District 5 Councilman Brian Maienschein, who represents Rancho Bernardo, the area hit the hardest in San Diego city limits, made the motion to waive all fees associated with wildfire damages to city residents. It was seconded by District 7 Councilman Jim Madaffer and supported by the whole City Council.
"This is a significant step today to get the rebuilding started," Maienschein said.
District 3 Councilwoman Toni Atkins praised city staff for having the resolutions "prepared and ready" for a vote Tuesday, but added that the same resolutions were passed following the 2003 wildfires.
"(We've) been through this before," Atkins said.
The vote also allowed residents to obtain landfill vouchers to use at the Miramar Landfill to dump non-recyclable debris from burned homes. The city will provide free recycling for concrete slabs and chimney, garden and wall paver materials.
According to the resolution, the city would have charged an estimated $2.3 million in various demolition and building permit fees and landfill fees as a result of all the new rebuilding efforts.
The figure is only an estimate and based on records from the 2003 wildfires that hit the Scripps Ranch area hard.
"I trust his leadership on this," District 4 Councilman Tony Young said about Maienschein. "I'm going to support Brian and his community."
After the vote, Maienschein left the council meeting to go back to Rancho Bernardo to assist in the fire recovery efforts, an absence that Council President Scott Peters said was excusable.
Maienschein was absent from the Oct. 29 council meeting for the same reason.
Maienschein is the chairman of the Public Safety & Neighborhood Services Committee, and he issued an announcement that he is canceling all future committee meetings for 2007 "due to the priority of the post-fire patrol and recovery efforts resulting from the wildfires."
The announcement said the next meeting would be in January 2008.
During the wildfires, Maienschein and his staff gave updates to evacuated residents from Rancho Bernardo as to addresses where homes had been lost.