Wednesday, February 20. 2008
We called the weed inspector about that abatement notice and he came to look at our property yesterday (Tuesday) morning. We talked to him and showed him around and he said it looks fine. He said that if he sees something questionable he issues the abatement notice, then it is up to the landowner to call him and get it straight. He said that his notice was based on looking up the hill at our house and from that angle he could not see well enough to know if we were in violation or not.
So the lesson is that abatement notices are not unquestionable edicts from above. They can be issued in error, as was the one we received in 2006, or when there is a question, as was this one. If you get an abatement notice, don't just go out and raze everything. It is unnecessary, unhelpful, and very destructive to the land and the ecology on the land. Look what our neighbors did in response to their abatement notice. (The bad news. Click the photo to see it larger.)
If the photo looks fuzzy it's because it was pouring rain while they were working. They just ruined about half an acre of perfectly nice chaparral doing this. And after Janet spent a lot of time explaining the issues and offered to help them select which plants to cut and which to save. In the end, I guess expedience was the most important thing for them and to hell with the land and the creatures who depended upon it.
Don't cause irreparable damage to your land. You must, and should, comply with the law, but you cannot be forced to cut or clear any more than is required by law, so don't panic. If you get a weed abatement notice or brush abatement notice ordering you to clear your chaparral or other native plants, call the inspector. He's a reasonable guy. Have him come and show and discuss what needs to be done. And question him if you think he is overstepping. These guys like to use the word "clear" - I think as a convenience. But "clear" doesn't mean scrape-to-the-dirt. The law is specific about that. If he starts saying "clear", then politely confirm that he really means to manage the vegetation in conformity with the law. And if you do need to do some work, don't panic about the 30 day deadline. Deadlines can be adjusted if you are reasonable and are clearly doing the work.
Whatever you do, please don't just hire a machine to eat it all to the ground. You don't have to do that. So don't.
You are welcome to contact me if you have questions. I'm not an official or a lawyer, but I'll help if I can.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Last entry: 2014-06-27 20:50
96 entries written
16 comments have been made