Richard Castallo | Heated Up Over Fire Inspection Fees

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Share on facebook
Share
Share on twitter
Tweet
Share on email
Email

Re: Fire inspection fees. Has anyone noticed the increase in the price of food over the past couple of years? How about gas? Have you received a notice from your insurance company, like I did, letting me know my homeowners insurance is going up 150%? How about something as simple as drinking water? I used to pay 35 cents a gallon and in the past year it went up to 50 cents! 

Well, in case you were worried that L.A. County wasn’t getting enough of their share from all the various increases that have taken place, hold onto your wallet because here they come! 

If you haven’t received it yet, you will likely get a letter from the county Fire Department notifying you that they will be conducting “brush inspections.” This is in response to the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which was in fact devastating and certainly justifies a careful look at the areas in our community. 

Now, what exactly is included? According to a community representative from the Fire Department: A. Checking trees and dead vegetation around a home; B. Trees trimmed from roof lines; C. Grass is cut; D. Gutters clear; E. Address readable; F. Hydrants clear; G. Streets clear. 

I did an inspection of my own property using these criteria. A, B, C, E, F and G took three minutes. I did not take a ladder and climb up and look at the gutters. I’d estimate that at perhaps 10 minutes. So, 13 minutes’ work costs $151. 

Here’s the rub – this process has been going on for a few years now and our L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved the charge for this process in 2022. The first tier of inspections was a $50 charge; the second, $100; and now, the third (which includes us in Santa Clarita) is $151. Yes, you got it. The SAME process that cost $50 a couple years ago is now $151 for Santa Clarita Valley residents. AND, our elected officials are planning to continue to charge us EVERY YEAR going forward. At this rate, if they add $50 per year, just imagine how much this will cost in the next 10 years! 

If you wonder who to thank for this, just check with our representative, Supervisor Kathryn Barger. Ms. Barger actually voted in favor of these charges. The question now is, can you do anything? I have two suggestions. First, contact Ms. Barger’s office at 213-974-5555 and voice your displeasure. Second, Ms. Barger is up for election in March. Think about that and look for her on your ballot.  

Richard Castallo

Valencia

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS