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Los Trancos & Vista Verde Incentive Program for Defensible Space

Los Trancos County Maintenance District Property Owner Incentives

$5,000.00 is available each calendar year per household on a first come, first served basis until budgeted yearly funding has been depleted. Each property owner may receive 50% reimbursement on approved items and/or work completed.

 Mission of the program: The Home Hardening and Defensible Space program should collectively protect the entire community of the LTCMD while developing a fair program that allows every resident to participate. 

*NEW* Important Notice Regarding Participation: All individual homeowner propertyparcel requirements for defensible space must be met before incentive reimbursement forany other work can be considered. These code requirements are included in the 2022 CaliforniaFire Code, the California Government Code, the California Public Resources Code and the WFPDLocal Fire Code Ordinances. When assessing individual properties, the WFPD Assessor willreference and note any non-compliant defensible space requirements that need attention. Once theproperty complies and meets all defensible space standards, the property owner can then participatein other program incentives.

Fire Safety Incentives for 2023 through 2024:

  1. *NEW* Open Eave Enclosure & Fire Rated Shutters – Reimbursement toward materialsand installation costs of enclosing open eaves with a rated non-combustible material and/or addingfire rated shutters to cover non-fire-safe windows only. An eave is the underside of a roof thatextends beyond the external walls of a building; open eaves are susceptible to attic ember intrusionfrom wildfires. 
  1. Immediate/Ember Resistance Zone (0-5 feet)– This zone extends from zero to five feet frombuildings and flammable structures, including the area under and around all attached decks. Thiszone requires the most stringent wildfire fuel reduction to keep fire or embers from ignitingmaterials that can spread the fire to your home. Guidance and incentives for this zone:
    1. No combustible bark or mulch, such as wood chips, should be in this zone.*NEW* Reimbursement toward materials and installation costs to create a hardscape ofnon-combustible mulch material such as gravel, pavers, concrete. Hardscape materialsreimbursement at the lesser of $2.50/sq ft or 50% of the actual cost.
    2. Limit plants in this area to low growing, nonwoody, properly watered and maintainedplants if next to non-combustible decking/siding; no plant material if next to combustibledecking/siding. *NEW* Reimbursement toward labor to remove plants in the 0-5” Zone. Note nonreimbursable
      expenses: Watering systems, replanting with acceptable plants or plant maintenance.
    3. Replace combustible fencing, gates, and arbors attached to the home with noncombustible alternatives. See #7 for incentive and restrictions.
    4. No firewood or lumber in this zone; relocate to Zone 2. This is a non-reimbursable expense.
  1. Home Access – Reimbursement toward materials and installation costs for clearly marking the property address with reflective non-combustible material that is visible from the street (minimum of 4-inch numbers on a contrasting background); for making sure local Fire Department and/or emergency responders have proper “KNOX” gate access; for clearing driveway of overhanging trees up to a height of 13’-6” and of vegetation at least 5 feet on each side of the driveway; for consideration and creation of a turnaround for emergency vehicles; for private bridges being rated and posted by an engineer.
  1. Roof Assembly Reimbursement toward the cost of replacing an existing combustible roof with a rated non-combustible roof. Reimbursement will be capped at the lesser of 50% of the cost of a Class A foam or asphalt shingle roof or the actual cost. For other roof types (slate, tile, standing metal seam, etc.), pre-approval will require that you obtain proper vendor invoicing with cost breakdown.
  1. Exterior Walls/Siding & Windows/Skylights/Doors – Reimbursement toward materials and installation costs of replacing and/or improving existing combustible exterior walls and/or siding with a rated non-combustible siding material, including rated non-combustible skirting material, and for replacing single-paned windows/skylights and/or non-fire rated exterior doors/garage doors with double-paned tempered glass windows/skylights and rated noncombustible exterior doors and garage doors.
  1. Vents/Spark Arrestors  Reimbursement toward materials and installation costs of noncombustible ember-resistant vent screens, such as Brandguard or Vulcan, and/or chimney spark arrestors. Screens must be made of a non-combustible mesh with a minimum size opening of 1/8” for house vents and of 1/4” for chimney spark arrestors.
  1. Attached Structures Reimbursement toward the material cost and installation of rated non-combustible decking, patio covers, balconies, carports and/or the first 10 feet of fencing materials that are attached to the house, which may act as a wick to bring fire to the building.
  1. Hazardous Trees/Tree Limbing Reimbursement for labor to remove or trim trees within the 30-foot zone of the structure. Remove all limbs within 10 feet of structures, chimney outlets and overhead electrical facilities. Limb up trees approximately 6 to 8 feet from ground level (for smaller trees, limb up 1/3 the height) to prevent fire from reaching treetops via ladder fuels. 

*NEW* Limitation on fallen tree and stump removal outside of the 30-foot zone: Incentive is only for removal of brush and limbs that are 8’’ in diameter or smaller. Larger limbs, trunks, and stumps can remain at ground level to decay over time or be removed at the homeowner’s discretion and expense. Note that as part of gaining pre-approval for tree removal, WFPD will require that you obtain proper vendor invoicing with cost breakdown, separating incentive covered work from other work.

  1. Brush/Ladder Fuel Mitigation – Reimbursement for labor to cut back or clear hazardous ladder fuel brush such as French and Scotch broom and coyotebrush as the assessor determines necessary. (Please note that weed whacking of annual grasses, though also required by fire code, is not an included incentive.)* 
  1. Automatic Gas Shut Off Valve Reimbursement for materials and labor for valve installation that will shut off gas automatically in an earthquake. 


Next steps: 

Sign me up!:  Contact Michael Tamez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (650) 851-1594 to schedule a property inspection. Michael will email your assessment showing incentives for which you qualify.  If you have any questions about incentive details, Michael is happy to answer.

Get pre-approved:  Figure out what incentive you would like to take advantage of and get estimates for work and/or supplies. Then contact MIchael Tamez for project pre-approval, including your estimates.  If you do the work yourself, you can be reimbursed only for supplies.  Plan to complete your project(s) within 90 days of pre-approval to ensure availability of funds for reimbursement.  Contact Michael if you need an extension of the 90-day time period.

Request reimbursement:  As soon as your project is complete, email Michael Tamez at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to request reimbursement. Include all receipts, a description of work being done and pictures if appropriate.

Getting reimbursed:  WFPD will issue reimbursement checks quarterly in May/Apr, Jun/Jul, Sept/Oct and Dec/Jan.  You will receive 50% of the money you spent up to a max of $5,000 annually.  (E.g. spend $3,000, receive $1,500; spend $11,000, receive $5,000, the maximum.)  

* Some of the listed items are not recommendations but requirements of the fire code.

Woodside  -  Portola Valley  -  Emerald Hills  -  Ladera  -  Los Trancos  -  Skyline  -  Viste Verde

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808 Portola Rd #C
Portola Valley, CA  USA
Tel: (650) 851-1594
Fax: (650) 851-3960
For Emergencies, Dial 9-1-1

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