An open house to share information about the proposed ordinance expanding the designated Ashland Wildfire Hazard Zone to cover the entire city is set for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25.
The city Planning Department and Ashland Fire & Rescue are hosting the event in the Gresham Room at the Ashland Public Library to collect feedback about the proposed Development Standards for Wildfire Lands ordinance.
The designation of the hazard zone is intended to identify areas most a risk from wildfire, and set standards to avoid or minimize damage from wildfire. The current Wildfire Hazard Zone covers the hillside area on the southwest side of the city, closest to forested wildlands, but the Oak Knoll fire in 2011 which destroyed 11 homes struck outside the zone.
Property owners would not be affected by the proposed expansion of the hazard zone designation unless they erect a new structure, expand an existing structure by more than 200 square feet or re-roof more than 50 percent of their roof.
The proposed ordinance is expected to come before the City Council later this spring, perhaps in April. For more information, go to www.ashland.or.us/whz for the draft code language and answers to frequently asked questions.