Reg. 38: A regulation providing for a wildfire hazard mitigation propram

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

REGULATION No. 38

A REGULATION PROVIDING FOR A WILDFIRE HAZARD MITIGATION PROGRAM

On this day of , 2008, at a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District, the Board of Commissioners, upon recognition of the necessity to promote and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of Holiday Island residents and property, does hereby resolve to adopt, establish, and promulgate the following regulation, the same to take effect and be given full force on _, 2008.

WHEREAS, Holiday Island is a 4,500 acre planned development situated in the mountainous Ozarks. Prior to its development, only a small portion around the lake was managed. The rest was left unmanaged and allowed to become overgrown with timber and under brush; and

WHEREAS, Holiday Island has a densely developed core, in which homes have been built sporadically throughout the development. Some of the more densely populated areas have a southwest exposure, making it a high risk of wildfires; and

WHEREAS, fighting fires in a wooded, rural residential development requires different fire suppression strategies and equipment. Relying on suppression may not be reliable because it is a minor component in determining the loss of property. More important factors are weather conditions, vegetation, structural characteristics and accessibility; and

WHEREAS, many homeowners and landowners do not or cannot adopt mitigation measures such as brush clearance. Some property owners do clear the property, but do not dispose of the brush piles; and

WHEREAS, to promote hazard mitigation, the District is involved in the FireWise program. State Forestry has trained fire personnel to identify areas that have a relatively severe risk of wildfire hazard and to prioritize those areas for systematic mitigation planning and implementation; and

WHEREAS, such systematic mitigation measures are necessary to avoid catastrophic loss to the community economically and in the quality of life; and

WHEREAS, such systematic mitigation, to the extent limits wildfire damage, also will help the community conserve its natural resources for aesthetic, environmental and stormwater management purposes.

The Code of Regulations, Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District, is hereby amended by adding Sec. 8-___, to Chapter 8. Fire Prevention and Protection, Article II. Fire Department, which such section reads as follows:

1.Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning is clearly intended:

Brush shall mean plant species that by virtue of their arrangement, chemical composition, and growth pattern provide a ready path for uncontrolled fire to spread. Species included, but not limited to Cedar, Oak, Hickory, and Pine trees less than two inches diameter at breast height (four and one-half feet above grade) are included in this definition.

Fire hazard shall mean brush or other vegetation, which by reason of their nature, location or condition may cause loss, damage, or injury to persons or property by reason of fire. Undeveloped Lots with standing brush within 30 feet or brush piles within 200 feet of an existing structure may be considered a fire hazard.

Lot, tract or parcel includes the adjacent unpaved portions of the street right-of-way, and the property owner's adjacent properties.

Remedies or corrective measures as referred to in this article, remedies or corrective measures shall include but not be limited to, removing the brush located on the property and adjacent street right-of-way, or removing the unlawful fire hazard from the property and adjacent street right-of-way.

Street shall mean any public street, road, highway, freeway, lane, path, public way or place, sidewalk, alley, court, boulevard, parkway, drive or easement now or hereafter held by the District for the purpose of public travel.

Undeveloped vacant lot shall mean any lot or parcel that does not contain a structure and/or improvement.

2.Designation of hazardous properties.

The District Manager or designee will identify undeveloped those lots, whether developed or undeveloped, determined to constitute a fire hazard. The District Manager or designee shall develop a plan for hazard mitigation for the identified area which shall include public education. The plan may include selective cutting and disposing of brush and other vegetation determined to constitute a fire hazard. The District shall notify owners of property within the identified area who have fire hazards and shall inform such owners of the action required to be taken. Such properties that contain fire hazards shall be become public nuisances provided the owners do not mitigate in accordance with Section 304, Combustible Waste Material of the International Fire Code.

3.Unlawful fire hazard.

Allowing brush to accumulate on any undeveloped lot, tract or parcel of land, whether developed or undeveloped, shall be unlawful prohibited where it is held by the District Manager or designee that land area has been declared to constitute a fire hazard as defined under Section 304, Combustible Waste Material of the International Fire Code. and is hereby prohibited and declared to be a public nuisance. It shall be the owner's responsibility to remedy the violation constituting a declared fire hazard.

4.Notice by district to owner of record of violation; requirement to remedy violation; copy of notice to owner.

If property is designated a fire hazard and a public nuisance, under Section 304, Combustible Waste Material of the International Fire Code, a notice shall be given to the owner and/or operator of the property, at their last known address as shown upon the records of the Carroll County Property Appraiser by certified mail or hand delivery of the property by certified mail or hand delivery, at their last known address as shown upon the records of the Carroll County Tax Collector. If an attempt to reach the owner and/or operator by hand delivery or certified mail by these methods is unsuccessful, the notice shall be given by physical posting of the notice on the property in the name of the property owner, as shown upon the records of the Carroll Country Property Appraiser Tax Collector, and notice shall also be posted at the District Office and sent by first class mail to the address shown by the appraiser Collector.

The notice to the owner and/or operator shall advise of the condition found to exist on the property described in said notice, and require that the owner either cause such condition to be remedied forthwith, or that the owner authorize the District to have such work done on behalf of the owner at their expense. The notice shall detail the specific remedies that are necessary to correct the violations hazard, and shall give the owner 30 calendar days from the date of the notice to remedy the violation it.

5.Failure of owner to mitigate.

If the owner of the affected property or any agent acting on behalf of the owner thereof fails to take corrective action within the time specified in the aforesaid notice, the property shall be declared a public nuisance and the District Manager, or designee, may direct the appropriate department of the District to remedy the violation by having the existing condition corrected. Alternatively, the District Manager may refer to the District's Attorney to seek an injunction to authorize appropriate mitigation of the fire hazard, including prescribed burns.

6.Collection of costs and records; secured property.

After causing the violation to be remedied, the District Manager, or designee, shall certify the expense incurred in remedying the violation, whereupon such expense, plus a charge of $100.00 to cover District administrative expenses, shall become payable within 30 days from completion of the work, after which a special assessment lien and charge will be made upon the property, which shall be payable with interest at the rate allowable by law beginning 30 days from the date of such certification is made until paid. The costs shall include all expenditures by the state division of forestry, the District or their authorized agents for labor, supplies, equipment use, contractors and services related to implementing the mitigation plan for the property and the cost of filing the lien.

Such lien shall take priority and be enforceable in the same manner as a tax lien in favor of the district, and may be satisfied at any time by payment thereof including accrued interest. Notice of such lien shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and recorded upon the public records of Carroll County, Arkansas.

If the subject property is secured by locks or otherwise, the District shall have the authority to enter such property for purposes of remedying the violative condition, and any additional costs incurred by the District in gaining access to the property or in resecuring the property after cleaning shall be considered expenses of remedying the condition.

7.Imminent fire danger.

Nothing in this article shall prevent the District from taking all action necessary to fight fires when there is imminent fire danger, including, but not limited to clearing brush from private property without notice. Nothing in this ordinance shall prevent the District from acting pursuant to the guidelines published by the National Fire Protection Association, Chapter 17 regarding extra hazardous conditions, where necessary.

8.No tree permit required; other restrictions and requirements applicable.

No permit shall be required for remedying the violations as required by this article; however, the requirements, restrictions and limitations imposed by other sections of District Code and applicable provisions of the land development code pertaining to environmental preservation, tree removal permits, change or grade, etc., shall be applicable.

Conflicts in Regulation.

Where a conflict arises between this chapter and another regulation, the more stringent requirement shall apply. The provisions of this regulation are declared separable, and if any provision shall for any reason be held illegal, or invalid, it shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the regulation.

All rules and regulations in conflict herewith following the effective date are hereby superseded. Passed and adopted by the Board of Commissioners, Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District, in regular session assembled, this day of , 2008, to be in full force and effect from and after the date indicated above.

_
Chairman, Board of Commissioners
Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District
ATTEST:_
Secretary, Board of Commissioners
Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District
First Reading:_
Second Reading:_
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