Last week the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to waive up to $5,000 in County plan review and permit fees for property owners looking to rebuild or repair structures damaged or destroyed by the recent record-setting blizzard. The waiver is available for each structure and will be funded by $500,000 of the $10 million Emergency Response Fund the Board created on March 1 to address the impacts of the storm.
“This waiver is important for the recovery of our mountain communities. As our businesses and residents rebuild, we need to ensure that we eliminate as many additional burdens as possible,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe, whose Third District bore the brunt of the blizzard.
The County’s Land Use Services Department has created a Storm Response Team focused on supporting the public in the repair and rebuilding of their structures damaged by the extreme snowstorm event. The team will expedite the plan review and permit process for impacted residents to the fullest extent possible.
The mountain communities of San Bernardino County received an unexpected amount of snowfall in a series of storms that began on February 22. Many homes, businesses, and other structures were damaged by the weight of the snow, which exceeded what they were designed to withstand. County inspectors have red-tagged 29 structures as too damaged to be inhabited and yellow-tagged 27 damaged structures, allowing for limited occupancy. These numbers are expected to continue increasing.
In addition to the rebuilding waivers, the County is operating several relief efforts for the mountain communities, including five Commodity Points of Distribution providing free food, water, and other necessary supplies to mountain residents; a donations program to channel relief from donors ranging from national corporations to individuals, a prescription delivery program, and a snow-removal reimbursement program.
The County’s mountain and valley communities are predicted to experience additional rain and possibly snow. County crews are working around the clock to prepare flood control facilities such as culverts, debris basins, and channels. Residents are advised to take precautions to protect themselves and their property.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department has requested damage reports for residential and commercial buildings that sustained structural damage from the 2023 Winter Storm. If your home or business sustained moderate to major damage, please report damages at bit.ly/3LfRmM5.
For more information on these and other programs related to the blizzard recovery effort, visit snowinfo.sbcounty.gov or call the County’s Storm Help Line at 909-387-3911.