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Frequently Asked Questions

Latest FAQs

A:  First, sign up for updates from PG&E to make sure you know about planned shut-offs.  You can sign up here:  https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/your-account/account-management/manage-your-account/alerts-and-notifications/update-your-contact-information.page

Charge your phone, and keep a full tank of gas, whenever possible. Have flashlights and batteries handy, as well as a battery-powered or crank radio. For more preparation tips, visit: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/outage-readiness.page

A: Any issues with squatters or trespassers should be handled by the Paradise Police Department. They can be reached at their non-emergency line (530) 872-6241 or if it an emergency at 911.

A:   Trees remain a top priority for the Town of Paradise. For trees in the public right of way, the Town has identified about 4,000 trees that 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.

A: MH Advantage is a Fannie Mae mortgage program for manufactured homes. The benefits of the program include a low down payment, lower price, and customizable finishes. MH Advantage homes have “site-built features” like lower profile foundations, garages or carports, and drywall. You can find out more information about MH Advantage on Fannie Mae’s website: https://bit.ly/2MHxLWK

A: The Town is still waiting on Cal OES and FEMA to respond to our proposal for a program to remove trees on private property. We have received some favorable indications, but details of the program have not been worked out. As soon as we have information, we will announce the program publicly along what residents need to do to participate.

A: The California Department of Insurance is charged with overseeing insurance companies in the State of California. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and his staff have been closely involved with recovery efforts since the Camp Fire. The best way to get information on current legislation or other programs related to insurance is to contact the Department of Insurance at www.insurance.ca.gov or (800) 927-4357.

A:  There about 100 properties in the Town of Paradise that have not selected the State program or alternative program for debris removal.  Town staff is making every effort to contact the property owners to have them select an option for debris removal. If the property owner takes no action, the property will be abated as a public nuisance starting on August 15th, 2019.  The abatement (removal of debris) will take place after properties that opted into the state program have had their debris removal completed.  If you have not filled out an ROE for the State program, or hired a private contractor through the alternative program, please call Butte County Environmental Health immediately at (530) 552-3155.  

A:  This is the process for fire flows for rebuilding in the Town of Paradise:

Residential Site-Built Rebuilds:

  • Applicants will submit directly to PID on PID’s own application form and pay the adopted PID fire flow fees.

Manufactured Home Installations/Replacements:

  • Applicants will submit to Fire Station 81 on the standard fire flow form and pay the adopted fire flow fees;

  • Upon completion, FD will continue to email a copy of the fire flow to the town hall staff. 

    • If fire sprinklers are required (because of flow or distance), the applicant(s) will need to make a subsequent submittal to PID for their fire flow to size the sprinklers. 

New Construction on Unaffected Vacant Lots:

Applicants will submit to both Fire Station 81 and PID on their respective application forms and pay the adopted fire flow fees to each agency.

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 (530)872-6284. 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.

A: Before the Camp Fire, the Town did not require surveys because most of development was part of existing subdivisions or individual properties in existing neighborhoods with agreed upon or prescribed property lines based on existing development. The Town now is requiring lot line certification after the fire to protect the property rights of all land owners by ensuring that building setback requirements, as adopted in the Paradise Municipal Code, are being enforced.

A: Yes! After such a great response, the organizers of the Home Builders Expo are planning to hold another event in the Fall. As soon as we have more specifics, we will let the public know.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A: Yes! Before your lot is cleared, you can submit your building permit application to the Town of Paradise. Your building permit cannot be issued, however, until your lot is cleared of debris and certified clean by the County. The permit process takes about 3 weeks, so submitting your application early can save time waiting for your plans to be reviewed.

A: Yes. Manufactured homes will be allowed in Paradise, just as they were before the fire. Manufactured homes on property (not in parks), like stick-built homes, will have to comply with local building codes. Check with the Town of Paradise Building Department for more information.

A: Mosquitos are especially bad this year, and it is largely due to the fire. With so many stagnant water sources – swimming pools, exposed septic tanks and pooled water among debris – mosquitos are a huge issue for Paradise. According to Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District (BCMVCD), there are things residents can do to help. First, address any standing water on your own property if possible. Mosquito fish can be added to swimming pools, and so can larvicides that kill mosquito larvae. Find out more information about these treatments at http://www.bcmvcd.com.

