Homeowner Guide to Storm Damage Repair

Architectural Standards, Association News, Member News

No one needs to tell you that this winter will go down in the record books if you experienced any of the wet, snowy and high winds winter storms this year. While the wet and cool weather has continued into May, there were enough sunny warm days to see the snow start to melt, flowers appear at lower elevation and green grass budding at the Northwoods Clubhouse and Golf Course. Along with the slow snowmelt, many of the members are just now realizing damage which occurred over the winter: broken and downed trees, roof, railing and deck damage, and broken windows.

“This has been a very hard winter on properties. More than our normal yearly maintenance and repair will be necessary for many properties,” Architectural Standards chairman, Rod Whitten states.

This damage discovery process will continue for many of the higher-elevation homes. Members are anxious to understand what needs to be done to repair and maintain their homes and land. Navigating what to fix, who to contract with to complete the work, and how to work with the Architectural Standards Office can be daunting. As such, Tahoe Donner has put together a simple guide to help members.

Home Damage Repairs to Exterior

  • Like for Like
    • Repairs which are "like for like" do not require a permit from Architectural Standards. "Like for like" means items like the paint/stain color scheme, deck footprint, or roofing material remains the same. Replacing a wood picket deck rail with a wire mesh railing is not "like for like."
  • Improvements to existing structures
    • During the evaluation of the damage, an owner make take the opportunity to replace that old wood picket deck rail with a wire mesh railing. This is not considered a “like for like” replacement. Rather it is a minor improvement, and as such will need to go through the minor improvement permit application process. There is a fee for minor improvements.
    • Expanded improvements such as a deck replacement adding square footage, stairs, etc. will require an Architectural Standards permit. Permit type and associated fees will depend on the size and scope of the expansion.

Note: the Town of Truckee building permit requirements are different than Tahoe Donner’s. For example, with the town, any collapsed deck will be required to have new plans and engineering, even if built as a clone of the previous structure. Checking with the Town of Truckee building department is always recommended. Remember, ensuring that all required permits have been secured is ultimately the homeowner’s responsibility.

For further architectural standards information or general questions feel free to email aso@tahoedonner.com or call 530-587-9407.

Tree Damage

Many experienced a variety of tree damage on their properties, including trees ripped out of the ground at the roots, severed trunks at various heights, plus leaning and severely bent trees. As noted in the May Tahoe Donner News, the Forestry department will be completing an association-wide homeowner property inspection over the next two summer seasons to review and identify tree damage. This process will also be occurring on Tahoe Donner owned property, as removing the storm debris and damaged trees is imperative to reducing the potential of insect infestation and further forest damage.

  • Downed trees at the roots – remove limbs and stack pile at your driveway for Tahoe Donner forestry department to chip. Request chipping through our new online member portal OneStop. Buck the trunks and split/stack/cover with an earth-toned tarp if your intent is to burn in a stove or fireplace. Otherwise, remove tree entirely from lot if you do not intend to burn the wood.
  • Broken trees – request a tree-cutting permit. Forestry is requiring a tree permit even for broken trees for the sole reason to ensure forest health consultation by the forestry staff. There may be other trees which are unhealthy, in the process of dying or are dead.
  • Other tree debris - remove limbs and stack pile at your driveway for Tahoe Donner Forestry department to chip. Request chipping through new online member portal OneStop.

Chipping tags are no longer administered by Member Services. Members now have 24/7 ability to request chipping on OneStop. For further Forestry related information, visit www.tahoedonner.com/forestry, call the Forestry department at 530-587-9432, or email forestry@tahoedonner.com.

Town Wide Storm Damage

Other damage may have occurred to your property or near your property. Damage to telephone and electrical wires occurred with abandoned wires still attached and hanging from poles to houses. Trees and debris along the Town of Truckee right-of-way are also popping up, not to mention trash which may have been spread during snow removal activities. We all will play an important role in cleaning up the neighborhood, communicating with and working collaboratively with the local agencies to remediate the winter’s toll.

FEMA funds were made available to qualifying local agency mitigation projects with the enactment of a local state of emergency in January. This enactment of a local state of emergency will be helpful to homeowners seeking homeowner insurance claims. Additionally, there are related homeowner assistance programs offered at the town level. The town council’s enactment and homeowner assistance programs can be found at www.townoftruckee.com.

The Town of Truckee, Truckee Donner Public Utility District, and Tahoe Truckee Sanitation District will be very active this summer and fall, completing mitigation projects including drainage improvements, tree trimming, and more. See advertisements for Town of Truckee yard waste special event in future email blasts, within the June TD News, and on the Town of Truckee’s website.