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It is the purpose of the development standards for Wildfire Lands to provide supplementary development regulations to underlying zones to reduce or minimize the potential impacts of wildfire on properties, the occupants of properties and the occupants of adjacent properties. These standards function to balance the need to preserve natural habitat, prevent erosion, provide for aesthetic and functional landscaping, and to facilitate access to manmade structures by firefighters in the event of a wildfire.

A. Requirements for Subdivisions, Performance Standards Developments, Site Design Review or Partitions.

1. Applicability. A Fire Prevention and Control Plan shall be required with the submission of any application for an outline plan approval of a Performance Standards development, preliminary plat of a subdivision, land partition, Commercial Site Design Review increasing a building’s footprint by 200 square feet or greater, or Residential Site Design Review for developments of three units or greater.

2. Plan Submission Requirements. The Fire Prevention and Control Plan, prepared at the same scale as the development plans, shall address the General Fuel Modification Area requirements outlined in subsection 18.3.10.100.B and include the submission materials listed below. The Staff Advisor may waive a plan submittal requirement if the Staff Advisor determines it is not reasonably necessary in order to make a decision on the application.

a. The location and dimensions of all existing and proposed structures, parking areas and driveways on the property.

b. The location, dimension, and grade of fire apparatus access roads and driveways serving all structures on the property.

c. The location and dimensions of all structures upon adjoining properties located within 30 feet of a shared property line.

d. The location of all existing and proposed fire hydrants.

e. Site contours showing two-foot intervals detailing elevation and slope.

f. A tree and vegetation management plan showing:

i. Areas where shrubs and bushes will be removed including a description of the species and size;

ii. Areas where trees will be removed to reduce interlocking tree canopies including a description of the species and diameter at breast height (DBH);

iii. New trees, shrubs and bushes to be planted including the species, location and size at maturity;

iv. Significant trees to be retained.

g. The location of and information addressing required General Fuel Modification Area setback areas as described in subsection 18.3.10.100.B.

h. A schedule and timetable for vegetation removal and thinning shall be included in the Fire Prevention and Control Plan. An exception to the implementation schedule may be granted by the Fire Code Official.

3. Approval Criteria. The hearing authority, in consultation with the Fire Code Official, shall approve the Fire Prevention and Control Plan upon demonstration of compliance with the standards required by this chapter.

a. In order to meet the purpose and standards of this chapter the hearing authority, in consultation with the Fire Code Official, may require the following through the imposition of conditions attached to the approval:

i. Delineation of areas of heavy vegetation to be thinned and a formal plan for such thinning.

ii. Clearing of sufficient vegetation to reduce fuel load.

iii. Removal of all dead and dying trees.

iv. Relocation of proposed structures and roads to reduce the risks of wildfire and improve the chances of successful fire suppression.

v. Preservation or planting a sufficient number of trees and plants for erosion prevention and enhancement of water resources.

4. Fire Prevention and Control Plan Maintenance. The property owner of a lot, or homeowners’ association for areas held in common, shall be responsible for maintaining the property in accord with the requirements of the Fire Prevention and Control Plan approved by the hearing authority.

a. Provisions for the maintenance of a required Fire Prevention and Control Plan shall be included in the covenants, conditions and restrictions for the development, or otherwise recorded in the Jackson County real property records, and the City shall be named as a beneficiary of such covenants, restrictions, and conditions.

B. Requirements for Construction of All Buildings and Decks.

1. Applicability. A “fuel modification area” is defined as an area either natural or manmade, where material capable of allowing a fire to spread unchecked has been treated, cleared or modified to slow the rate and intensity of an advancing wildfire and to create an area for fire suppression operations. Establishment of a fuel modification area does not involve stripping the ground of all native vegetation. A fuel modification area shall be required for the following construction:

a. All new buildings located on a vacant lot, that increase lot coverage by 200 square feet or greater, shall have a General Fuel Modification Area covering the full extent of the property.

b. Decks, additions to existing buildings, and detached accessory structures which increase lot coverage by 200 square feet or greater, shall have a General Fuel Modification Area extending 30 feet from the furthest extent of the addition, deck, or accessory structure, or to the property line, whichever is less.

