Paradise reaches rebuilding milestone

The Town of Paradise has now received over 2,000 applications for single-family homes and over 390 applications for multi-family homes.

Posted: Nov 23, 2021 10:19 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - It’s been three years since the Camp Fire, but now the Town of Paradise is hitting a major milestone for rebuilding.

They have now received over 2,000 applications for single-family homes and over 390 applications for multi-family homes.

Action News Now spoke with a couple that recently moved into a rebuilt home. They are encouraged to hear that more families are finally also returning to the Ridge.

"Paradise is a special place, and that's why we're back,” said Charles Dee, who just moved into his newly built home in Paradise three months ago.

All the Dee’s have is one oil painting of their original home they lost in the 2018 Camp Fire, but now they are back.

"Normally you wouldn't think that at our age we would even attempt to come back, but it's just Paradise is Paradise to us,” said Dee.

After the fire, Dee and his wife lived with family for five months before relocating to the Palm Springs area.

"Which was nice, but it's just a little too hot down there for us,” said Dee. “And of course we had Paradise in our mind the whole time.”

This led them, like so many others, to get a permit in Paradise and start over again.

Still, Dee described it as a very long process. The rebuild did not happen overnight as the Dee’s spent three months living out of a trailer on their property before their home was ready to move into.

"Patience, you got to have a lot of patience,” Dee told Action News Now.

With the population of Paradise not even one-quarter of the pre-Camp Fire population, Town of Paradise Mayor Steve Crowder is hopeful as more folks like the Dee's return home.

"Our building level over the last year, year-and-a-half is just so consistent,” said Mayor Crowder. “It's just great to see."

Dee told Action News Now they have some new neighbors that are in the area now.

"But there are still quite a few people here that we have known for quite some time, so that helps a lot,” said Dee.

Mayor Crowder expects homes with permits to be rebuilt in about a year-and-a-half or so.

"Paradise is home and especially the people who have been here before, it's just hard to leave,” Mayor Crowder told Action News Now.

He is ready to see life on the Ridge to return to what it once was.

"It's never going to be the same, but little by little we are pulling ourselves back up,” said Dee.

Mayor Crowder told Action News Now once your plans to rebuild have been approved, a stick-built home could have a permit in three weeks and a manufactured home could be permitted in just one week.

As of last Wednesday, the town had approved over 1,800 permits.

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