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Recover and Rebuild


Our condolences to those in our community who have lost their homes due to the CZU Complex lightening fires. We understand your desire to move forward with rebuilding efforts as quickly as possible. We are committed to building an expedited and streamlined process, to ensure that our community can rebuild as quickly as possible. We will be posting more information here as we receive updated information about the areas affected by the fire and expedited processes are developed.

Rebuilding – Next Steps

Assessments regarding basic infrastructure and property status need to be made before you can begin planning for rebuilding. County staff, in coordination with Cal Fire, are assessing public and private infrastructure. Please be aware that because we are still fighting the fire, all assessment work must be carefully coordinated so as not to interfere with fire-fighting efforts. We are working hard to assess properties as quickly as possible. Please refer to the Damage Assessment Map for preliminary information.

Following assessment of property damages, the next steps in the process will generally be as follows:

  1. Once your property has been assessed for damages, the next step in the process is for you to file a claim with your insurance company. In addition, because Santa Cruz County has been identified as one of the counties most effected by the recent fires, a Presidential Major Declaration was recently approved, which allows property owners to apply for financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Please review the attached FEMA Claims Information Sheet on additional information regarding filing a FEMA claim. There are deadlines involved so it is best to file as soon as possible.
  2. If you are considering temporary housing in an RV or other temporary accommodation either on or off site of your property while you rebuild, click here for information. An application form for a temporary housing permit is found here.
  3. File a Calamity Application with the Assessor’s Office. Through this process Assessor’s Office staff will initiate re-assessment of your property, which includes enable them to share property record information with you. Please go to the Assessor’s Office website at: for the application and more information.
  4. Obtain Building Permit records, including archived project plans, by emailing the Records Room staff at: with the following in the email title “Fire Records Request” to allow for expedited processing. These records are required for staff to determine next steps in the permitting process.
  5. Obtain Environmental Clearance for debris removal from the site (more information to follow).
  6. Permit application, submission, and review. Most single-family residential projects will require a Building Permit only; however, some locations or projects may need a discretionary development permit, environmental resource permit, or other special exception or consideration (more information to follow).
  7. Construction and inspection

More Information

For more information about records research and permitting, please email our dedicated Fire Rebuild Team

For more information about key regulations and policies to take into consideration in preparing your permit application, please refer to the Key County Code Provisions Regarding Rebuilding After Fire Disaster memo linked here.