San Rafael Passes Wildfire Prevention and Protection Action Plan
San Rafael city council voted to approve the Wildfire Prevention and Protection Action Plan (WPPAP) at their August 3rd meeting.
San Rafael staff presented a draft WPPAP in 2019 that would serve as the framework for a safer community through 38 identified action items that included potential modifications to ordinances, collaborative efforts to conduct effective community outreach, development of multiple projects and plans such as evacuation plans and maps, and use of mechanical and other effective fuel reduction strategies conducted annually to address wildfire risk.
When Marin County voters approved Measure C, which passed in March 2020, and the created the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA), several portions of the plan’s funding, staffing, and key resources became available to accomplish the WPPAP action items.
The development of the WPPAP took place over 2019 and involved input from many community stakeholders Marin REALTORS® were invited to give input and CEO Romeo Arrieta served on the San Rafael Wildfire Advisory Committee.
One of our concerns which appeared in the original draft was a proposal that wood shake roofs would have to be replaced at the point of sale (Point 18). This requirement is not recommended in the plan that was passed by city council. Another issue of concern to REALTORS and homeowners is the recommendation that San Rafael would require removal of flammable vegetation: Juniper (Juniperus spp.), Bamboo (Bambusa spp.), Acacia (Acacia spp.), and Italian Cypress (Cupressis sempervirens). The current suggestion is to enforce a vegetation inspection fee as part of the RBR. (Point 1)
The approval of the plan does not enact policy. Any policy changes that need to be approved by council will go through the regular ordinance process of public hearing and first and second reading.
The city of San Rafael does not have a specific timeline for proposals now, but Marin REALTORS will continue to monitor the situation.