California Building Code - Chapter 7A (CRC - R327) & Fire Hazard Study

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Adoption of Chapter 7A

The Town of Portola Valley Town Council adopted an ordinance for the Town-wide application of Chapter 7A of the California Building Code, including a definition of "new building" as it relates to the requirements of Chapter 7A. The ordinance amends the Town's Building Regulations requiring the use of ignition resistant materials and construction methods. All new structures, as well as any addition, alteration, or repair to any building regardless of cause, size, or location, unless otherwise exempt, shall comply with the Materials and Construction Methods for Exterior Wildfire Exposure as specified in Chapter 7A of the 2010 California Building Code (California Residential Code R327).

Letter to Architects/Designers
FAQ's on Chapter 7A (R327)
Cal Fire Product List
Roofing Requirements for Chapter 7A (R327)
Sprinkler Requirements
Chapter 7A (R327) Conformance Checklist for Building Permit Applications
Building Materials and Design Concerns in Wildfire-Prone Areas

Fuel Hazard Study & Fire Hazard Map

Additionally, Moritz Arboricultural Consulting recently completed a Fuel Hazard Assessment Study and a Fire Hazard Map for the Town of Portola Valley.  This study provides fundamental information with respect to the types of vegetation in the town and the relative potential fire hazards posed by each type. Specific properties can be located using the Fire Hazard Map, with guidance on strategies for fuel hazard mitigation then provided in the Fuel Hazard Assessment Study. (NOTE: The Fire Hazard Map is a large pdf (256 MB) and will take several minutes to download, depending on the speed of your connection. A hard copy of the map is also available for review at Town Hall.)

Please refer to page 10 in the study for specific fire hazard mitigation strategies by fuel type. Additionally, Appendix II provides a guide on how to treat fire hazards in areas 1) within 30 feet of a structure and 2) from 30 to 100 feet of a structure.

We hope that these two documents will provide a good starting point when considering overall approaches to providing vegetation fire safety on your property.

Weed Abatement

Following are contractors that the Town of Portola Valley and the Woodside Fire Protection District have contracted with for fire management (i.e., weed whacking). This is not an inclusive list, nor does it mean that the Town is recommending these firms.

  • Dirt Works (408) 595-7742
  • TruGreen LandCare, Redwood City (650) 365-1353
  • Tru Green, San Jose (408) 321-8812
  • Tree Specialists (408) 209-9499