February 26, 2019 – Nevada County just completed its first nuisance abatement under the Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance. The subject property posed serious fire, health and safety risks to neighboring parcels. Upon inspection, approximately 28 dead or decaying trees were located within 100 feet of neighboring habitable structures.

The local fire authority attempted to work with the property owner and provide guidance to mitigate fire risk while bringing the property into compliance with the County’s Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance. However, after over a year of frequent contact, numerous follow-up inspections, and missed deadlines, it became apparent the property owner was not willing to bring the property into compliance. Additionally, neighbors became more concerned as the property health continued to decline. The case was subsequently referred to Nevada County’s Code Compliance Division for nuisance abatement.

“Dead bark beetle trees are a big problem in our County. For the County to come out and help with this issue is huge,” said Dan Conlan, whose property neighbors the abated property. “After trying to work with this neighbor on the neglected property for 5 years, I don’t know who else this would’ve gotten this done without the County getting involved.”
The Code Compliance Division worked with a contractor to complete a nuisance abatement at the subject property. The contractor removed all dead and decaying trees within 100 feet of neighboring habitable structures, and all fallen trees, bark, and limbs from the property. The abatement and all associated costs will be recorded as a lien on the subject property.

The Board of Supervisors adopted their annual Board Objectives on February 12th, and continues to set wildfire prevention and preparedness as a top priority. County departments have been making progress on this objective over the past few years. In recent months Nevada County’s Facilities Department has made significant progress clearing hazardous vegetation on County properties; Public Works, in partnership with the Fire Safe Council, has almost completed additional hazardous vegetation removal alongside County roads such as North Bloomfield and Tyler Foote; and the Office of Emergency Services applied for a total of $15.2 million, $10.2 million in July and another $5 million in December, in wildfire prevention grant funding in 2018 that, if received, will increase wildfire preparedness and prevention efforts.

To learn more about fire prevention and defensible space requirements in Nevada County, visit Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) webpage. Residents can request a Defensible Space Inspection by filling out the online form on OES’ website. Residents with fire prevention or defensible space requirement questions are encouraged to send an email to oes@co.nevada.ca.us.