For Information, call 211

Rebuilding Guidance FAQ

Rebuilding Guidance FAQ

The County has outlined the initial steps for rebuilding in the Montecito 1/9 Debris Flow areas. Property owners are advised to meet with their case managers now, and to hold off making any significant expenditures on design plans so their decisions and permit applications can be informed by critical survey work, engineering and mapping work studies that will take a minimum of three months.


View these FAQs as a PDF   

Why can’t I begin rebuilding right now?

Santa Barbara County is doing everything it can to make sure rebuilding can happen as quickly as possible, but the debris flow created unique challenges.

  1. Because the debris flow dislodged many survey markers and other landmarks, making it impossible to identify property lines without a licensed surveyor, the County will work with outside surveyors to reestablish survey markers along public rights-of-way.
  2. Creek channels and land elevations have changed throughout the debris flow area, which means existing FEMA maps are no longer accurate. County staff is working with FEMA on interim flood hazard/recovery mapping analyses to assess where water and debris will flow in the future

How long will the County work take?

Land surveys, engineering studies and interim flood hazard/recovery mapping should be completed by mid-June.

Do I have to wait until this work is completed to start my re-design work?

The County advises property owners to delay making any significant expenditures on design plans so their decisions and permit applications can be informed by this work.  The survey, engineering, and mapping work that the County is doing throughout the debris flow area will significantly reduce the costs that individual homeowners would incur if they were to take on these tasks on their own.

If I don’t want to wait, what should I do?

For those property owners who choose not to wait, the County recommends meeting with your Planning and Development case manager and Flood Control staff upfront to determine the submittal requirements to facilitate the permit review process.

What will I have to provide if I want to move forward?

The requirements for each property will be different, but they may include:

  1. Current topographic survey of project site
  2. Property line survey
  3. Hydrologic analyses of the project site to reflect post-burn (Thomas) conditions. Analysis should utilize and build upon the information in two technical reports: the and the , which also includes the work of the SoCal Watershed Task Force.
    1. Calculation of the current base flood elevations, inundation limits and possibly the floodway
    2. Key design elements include channel geomorphology, foundation considerations, and hydraulic capacity.
  4. Preparation of plans may require utilization of professionals with expertise in geotechnical, civil and hydraulic engineering, soil erosion, hydrology, and engineering geology

Is there anything else I can do while I’m waiting for the County and FEMA work to be completed?

Yes.  The County has assigned case managers to every impacted property.  If you are a property owner, you are encouraged to contact your case manager now.  Your case manager can help you understand both the process and challenges to recovery that are unique to your individual property.  If you don’t know who your case manager is, call (805) 568-2090.

The County on Twitter

Be Radio Ready

Radio Ready

During an emergency when the power is out and when critical and timely information must get out to the general public, the County Office of Emergency Management will utilize satellite equipment to regularly communicate with designated County radio stations that have generators and can continue to broadcast. Visit this link for a list of stations to check if you lose power and cannot access the Internet.

Contact The County

105 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 211