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  • Writer's picturePaul Grisanti

Welcome Malibu’s Fire Safety Liaison Jerry Vandermeulen, Plant Prefab

On Saturday, I attended a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training conducted by Malibu’s new Fire Safety Liaison, Jerry Vandermeulen. It was Mr. Vandermeulen’s 6thday working for the City of Malibu. He comes to us after completing a 35-year Fire Service career with a 7 year stint as a Battalion Chief for Ventura County Fire Department. I think he will be a great resource for all the citizens of Malibu as we rebuild and prepare our existing homes and Communities for future emergencies. I especially liked his honest attitude about the few questions he didn’t know the answer to yet.

I was distressed to learn from City Manager Reva Feldman’s weekly briefing that LACounty Fire has shelved plans to conduct a controlled burn next Winter in the ridges north of the City in an area stretching from Malibu Canyon to Las Flores roughly. This would have been the first Controlled Burn in the Santa Monica Mountains since the late 1980’s to my memory. This tool belongs in the Fire Prevention toolbox. I was initially confused about the location because the Fire Department was calling it the “Big Rock Controlled Burn”. The map I saw over the weekend made it clear that no part of the burn would have been adjacent to Big Rock

I also attended a presentation about the Plant Prefab building system at the Library on Saturday afternoon. They offer a complete ala carte menu of services including design, engineering, permitting, construction in their factory in Rialto Calif, trucking to your site, assembly on site with crane services, and finish carpentry.

The pitch is that they build the modules in their climate controlled 62,000 sq. ft. factory over a 3 month period while your foundation is being constructed by your contractor. The Module delivery and assembly takes less than 5 days to your move in date. This represents a time savings of at least 6 months. They are willing to bid your existing plans or show you their catalog plans. They claim they are currently working on some proposals for clients of several local Architects.

There is one caveat. They require a site visit to confirm access for the trucks that will deliver the modules and the crane that will assemble them, as they arrive. They usually charge a fee for this but are waiving it for homes that burned in the Woolsey Fire. Their website is and they have a sample home in Santa Monica that is open one day a week.

This coming week we should have more information about permits being pulled as several people have told me they are in the final stages of corrections to engineered drawings.

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