Defensible Space Landscape Architecture — Marin, Napa, Sonoma Counties
California residents are familiar with the dangers of seasonal wildfires and know that a defensible space around their home will give firefighters better odds of saving their home in the event of a fire. Fortunately, defensible spaces can be as beautiful as they are functional. Catlin Landscape Architecture integrates the need for fire safety with clients’ dreams of a beautiful landscape design.
Wildland Fire Mitigation
Before becoming a landscape designer in Marin County, I was a seasonal firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service. I apply what I learned then to defensible space landscape designs. Landscape design for properties adjacent to the oak-studded and grassy hillsides of Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties require specialized knowledge in fire science and plant selection.
Vegetation Management Plan (VMP)
A vegetation management plan (VMP) is part of the defensible space planning and design provided by Catlin Landscape Architecture. The VMP is generally required as part of a formal design review, for example with a municipality or county planning agency. It's a written report that dovetails with landscape design working drawings. In a VMP the landscape designer provides a plant list; a bibliography of the document or publication in which the plants are stated to be fire resistant; a site assessment detailing the slope, aspect (direction in which the slope faces), and existing plant material; and defensible space maintenance standards — guidelines for keeping the property fire safe.
Compliance with Fire Safety Codes
Any time is a good time to assess the risk of fire danger, but for homeowners embarking on new construction and some remodels, fire-safe landscape design may be part of the permit process. Catlin Landscape Design can help you navigate through the jurisdictional requirements and interpret the fire safety codes into a landscape design you'll appreciate as much for the aesthetics as the security.
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