Q: If I had a 2-bedroom septic before the fire and am rebuilding a 2 bedroom home can I use the existing septic system if it passes inspection even if its not designed to today’s code?

A: Yes, if your existing septic system is permitted for the same number of bedrooms that you’re rebuilding, and passes inspection, you can reconnect to it even if it was installed under older codes. However, your square footage is limited based on how many bedrooms your septic was approved for.

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Valerie Reddemann
Q: What causes building plans to be held up in plan check?

A: The following items can cause a delay in plan check:

Bedroom count does not match the septic size. Check the property file ahead of time to confirm the septic size and maximum square footage allowed. 

Septic systems are not being accurately shown on the site plan. Original installation maps are on file for a majority of the septic systems in town and copies can be requested at XXXXXXXX. For those systems with no installation records, contact a Town of Paradise licensed septic evaluator to camera or probe the lines for you. 

Plans that are not properly scaled. Floor plans are scaled to an architects scale (1/8”=1’, 3/16”=1’, etc) and site plans (birds eye view of the property) are scaled to an engineers scale (1”=20’[preferred], 1”=30’, 1”=40’, etc).

Truss and fire sprinkler deferrals are not being noted on the plans. If plans are being submitted without truss calculations or fire sprinkler plans note it on the cover sheet of the plan set. 

Plan sets need a cover sheet, or block, with the compete project description listed such as square footage of house, garage, covered concrete, the occupancy types (R-3, U), the code cycle the plans are drawn to, and everything else on the rebuild checklist for the cover sheet (also called a title sheet).

Fire flow forms from PID are not being submitted with the fire sprinkler plans which are used to verify the calculations. 

Not enough sets of plans are being brought in. Refer to the rebuild checklist – 3 complete sets for building plus 2 additional site plans and 1 floor plan for the sanitation division. 

The property is not zoned for the type of application being submitted. Houses can be rebuilt in residential zones, anything else will require some additional steps to rebuild as a non-conforming use and that’s a process that needs to be completed prior to building permit application.

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Lindsay Cox
Q. I am wondering if there are conditions under which the Town would be forced to unincorporate and if so, what are they?

A. From a financial perspective, there is no condition under which the Town would be forced to disincorporate. Even cities that go through bankruptcy (Stockton CA), retain their jurisdictional autonomy. The Town has secured property tax backfill for three years from the State of California, as well as the proposed settlement funds from PG&E which will allow the Town to operate through the recovery process.

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Q. What’s the most common reason for plans being kicked back?

A. The most common reason plans are kicked back in the initial review is for lacking the septic portion of the submittal. There is an application for onsite (in the building packet) that is often overlooked. Also, we recommend residents check their septic information early in the process. We have had a lot of people who had a “3 bedroom house” but the septic was only for a 2 bedroom – possibly there was an unpermitted addition at some point. If they bought the home that way, they probably don’t know the septic doesn’t allow for 3 bedrooms. Perhaps Mike could speak to the most common issues that come up in plan review.

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Q. Who is the current fire prevention inspector for the town? How does the town plan to enforce defensible space? And are there plans to hire another prevention inspector?

A. The Town’s Fire inspector is Chris Rainey. He is currently identifying and contacting properties that require weed abatement. The Town plans to follow our normal process of contacting, notifying and then citing if necessary to gain compliance. We recognize this is a big issue, and we are looking at staffing to see how many inspectors are needed for this task.

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Q: What is the latest update on trees? Where should we report trees that need removal?

A: Trees remain a top priority for the Town of Paradise. For trees in the public right of way, the Town has hired an arborist to identify trees that need to be removed. So far about 3,900 have been identified by the arborist, and they will be removed over the next 4-8 months. For trees on private property, the Town is still working with our recovery partners, Cal OES and FEMA, on a program that would help with the cost of removal. Butte County Fire Safe Council is also applying for grants that will help property owners offset the cost to remove trees on private property. As soon as these programs are confirmed, the Town will make the information about how to apply available.

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TreesValerie Reddemann
Q: What is the latest update on abatement?

A: All properties in the Town of Paradise with qualifying debris must have the debris removed for health and safety reasons. If a property owner has not turned in paperwork for either the state program or the alternative (private contractor) program, the property will go into the abatement process to remove the debris. After the property owner has been given a final opportunity to remove the debris, the debris will be removed by the Town, utilizing the state debris removal teams, at the expense of the property owner. The abatement process is generally more expensive than using either the state program or a private contractor, and we advise anyone who has not selected an option at this point to please contact Butte County at (530) 552-3155 to avoid the abatement process and select an option now.

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Q: What are the top 3 reasons a resident should attend Home Builder Expo?

A: If you are rebuilding, or even if you’re just thinking about it, the Home Builder Expo is a great place to start, and it’s free to attend! Here are three reasons to attend the expo: You will find informational booths from the Town of Paradise Building Department, Butte County, Cal OES, Paradise Irrigation District, Zone Captains and more!

Over 90 vendors will be on hand to share information about building materials and techniques, manufactures homes, modular homes, stick built homes, and concrete, and financing. Classes and educational sessions will be available on subjects like how to choose a contractor, avoiding scams, financing help etc. Enjoy local food trucks and a children’s play area.

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Q: Where can individuals/families in need of help like clothing, household goods, toiletries, food, fans, etc.

A: The best place for individuals and families to get assistance is through Help Central. They provides three ways that residents of Butte and Glenn counties can receive immediate information and support.

1- Call the 2-1-1 helpline 24 hours/day for live help

2- Text your zip code to 898211 for live help

3- Search the free public database at HelpCentral.org (211glenn.info or Butte211.org)

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Q: What is going to happen at the June 25th Meeting

A: The meeting on June 25th will be focused on the community vision for the long-term recovery. Through the visioning process that began in February and was facilitated by our planning consultant Urban Design Associates, 40 recovery projects were identified for long term recovery. Town Council will consider the plan and give direction on whether to move forward. Right now, the plan and the projects are general in nature, with details on each project to be worked out as recovery continues. These details will be presented in public and go through a public input process before any final decisions are made.

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