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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 097-91041; Sonoma County
DSR ID# 73250; Building and Environmental permit fees
Citation: FEMA-DR-1046-CA, SONOMA COUNTY PERMIT AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT, DSR 73250
Cross-Reference: Building Permit Fees, Extraordinary Circumstances
Summary: Late winter storms in March of 1995 caused flooding in Sonoma County, California. Building permit fees were waived by the subgrantee. DSR 73250 (Category G), for $14,475, was denied based on the policy that building permit activities are not eligible. The subgrantee submitted a first appeal contending that the work described in the DSR was eligible and that FEMA had obligated funds for waived building permit fees in other disasters (DR 1005 and DR 1008). The first appeal denial was again based on the fact that building permitting activities are not eligible. The First Appeal response also noted that the exceptions to this policy in 1005 and 1008 did not constitute precedence nor a change in policy. The subgrantee has filed a second appeal again requesting that the waived permit fees be reimbursed based on the fact that the permitting activities were disaster related and the same activities were eligible under several previous disasters.
- Are waived permit fees reimbursable under Section 206.223 of 44 CFR?
- Are FEMA actions taken during extraordinary disasters (DR 1005 and DR 1008) applicable to this disaster?
- No. Only those permitting activities associated with an immediate threat or public safety concerns are eligible.
- No. Actions taken for exceptional cases for specific disasters do not constitute reversal or modification of established policy.
Rationale: FEMA policy of October 4, 1993, defines eligible building inspecting and permitting activities. Additionally, actions taken by FEMA during exceptional cases relative to a particular disaster do not constitute modification of established written FEMA policy.