews the Hearing Officer’s summary of each case and either approves or disapproves the recommendation of the Hearing Officer. Once the Board of Fire Commissioners has approved or disapproved the recommendations of the Hearing Officer, the recommendations will be mailed to each appellant.
- The Board of Fire Commissioners forwards a resolution to the Public Safety Committee of the City Council for review and processing of the Brush Clearance Appeal Hearings.
- The Public Safety Committee of the City Council reviews and forwards it’s findings to the full City Council. The City Council will hear arguments presented by property owners regarding their individual cases. Individual cases in which the City Council finds merit to the property owners’ arguments may be removed from the group, and the remaining cases will be forwarded to the Fire Department Accounting for invoicing.
- All invoices that are not paid will be forwarded to the Tax Assessor of the County of Los Angeles, and will be added to property taxes as a special assessment.
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