News Flash

Office of Emergency Services

Posted on: November 16, 2022

Provide Your Feedback: Nevada County OES Launches Survey on Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance

RNC Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance Survey - NewsFlash

The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services (OES) seeks community feedback on improving the current Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance (Nevada County Ordinance 2477). All residents, property owners, and renters of unincorporated Nevada County are encouraged to provide their input via the Nevada County Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance Survey. The Survey will be available through November 28th and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

“With over 92% of Nevada County residents living in high or very high fire hazard severity zones, wildfire continues to be one of the biggest threats to Nevada County residents,” said OES Director Craig Griesbach. “Over the past few years, OES has reviewed the current hazardous vegetation ordinance and will present potential improvements to the Board of Supervisors in December.”

Nevada County Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance

The Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance applies to all parcels and private roads in unincorporated Nevada County and requires the removal of hazardous vegetation within 100 feet of structures or along roadways that serve as primary ingress and egress. Nevada County is one of ten California counties that allows property owners to address hazardous vegetation on adjacent parcels, impacting their ability to achieve 100 feet of defensible space around their structures. However, Nevada County has received feedback that more defensible space is needed, including on unimproved parcels.

"Many homeowners have done their fair share of defensible space work yet are surrounded by overgrown vacant land,” said Scott Beesley, Chair of the Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities, a local volunteer organization that works with approximately 100 Firewise Communities in Nevada County. “This survey is an easy way to provide your feedback on which tools are needed or unnecessary."

Potential Modifications to the Current Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance

Based on early feedback before the Survey, four potential modifications have been identified:

  1. Whether to remove or keep the 50/50 cost share provision
  2. Creation of additional requirements to address fuel on open lands
  3. Fuel reduction for the entire area of parcels less than or equal to one acre
  4. Adoption of the 0-5 foot ember-resistant zone (Learn more about Zone 0)

Additional feedback from residents via the Nevada County Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance Survey will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for consideration at a December meeting.

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