GDB assists landowner clients whose projects are located at the wildland-urban interface (WUI) with the preparation of design and technical studies demonstrating such projects can safely withstand the risks associated with wildfires in California.

While the State of California and many local entities encourage infill development, infill projects alone likely will be insufficient to address the State’s housing needs going forward. As a result, many local agencies have adopted plans that contemplate housing projects away from the urban core and within the WUI. 

Within this context, GDB works with wildfire scientists, building material specialists, biologists, and traffic consultants to help landowner applicants design projects that: (i) include the proper fuel modification zones and buffers; (ii) incorporate fire-resistant construction methods and materials; (iii) use fire-resistant plant palettes; (iv) improve fire and emergency vehicle access to the project area; and, (v) provide multiple evacuation routes for residents. The firm’s attorneys also work with consultants to prepare and defend the wildfire impacts assessments required under CEQA, and have experience coordinating with State and local fire authorities to ensure compliance with design and access objectives. 

As wildfires in California have increased in frequency and size, landowners must devise strategies for managing the risk that such fires pose to their development projects. GDB is well-positioned to assist landowners in accomplishing that task.