2. General Fuel Modification Area Standards. To reduce fire spread both from and to structures on the property, and to adjoining properties, the establishment and maintenance of a fuel modification area requires the following:

a. All standing dead and dying vegetation shall be removed from the property, except when considered ecologically beneficial.

b. Newly planted vegetation within 30 feet of any building or deck shall not include species listed on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List. This setback distance shall be increased by ten feet for each ten percent increase in the average slope of the property over ten percent.

c. Within five feet of a new building, addition, or deck, existing vegetation listed on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List shall be removed, with the exceptions of significant trees as defined in part 18.6.

d. Within five feet of a new building, addition, or deck, combustible manmade and natural materials are prohibited, including but not limited to bark mulch, stored wood, and accumulation of dry leaves and needles, except when permitted as follows:

i. Combustible materials may be permitted within five feet of a structure when the Staff Advisor, in consultation with the Fire Code Official, has determined the portion of the structure adjoining the combustible material is constructed with ignition-resistant building materials sufficient to reduce the spread of fire from the combustible materials.

e. Existing trees which are identified on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List shall be maintained to provide a clearance from new structures and additions, as follows:

i. Ten feet horizontal clearance from a chimney outlet. At no time shall tree crowns or limbs extend into the vertical plane of a chimney outlet.

ii. Ten feet above the roof of a new building or addition.

iii. Ten feet from the furthest extension of a new building or addition or deck.

iv. In circumstances where pruning a tree to meet the clearance from structures requirements of subsections 18.3.10.100.B.2.e.i-iii would compromise the health and survival of existing trees, the Staff Advisor may modify those requirements, but at a minimum the trees shall be pruned to maintain a ground clearance consistent with subsection 18.3.10.100.B.2.i.

f. Canopy spacing of the outermost limbs of trees on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List shall be separated by at least ten feet at mature size.

i. Groups of trees in immediate proximity to each other may be considered as one tree canopy when approved by the Staff Advisor in consultation with the Fire Code Official.

ii. Canopy spacing requirements do not apply to significant trees, as defined in part 18.6, or trees that are not listed on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List.

g. Fire resistant trees, those not listed on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List, shall be maintained to provide clearance from structures as follows:

i. Ten feet horizontal clearance from a chimney outlet. At no time shall tree crowns or limbs extend into the vertical plane of a chimney outlet.

ii. Tree limbs shall be pruned to ensure they do not touch any part of a structure including but not limited to roofs, eaves, and decks.

h. Existing trees which are identified on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List shall be pruned to provide a ground clearance of a minimum eight feet above the ground, or one-third of the tree height, whichever is less.

i. Existing shrubs which are identified on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List shall be maintained to provide a clearance from new structures and other flammable vegetation as follows:

i. Five feet clearance from the furthest extension of a new building, addition or deck.

ii. Separation from other listed flammable shrubs within the General Fuel Modification Area shall be a minimum of two times the shrub’s height at maturity.

j. Newly planted shrubs which are identified on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List shall be:

i. A minimum of 30 feet from the furthest extension of any building, addition or deck.

ii. Separated from other listed flammable shrubs by a minimum of two times the shrub’s height at maturity.

iii. Located outside of the drip line of a tree which is listed on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List.

k. The vertical clearance between the top of understory vegetation within the drip line of a tree and the lowest tree limbs shall be at least three times the height of vegetation where either the tree or vegetation is listed on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List.

l. Where necessary for erosion control, slope stability, riparian and wetland preservation and enhancement, performing functions considered beneficial in water resource protection, or aesthetic purposes, existing vegetation may be allowed to be retained consistent with an approved Fire Prevention and Control Plan, or upon written approval of the Staff Advisor in consultation with the Fire Code Official.

m. Fuel modification in areas which are also classified as Hillside Lands or Water Resource Protection Zones shall be included in the erosion control measures outlined in section 18.3.10.090, Development Standards for Hillside Lands, and management plan for water resource protection zones in section 18.3.11.110.

n. The General Fuel Modification Area standards outlined in subsection 18.3.10.100.B.2 may be reduced or waived when approved by the Staff Advisor in consultation with the Fire Code Official, provided it is demonstrated that the fire risk has been reasonably reduced such as in cases where ignition-resistant materials and construction methods, or vegetation type and separation, function to enhance the structure’s protection from exterior wildfire exposure.