You can also contact the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District to report standing water on any property and they will come out and address it. Right now, the BCMVCD is going through Paradise addressing the standing water they find, but it is time consuming. Residents can help by reporting problem areas on their website: http://www.bcmvcd.com.

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.

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.

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.

A. Right now the recovery projects in the Recovery Plan are sorted into three tiers for priority, with the top tier being the highest priority. You can find what tier each project is in by looking at the project pages in the Recovery Plan. Town Council will also discuss priorities for the next fiscal year at the Council meeting on July 23rd 2019.

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)

A: Town staff is working with Northern Recycling and Waste Services (NRWS) on this issue. We want very much to help them reopen the green waste facility for the reasons you mentioned, understanding the cost to reopen it is currently prohibitive. We should have an update soon.

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: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/GuidesAndPublications/TenTips.pdf

Hire only state-licensed contractors

Check a contractor’s license number online at www.cslb.ca.gov 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.

A: Cal OES has told us that properties that were being assessed for environmental concerns are now moving through the process. For specific properties and timelines contact the Debris Removal Operation Center (DROC) at (530) 399-0434 or in person at 900 Fortress, suite 200 in Chico.

A: The burn period has closed in the Town of Paradise as of June 10th. A fall burn period may be designated, at the Fire Chief’s discretion.

A: Cal OES has released the following statement:

Every debris removal operation is unique and requires regular adjustments by state planning and operations teams. Due to requirements related to the protection of various endangered species and/or ecosystems, the Consolidated Debris Removal team is working alongside agencies including Cal Recycle, water boards, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and others to ensure Camp Fire debris removal operations for properties located within close proximity of a body of water pose no additional threat to these ecosystems.

As we await resolution on this matter, which is expected in the coming days, 141 debris removal crews continue to clear more than 100 properties each day – the team remains focused on the ultimate goal of conducting operations as safely and expeditiously as possible so survivors may return home.

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.

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.

A: The minimum requirements are:

  • A completed Land Surveyor’s Certification for Building Permit form to be stamped and signed by a Licensed Land Surveyor or Civil Engineer authorized to practice land surveying in the State of California. (This is available at the Towns building department or www.townofparadise.com)

  • An Exhibit plat prepared on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet showing the following:

  • The current configuration of the property as described in the current vesting deed, including all bearing and distances along the property lines.

  • Date

  • North Arrow

  • Scale

  • Assessor’s Parcel Number.

  • Rights of Way and width of right(s)s of way for all public and private roadways adjacent to property.

  • Location and description of found and set property corners.

  • Surveyor’s signature and official stamp.

A: Town staff is meeting with NRWS next week to talk about this very topic. We want very much to help them reopen the green waste facility for the reasons you mentioned, understanding the cost to reopen it is currently prohibitive. We should have an update soon.

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 www.makeitparadise.org.

A: The Town is working with about 200 property owners that have not yet chosen either the state debris removal program or the alternative program. If a property owner does not select one of the options soon, the Town will abate the property (remove the debris) and bill the property owner. While there is no set date at this time for the abatement process to begin, abatement must be completed within the next several months. A final deadline will be announced very soon.

A: Cars in the public right of way have almost all been removed, however if you know of some, please send us the location and we will have CHP take care of their removal. Cars on private property will be removed during debris removal.

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.

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.

A: The Town of Paradise will utilize Code Red, the reverse 911 system we had prior to the fire. If you are not already registered, please do so here: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BFA19C579EA5 It will be particularly challenging to alert residents during an emergency if there is no electricity. Residents are reminded to be aware of their surroundings, be prepared with a go bag and supplies, and follow the news when possible.

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.

A. Updated 8.22: There are currently 3 gas stations open right now in Paradise – the 76 Station/Skyway Mart at Skyway and Neal, the Fastrip at Skyway and Clark and American Gas Station at Skyway/Wagstaff. We are working on contacting other gas station owners to find out their plans and if there is anything the Town can do to assist them in reopening.

A: Cars in the public right of way have almost all been removed, however if you know of some, please send us the location and we will have CHP take care of their removal. Cars on private property will be removed during debris removal.

Make it Paradise Newsletter

This newsletter is designed to keep you informed of the ongoing recovery efforts as we rebuild Paradise.  Each week you will receive a newsletter with events, current numbers (building permits, etc.), current topics and a weekly Q&A.

Occasionally, we may send out an extra newsletter pertaining to an upcoming event or important information.