Posts in Rebuilding
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: 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: 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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Q. Can clean up be organized so that those of us waiting to rebuild can have our lots cleared first? It’s very frustrating to see neighbors that have moved away with a clear lot.

A: The Town of Paradise has provided the current building permit application list to the Disaster Recovery Operations Center (DROC) Planning and Operations Chief. Properties that have submitted building permit applications will be considered a priority when debris removal is being scheduled. The Town continues to update DROC with the list as new permits are submitted. Please note, this is not a guarantee of when your lot will be cleared. We understand things may not be moving fast enough. We hear you and are working with the DROC to speed up completion.

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Q: Where is The Town getting the information from the community that will be presented back to Town Council as the opinion of residents?

A: At the meeting on May 22nd when ideas for building code changes were discussed, project boards for each change were displayed for resident input using sticker dots. After that meeting, the project boards were moved to Town Hall where residents can give input up until the meeting on June 11th. There is also an online survey where residents can indicate their opinions on the proposed changes at

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Q: Will building codes be voted on at the June 11th Town Council meeting?

A: Yes, Town Council will vote on each of the proposed changes. Any items that are approved by Council will then begin the process for that item, which may mean more hearings, a formal ordinance drafted by staff and then a final vote. Nothing voted on at the June 11th meeting will go into effect that day. You can find out more information about the proposed changes and give your input in person at Town Hall – 5555 Skyway, or through our online survey at

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Q: Who is UDA?

A: UDA is an established planning firm located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They specialize in post-disaster recovery planning, with experience in planning post-Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Barry Long, UDA’s President and CEO is the lead on the visioning project, he has been the main presenter at public meetings on the topic of planning.

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Q: What are the responsibilities of property owners who are not able to rebuild immediately, but wish to keep their property?

A: The first responsibility of the property owner is to remove any fire debris using either the state program or the alternative program. Once the debris is removed, property owners must keep their lots free of weeds or other brush that can present a fire danger. Out-of-town property owners who are not able to take care of the brush removal themselves can hire a local service to do so. There are several local companies that can accommodate this. Now that fire season has begun, it is vital that property owners in Paradise keep weeds and brush under control.

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Q: What can I do to be on the lookout for contractor scams?

A: According to the California License Contract Board, there are many tips to making sure your contractor measures up and is working legally. For more information:

Hire only state-licensed contractors

Check a contractor’s license number online at or by calling 800.321.2752

Get at least three bids

Get three references from each bidder and review past work in person

Make sure all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you understand the terms.

Confirm that the contractor has workers compensation insurance for employees.

Avoid paying more than 10% down or $1,000 whichever is less. Avoid paying cash.

Avoid letting payments get ahead of the work.

Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project, including payments.

Avoid making the final payment until you are satisfied with the job.

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Q: Can building permits be issued without potable water?

A: Yes, building permits can be issued as long as there is water, it does not have to be potable water. However, before a certificate of occupancy can be issued (the document needed to finalize the rebuild and move in), potable water must be available to the structure. This could be water that has tested clean from Paradise Irrigation District, a water tank, or other solution.

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Q: How long with the soil sample/Certification take?

A: Once the debris removal is completed, soil samples will be taken to determine if the remaining soil is clean of contaminants. The process takes about 2 weeks to receive certification that the soil is clear. If the soil does not test clear, the property will have to be scraped again, removing several more inches of soil, and will then be tested again.

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