LAGUNA BEACH, CA – On July 1, 2021, the new requirements for compliance with 2019 Assembly Bill 38 (AB 38) (click here) will go into effect for residential property sales in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone. Approximately 85% of the City of Laguna Beach is in this Zone. This is applicable for residential properties with one to four units, and that require a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement. The California Association of Realtors has created a helpful Quick Guide (click here) to Defensible Space disclosure requirements.
The Laguna Beach Fire Department (LBFD) will be conducting defensible space inspections based on received requests, beginning July 2, 2021. The inspection requirements can be found in the LBFD Policy Memorandum (click here). If significant changes to the site vegetation are necessitated because of the inspection, and the property has a Design Review Board approved landscape plan, then a revised landscape plan must be approved through the City's Administrative Design Review process prior to commencing with changes to the plantings.
Once a property is verified as meeting the requirements, the LBFD will issue a Letter of Compliance to the property owner. NOTE: The City of Laguna Beach did not adopt the area designated as a "High" Fire Hazard Severity Zone (therefore the “High” Zones cannot be inspected by LBFD; only “Very High”). Therefore, no inspections will be conducted in the High Zone and no Letter of Compliance will be issued.
To assist in determining if a property is in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, the LBFD has created a downloadable Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map (click here) depicting the Zone and all parcels in the City. To search by address or APN, please go to our web-based GIS map.
To simplify the establishment of this new process, the City will be waiving the fees for this service during the first three months. After that, the fee schedule will be revised to include this service, and the fees will need to be paid prior to scheduling an inspection.
Click here to schedule a defensible space inspection through the LBFD webpage. For more information, please contact James Brown, Fire Marshal at (949) 497-0352.