PARADISE, Calif. - There could be an extra step required for fire prevention when property changes hands in Paradise if a change to an ordinance is approved.
Paradise Town Council member Steve "Woody" Culleton wants to make changes to Ordinance 609, to require buyers or sellers to clear the land before the title of the property is transferred.
Currently, Ordinance 609, requires properties in Paradise to have defensible space.
If the lot is not cleared by the time it sells, then the buyer and seller then have to agree on paper that it will be done within a year before escrow closes.
But Culleton wants that ordinance changed.
"Some of these speculators can buy the property and don't live here and the property can be overgrown for 12 more months," Culleton explained. "So anybody that just rebuilt their home won't have the opportunity to have that fire hazard cleaned up."
Some realtors in Paradise disagree with the proposed change to Ordinance 609.
"I think it's just adding an unnecessary burden," said Tammy Waller, from Waller Real Estate. "For somebody who is selling in the area, it's most likely already in a distressed situation. And to add on the burden to a seller that has no intention of rebuilding whereas a new buyer is taking that expense."
Culleton says the county gives the town delayed responses as to what properties change hands in Paradise, and sometimes the town does not even know about the title transfers.
It isn't until code enforcement gets complaints from neighbors saying the property near them is overgrown, that the town looks into what title transfers occurred.
Culleton adds that making this modification to Ordinance 609 would save energy and time for code enforcement from having to abate a property.