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UPDATE – City of Los Angeles Releases List of 13,500 Soft First Story Buildings Targeted for Earthquake Retrofitting

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) has released its list of wood frame soft-story buildings that may be required to undergo mandatory retrofitting.  The list can be obtained by request to DBS, and the LA Times has provided a searchable version of the list here.  The publication of the list follows on the heels of the Los Angeles City Council’s enactment of an ordinance requiring mandatory earthquake retrofitting for non-ductile concrete buildings and wood frame soft-first-story buildings in October of 2015.

The list identifies approximately 13,500 buildings that may potentially require earthquake retrofitting.  Inclusion on the list does not mandate retrofitting; it requires only that building owners within one year of receipt of formal notice from DBS prepare a structural analysis showing whether their buildings meet the earthquake standards promulgated in the ordinance.  Inclusion on this list does not constitute notice; the time periods in the ordinance do not begin until a property owner receives the formal notice from DBS.  Notices are expected to be sent in May on a rolling basis, beginning with the largest buildings (those with more than 16 units will be targeted first, then buildings with three or more floors, followed by the remainder of the list).

If the initial structural analysis indicates that the building does not meet the earthquake standards in the ordinance, the owner must submit plans for retrofitting the building and a structural analysis of those plans that demonstrates compliance with the ordinance.  All permits for retrofitting must be obtained within two years of receipt of a notice, and retrofitting (or demolition) of the building must be completed within seven years.

This list targets soft-story buildings.  It does not identify non-ductile concrete buildings that were also included within the purview of the ordinance and subject to retrofitting requirements.  Further detail on the retrofitting requirements imposed on non-ductile concrete and soft-story buildings is located here.

Copyright © 2020, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.


About this Author

Alfred Fraijo, real estate, land use, natural resources attorney, Sheppard

Alfred Fraijo is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources practice group in the firm's Los Angeles office.  He is a leader of the firm's Latin America Practice Group, a global initiative to provide specialized legal representation to Hispanic/Latino-owned companies and companies focused on the U.S. Latino market.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Fraijo grows his expertise on cutting edge real estate transactions for public, private and nonprofit developers and multi-national corporations in the United States and abroad.  He recently was featured in "...

Tetlo Emmen, real estate, land use, natural resources, attorney, Sheppard Mullin

Tetlo Emmen is an associate in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources and Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office. Mr. Emmen’s practice focuses on land use planning and general real estate matters. He assists developers and property owners in obtaining development entitlements, regulatory approvals and drafting transactional real estate documents. He also advises clients on compliance with local planning and zoning regulations, CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act and the Brown Act. Mr. Emmen has worked on a variety of residential, commercial, mixed-use and office projects throughout Los Angeles and California.