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El Dorado County Defensible Space Ordinance

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA DRE# 01499004


If you live in California you are aware of the horrible wildfires we have experienced in the last few years but DID YOU KNOW that in an effort to do what we can to protect our homes El Dorado County  has adopted a new Vegetation Management & Defensible Space Ordinance? (Ordinance No. 5101, Chapter 8.09) 

It went into effect May 30, 2019 and will be enforced starting June 1, 2020 with inspections starting at that time. The basics:

  • Vegetation Management is controlling plant material to prevent wildfire spread and requires an ongoing commitment.
  •  Defensible Space is the area around a structure where combustible vegetation that can spread fire has been cleared, reduced or replaced.
  • For improved parcels, any structure (greater than 120 sq. ft.) is required to have minimum defensible space of 100-feet from each side of the structure.
  • Good Neighbor Policy: property owners may be required to clear up to 100-feet of defensible space from structure(s) located on a neighboring parcel.
  • Sellers of properties are required to give a disclosure of this ordinance to buyers.


For information:

View the  Ordinance






Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Dee Dee,

We are very familiar with that, having lived in Los Angeles, Napa, and now Santa Barbara County.  I have also noticed that Cal Trans has been clearing the vegetation on the freeway exits and also on the smaller roads to the wine country here.  Santa Barbara has also limited the type of vegetation like eucalyptus trees which go up in flames instantly...A

Oct 04, 2019 10:47 AM
DeeDee Riley

Limiting certain plants is an excellent idea.  We have a lot of Manzanita here that is a native plant and it is highly cumbustible!

Oct 04, 2019 11:08 AM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Creating defensible space around homes is so very important, DeeDee. I've heard firefighters, when faced with the hard decision of where to try to stop a fire, will sometimes choose to hold the line at the property that has already taken the step to defend themselves.

Oct 04, 2019 10:49 AM
DeeDee Riley

Hi Lottie,  I have heard that as well!!!

Oct 04, 2019 11:08 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you for the update.  They are great tips for sure.  I understand that it can be difficult to get affordable property insurance, if you can get it at all.  Is that they case up in your area?

Oct 06, 2019 06:37 AM
DeeDee Riley

Hi Ray, 

Yes insurance in general is getting harder and harder to get let alone affordable even in El Dorado Hills.  Hoping this kind of measure will help.

Oct 06, 2019 08:36 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

With the advent of the wild fire season in our faces, the importance and wisdom of having defensible open space cannot be over-stated.

Keep safe, DeeDee Riley 

Aug 15, 2020 07:04 PM