CZU Rebuild Directive:
Information Sheet and FAQs
On September 14, 2021 the County Board of Supervisors directed staff to allow certain CZU rebuild projects located in areas subject to geologic hazards to obtain building permits without further geologic evaluation as is usually required under County Code Chapter 16.10. The Board direction, referred to as the CZU Rebuild Directive, outlines the projects that are eligible to be processed using the directive:
- Owner: Applicant must be the property owner who held title to the affected property as of August 16, 2020;
- Legality: Original residence must have been legal or legal-nonconforming based on demonstrated construction prior to 1986;
- Size & location: Proposed replacement structures must be “in-kind”, meaning no more than 10% larger than the original structure and in substantially the same location as the original structure, unless the footprint is re-located to a building envelope at lower risk of impact from geologic hazard.
The benefit for those choosing to have their building permits processed under the provisions of the CZU Rebuild Directive is that they do not need to submit any technical reports for County peer review to obtain Geologic Hazards Clearance, saving time and money for the applicant. Applicants acting under the CZU Rebuild Directive remain subject to the following requirements:
- Applicant must submit a geotechnical (soils) report with their building permit application that addresses the requirements of the California Building Code;
- Applicant must notarize and record a “Notice of Geologic Hazards” on the property title prior to building permit issuance.
The CZU Rebuild Directive is aimed at reducing hardship and expediting approvals for homeowners who want to reestablish what they had prior to the fire, but lack the time and/or funds to undertake further geologic investigation of their building site. Those purchasing a property in the CZU burn area or significantly modifying/expanding the preexisting development remain subject to the provisions of Santa Cruz County Code Chapter 16.10.
County staff have received many questions related to the CZU Rebuild Directive applicability and how it affects the overall rebuild permit process. A list of frequently asked questions and answers is provided below: