On April 23, the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s proposed rules requiring road upgrades for wildfire safety were published in the California Regulatory Notice Register, triggering a comment period that ends June 22.
Here are a few highlights from the 52-page statement explaining the need for changes:
This requirement specifies that building construction is prohibited where any existing road does not meet the standards. This is necessary to provide for consistent statewide minimum standards for all development regardless of size, intensity, or type.
FireSafe regulations require existing roads to be at least 14 feet wide, and new roads to be at least 20 feet wide, collector roads are likely to meet the minimum standards. Local roads and other roads leading from a building to a collector road, on the other hand, might be as narrow as 8-10 feet wide.
As the Fire Safe Regulations’ standards for new roads are two, 20-foot wide traffic lanes (plus shoulders and striping) and the proposed standard for existing roads is a 14-foot road (with some additional mitigation measures), it is appropriate for the definition of ‘access’ to include local roads and other roads along a route to the nearest collector road. This clarifies that the existing roads that must comply with these requirements are limited to the types of roads most likely to present life safety concerns during civilian evacuation and fire apparatus access.
Maximum Lengths of New One-Way Roads: This section added the word “New” before “One-Way Road” to specify the applicability of this provision, which is necessary to ensure that future road construction conform to safe access standards, and to specify that this requirement does not apply to Existing One-way Roads.
Maximum Lengths of New Dead-end Roads: This section was revised to include use of the term “New” throughout to ensure that the standards identified here only apply to New Dead-end Roads and not Existing Dead-end Roads.
The comment period ends at the close of the public hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 22. Email comments, or comments as attachments to emails, can be sent to [email protected].
To view the 45-day Notice, Initial Statement of Reasons, and Rule Plead at bof.fire.ca.gov/regulations/proposed-rule-packages/
You can register for the public hearing at register.gotowebinar.com/register/3650384515941113867