Private/Gated Community Debris Removal
Orange County has developed a plan to assist private/gated communities where debris removal is necessary following a storm. The County may not remove vegetative debris from private/gated communities because they are considered private property. Orange County’s plan consists of four options for debris removal in private/gated communities which need assistance.
Option 1 is available to unincorporated Orange County residents as part of the County's curbside collection program. Following a storm, residents may set out vegetative debris according to the regular yard waste collection guidelines. As a reminder, please do not use the blue and green lid roll carts for yard waste.
Vegetative debris set out neatly and meeting these criteria will be removed on your regular yard waste collection day unless the Orange County Utilities Solid Waste Division announces a modified schedule. Please note, however, that yard waste may be collected in limited quantities until the volume is reduced throughout the affected areas.
In an instance where vegetative or other debris is too widespread, too numerous or too large for pick up by Solid Waste, an official representative of the HOA or Management Company may contact the County by dialing 407-836-3111 and indicating the need for assistance. Orange County Public Works will respond to the representative and schedule a time to meet on- site to assess the damage and determine the amount of debris to be removed. At that time, the County representative will review the options available and exchange contact information for follow up. Upon selection of said option, the HOA/Gated community representative will notify the County and property owners of the process selected.
If it is determined the gated community needs assistance outside of the standard Solid Waste pick up, the HOA/Management Company may request a letter issued by the County for disposal at a predetermined Citizen drop-off site. The HOA/Management Company will contract with a private “hauler” to collect the vegetative debris and deliver it to the selected and approved Citizen drop-off site. The HOA/Management Company will communicate with its homeowners the starting and ending dates for this process. A letter will be sent to the HOA/Management Company and copies provided to their contractor specifying the designated citizen site and starting and ending dates for the debris removal. Each truck must have a copy of the letter to enter the debris site. No debris is to be placed at the designated location, right-of-way or citizen site prior to the beginning date stated in the letter to the community.
The HOA/Management Company may opt to have the debris placed on public right of way outside the gated community property line. The private/gated community will then contract with a private contractor to remove the debris from the private/gated community to the designated public right of way during the pre-determined time period. The County debris removal contractor will be responsible for coordinating the hand off/pick up during the specified time period along with the County monitoring contractor to ensure the area remains clear for the safety of all citizens.
In the event enough public right of way is not available outside the gates of the private/gated community, a roll off may be placed in a location designated by the County. The private/gated community will then contract with a private contractor to remove the debris to the roll off during the pre-determined time period. The County debris removal contractor will be responsible for emptying and replacing the roll off during the specified time period along with the County monitoring contractor.
Gated Communities Storm Debris Code Requirement
Gated communities approved after February 24, 2009 are subject to Orange County Code Sec. 34-290 & 34-29, which “require the establishment and maintenance of an HOA account for storm debris clean-up and removal from the subdivision streets, sidewalks and drainage facilities, and impose the requirements and restrictions set forth in section 34-291 regarding such account.” If the gated community was approved prior to February 2009, there is no code requirement for such a fund.
FEMA Reimbursement Guidelines for Private/Gated Communities
Individually Owned Private Property
If Orange County is subject to a large-scale disaster where it is in the public interest to remove large-scale debris on private property, prior to commencing such work, the County will submit a request for reimbursement and seek approval from the Federal coordinating officer in accordance with 44 CFR206.224. Eligibility is determined by FEMA Public Assistance reimbursement on a case-by-case basis. Per the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy, debris will be removed from private property only in the case of severe damage, where both the County and FEMA agree that the policy cited has been met. In these extreme instances, FEMA’s policy sets forth the criteria it uses to evaluate the eligibility of debris removal work from private property under the Public Assistance Program (Disaster Assistance Policy 9523.13).
For-Profit Private Property
Generally, debris removal from private property following a disaster is the responsibility of the property owner. If the residents within a community do not own the property that the residence is constructed upon, such as a trailer park, manufactured home community or condominium building, the community will not be eligible to participate in this program. These entities are considered commercial (for-profit) and not eligible for debris pick-up support. However, large-scale disasters may deposit enormous quantities of debris on private property over a large area resulting in widespread immediate threats to the public-at-large. In these cases, the state or local government may need to enter private property to remove debris to: eliminate immediate threats to life, public health and safety; eliminate immediate threats of significant damage to improved property; or ensure economic recovery of the affected community to the benefit of the community-at-large. In these situations, debris removal from private property may be considered to be in the public interest and thus may be eligible for reimbursement under the Public Assistance Program (44CFR 206.224).
For more information, visit: https://www.fema.gov
For further assistance, call: 311 or 407-836-3111
No Mixed Debris
In either case, vegetative storm debris (tree limbs, branches and other organic debris) should always be separated from storm-related construction debris (shingles, fencing, lumber, drywall, etc.) Mixed debris will not be accepted at Drop-Off Sites, and for curbside removal, construction debris will be collected separately. If not separated, neither will be picked up. Also, household garbage should NEVER be mixed with storm or construction debris.
Debris will only be removed from private property only in the case of severe damage, per the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy. If the debris is an immediate threat to residents, state or local government may enter private property to remove debris to eliminate threats to life, public health and safety.