3. Roofing. Where 50 percent or more of a structure’s roof area is replaced within a five-year period, the roof covering shall be constructed or reroofed with a Class B or better roof covering.

4. Fencing. Where fencing is attached to a building or deck, the fencing shall be made of noncombustible materials within five feet of the connection to the structure in compliance with the requirements in section 18.4.4.060.

C. Implementation.

1. For lands required to comply with subsection 18.3.10.100.A that have been partitioned, subdivided or received Site Design Review, all requirements of the Fire Prevention and Control Plan shall be complied with prior to bringing combustible materials onto the property.

2. The Fire Prevention and Control Plan must be implemented during installation of public or private utilities and site improvements required of a subdivision, partition, Site Design Review or Performance Standards development, and shall be considered part of the applicant’s obligations for land development.

a. The plan shall be implemented prior to final plat approval for lots created by partitions and for subdivisions or Performance Standards developments not requiring public improvements. The Fire Code Official, or designee, shall inspect and approve the implementation of the Fire Prevention and Control Plan and provide written notice to the Staff Advisor that the plan was completed as approved by the hearing authority, or as amended in accordance with subsection 18.3.10.100.D.

b. Final inspection of requisite fuel modification areas will be conducted prior to bringing combustible materials onto the property to verify compliance with the fuel reduction standards set forth in subsection 18.3.10.100.B.

3. For construction of buildings and decks requiring a General Fuel Modification Area, the establishment of the fuel modification area provided for in subsection 18.3.10.100.B shall be completed before bringing combustible materials onto the property. Upon completion of the construction, all General Fuel Modification Area tree and shrub clearance standards shall be verified. The property owner, or subsequent property owners, shall be responsible for maintaining the property in accord with the General Fuel Modification Area standards as defined in subsection 18.3.10.100.B.2.

D. Minor Amendments. Changes to a previously approved Fire Prevention and Control Plan are subject to ministerial approval by the Staff Advisor, with written concurrence from the Fire Code Official, when it is demonstrated that the proposed amendments do not constitute an increased risk to the spread of wildfire.

1. Minor amendments to an approved Fire Prevention and Control Plan include the following:

a. A change in the implementation schedule provided within an approved Fire Prevention and Control Plan.

b. A delay in the implementation of required fuels reduction in consideration of weather conditions, and fire hazard potential, during the period of construction.

c. The retention of existing non-fire-resistant trees or shrubs, or planting of new non-fire-resistant trees or shrubs, within 30 feet of a structure.

d. A reduction of the requisite fuel modification area to address observed field conditions including preservation of riparian, wetland, and slope stabilizing vegetation.

e. A reduction of the requisite fuel modification area in recognition of the use of fire-resistant materials and construction methods that function to provide the structure with reduced exterior wildfire exposure.

f. A change in the Fire Prevention and Control Plan that results in a tree canopy separation of less than ten feet between the outermost limbs of trees which are identified on the City’s Prohibited Flammable Plant List.

g. The temporary storage of combustible materials on a property prior to completion of a Fire Prevention and Control Plan or establishment of a required fuel modification area.

h. A reduction of the spacing between the top of the understory vegetation and the lowest tree limbs not meeting the requirements of subsection 18.3.10.100.B.2.

E. Exceptions to a Fire Prevention and Control Plan and General Fuel Modification Area Standards. The approval authority may approve exceptions to the Development Standards for Wildfire Lands to meet the purpose of this chapter subject to approval through a Type I procedure for the following:

1. An action prescribed by this section that includes the removal of trees designated to be retained as part of an approved planning action.

2. A change that includes the removal of native vegetation within a Water Resources Protection Zone.

3. A change in the Fire Prevention and Control Plan not specifically listed as a minor amendment under subsection 18.3.10.100.D.1.

4. Tree removal on C-1, C-1-D, E-1, CM, M-1, HC, R-2, R-3, and NN-2 zoned properties subject to Tree Removal Permit requirements set forth in chapter 18.5.7. (Ord. 3158 § 1, replaced, 09/18/2018)

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