(Allen D) Development projects: emergency preparedness.
Current Text: Amended: 3/21/2023
Status: 4/13/2023-Set for hearing April 26.
Summary: Existing law, the Planning and Zoning Law, requires the legislative body of a city or county to adopt a comprehensive general plan that includes various elements, including among others, a land use element and a safety element. Existing law requires the safety element to be revised at a specified time period, or as necessary to address the risk of fire for land classified as state responsibility areas and land classified as very high fire hazard severity zones. Existing law requires the safety element to include, among other things, a set of goals, policies, and objectives for the protection of the community from the unreasonable risk of wildfire and a set of feasible implementation measures designed to carry out those goals, policies, and objectives.
This bill would require a proponent of a new development that would require the evacuation of 40 or more vehicles at any given time that is located within a state responsibility area or local responsibility area and within a high or very high fire hazard severity zone to include an evacuation plan with its application submitted to the local government for the development. The bill would subject the evacuation plan to the independent approval of the local government, as defined, the respective law enforcement and fire agencies that have jurisdictional response authority over the relevant area, and the California Highway Patrol if the proposed evacuation routing utilizes state or federal highways. The bill would require the evacuation plan to consist of specified information, including a wildfire behavior study, a traffic engineering study, and the best available routes for evacuation egress by populations within the development when threatened by wildfire. By imposing new duties on local governments in reviewing and approving developments in high and very high fire hazard severity zones, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.