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Architectural Review Committee - Fire Mitigation/Fuels Reduction Approval Process

Your Timberline Board of Directors and the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) encourage you to help protect yourself and your property from wildfire by reducing the density of vegetation on your property on a regular basis. We provide two dates each year when your brush is chipped if placed street-side, cut ends out. These dates for 2014 are May 26 and October 13.

Since the covenants require the Architectural Review Committee to approve any modifications made to vegetation on individual properties*, the ARC has developed guidelines for fuels reduction which differ from the guidelines we use for approving landscaping projects (of which fuels reduction or modification may be a part).

While the ARC does not need to approve the specifics of your mitigation plan itself, please let the chairman know via phone or email that you will be conducting mitigation and what contractor you will use if you are using one. Please be advised that you are responsible for knowing where the boundaries of your lot are, such that you are able to stay within your property line, as you would with any improvement project. If you use a fire mitigation contractor, be sure to communicate the boundaries of your property and your concerns about unintended consequences, such as erosion, to him/her. Plan to stay at home while the work is being conducted. If you or your contractor must cross common area with equipment in order to get it to where you need it on your property, you must obtain the Board’s written approval.

 

Fuels Reduction v. Landscaping: The ARC is making the following distinction between fuels reduction for fire mitigation purposes (which doesn’t require us to see a plan) and ‘landscaping’ (which does): Fuels reduction means removal of brush and ladder fuels; reduction in density of oak and other trees; spacing of canopies; trimming up of lower branches of large trees and other efforts to lower potential heat of wildfire, keep it on the ground, and create healthy and sustainable forest vegetation. Per Wikipedia, landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including:

  1. living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly known to as gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.
  2. natural elements such as landforms, terrain shape and elevation, or bodies of water;
  3. human elements such as structures, buildings, fences or other material objects created and/or installed by humans; and
  4. abstract elements such as the weather and lighting conditions.

 

Landscaping may include fuels reduction or modification. Again, the ARC does need to review and approve landscaping plans prior to start of any landscaping project.

If you need advice on Creating Defensible Space and other Fire Mitigation issues, or need suggestions for fire mitigation professionals, please contact Mark Stiles. A number of professionals have worked in our neighborhood and you can view their work.

The ARC would appreciate your assessment of the quality of work done by the fire mitigation contractor you used when the work is completed.

 

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*Article VII. LAND USE AND NON-DWELLING DESIGN ITEMS

Section 13. Destruction or Alteration of Natural Vegetation or Topography.

There shall be no cutting of trees, bushes, or vegetation or destruction or alteration of natural topography or landmarks except as required for the construction of dwellings and normal Landscaping and as permitted by the Architectural Control Committee by the approval of plans and specifications, or as recommended by the Fire Department or Fire District having jurisdiction over the Subdivision.



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