Today is the deadline to OPT-IN to have the Government clean up your property

 

 

We are 5 weeks from the start of the devastating Northbay wildfire and the deadline for opting in to have the Army Corps of Engineers conduct lean up services on private properties is here.  In most cases we have recommended to the people who have contacted us for help to OPT-IN for this service.  The reason for this is that the Architectural Design process will take longer than the clean up process.  It is our understanding that the clean up process is due to be complete by February 2018.

We have spent much of the last 5 weeks educating those who have lost their homes about the Architectural Design Process.  Complete Architectural Professional Services includes several design and documentation phases of work prior to the time that a permit submittal can be made.  Depending on the size of the residence or structure defined in the scope of work for any given project, the design process can very anywhere from 6 to 12 months.  With February just 3 short months away, we believe that allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to clean up your site as part of their established process will not affect the design and permitting schedule for a new residence, and will allow for the most efficient and effective process for having your site cleared of debris.

In contrast, people who choose the OPT-OUT option will have a good deal of additional coordination to manage to complete the process.  The first order of business will be to hire a General Contractor who can coordinate site analysis, inspections, demolition and clean-up, and final testing.  The first order of business is to get the initial site analysis scheduled and completed.  Next, a private inspection company must be hired to perform initial site testing.  The initial testing has been noted to range between $500 to $1,000.  Basically the inspector will remove 3 to five sample bags of soil and send them out for testing.  Once the initial testing is complete a demolition company can remove the debris from your site. The results of the initial testing will then be attached to the demolition debris so that the landfill knows what is coming into their facility.  The closest landfill will be in Vacaville, which will have significant transportation costs.  Finally, following the completion of the demolition, the original testing company must come back and test the soils again.  Of course the cost of the private clean up process will vary depending on each individual site, we understand the range of costs will start at $25,000.00.

The consideration of choosing to OPT-IN may depend on several items: 1. Individual insurance policy limits for demolition,  2. Whether your site is isolated or within a large area of impacted homes  3. The intent to leave or remove the foundation (see MKM ZFA document attached) 4. Timeliness of Army Corps demolition  5. Your trust in private verse public services.  We have also attached a 3 page PDF from Sonoma County describing wildfire debris management.

With the rains upon us this morning, we would also like to extend a warning to be careful if you and your property are on a hillside or in a sloping area.  The rains are going to create dangerous conditions as most of the vegetation, trees, and underground infrastructure that help to hold soils in place have been annihilated and/or damaged to point at which they will not stabilize the soils.  We understand the large sinkholes have already developed in areas of Fountain Grove.  We urge you to act wisely and stay safe!

Sonoma County Wildfire Debris Management

Structural Foundation Recommendations