Wood Roof Ordinance
The Beverly Hills Wood Roof Ordinance requires all roofs in the City to meet the Class A non-wood roof fire retardant standards. The Ordinance further restricts for wood to be used as an allowable roofing material.
Wood Roof Compliance Date: July 1, 2014
Compliance Options for Existing Wood Roofs
Option 1. Re-roof property with a non-wood roofing material. A re-roof permit is required to be obtained from the City of Beverly Hills Community Development Department.
Option 2. Apply a temporary fire retardant spray to non-class A wood roofs. A no-fee permit is required to be obtained from the City of Beverly Hills Community Development Department.
Historical Properties. Historical properties do not need to comply with the wood roof ordinance.
History of the Wood Roof Ordinance
Beverly Hills’ inclement climate, seasonal Santa Ana winds, and topography put it at extreme fire risk. Over the last decade there have been many catastrophic wildland fires that have damaged or destroyed thousands of homes in southern California and throughout the nation. Between 1994 -1998, there was an average of 4,200 wood shingle fires per year (NFPA, 2001).
The City of Beverly Hills passed a Wood Roof Ordinance in 1989 requiring that all new roofs must be fire-retardant roof covering or roof assembly that is listed as a Class A assembly. This Ordinance also required that all roofs in the City of Beverly Hills meet this standard by July 1, 2013. In 2007, the Ordinance was modified to not allow wood as a roof covering.
On April 12, 2007, a brush fire began in neighboring City of Los Angeles in the Franklin Canyon area. The wind driven embers spread throughout the community and ignited the roofs on three large homes in the City of Beverly Hills near Beverly Drive and Hillcrest Drive causing extensive damage to two of them and moderate damage to the other. The three homes were clad with non-rated wood shake roofs allowing the wind driven embers to embed and ignite the homes causing extensive damage.
The current Ordinance is located in the Municipal Code Section 1505.1 through 1505.1.1. It states the following:
Section 1505.1 General. Except as otherwise provided in this section, roof coverings or roof assemblies on any structure regulated by this Code shall be a fire-retardant roof covering or roof assembly that is listed as a Class A assembly in accordance with ASTM E 108 or UL 790. In addition, no wood shall be used as a roof covering material. Noncombustible roof coverings may be applied in accordance with the manufacture’s requirements in lieu of a fire-retardant roofing assembly.
Exception: Roof repairs of less than 10 percent of the total roof area on existing structures in any one year period may be repaired with a roof covering that meets the same fire retardant standard as the existing roof.
Section 1505.1.1 Class A roof covering requirement. Notwithstanding any other requirement of the Beverly Hills Municipal Code, no later than July 1, 2013, all roof coverings in the City of Beverly Hills shall be fire retardant Class A.
2013 Wood Roof Amendments
In consideration of balancing the overarching community fire safety needs along with the needs of property owners who have expressed various concerns over replacing their roofs by July 1, 2013, staff was directed to amend the California Building and Residential Codes, as adopted and amended by the City and contained in Section 9-1-202 and Section 9-1-2A01 of Article 2 Chapter 1 of Title 9 of Chapter 1 of Title 9 of the Beverly Hills Municipal Code, as follows:
For additional wildfire safety information, please view the Ready! Set! Go! brochure.
Looking for Standard (Non-Wood) Roofing Information? Please visit the Roofing webpage.