West Hollywood, CA Seismic Retrofit

West Hollywood is one of the latest cities in California to get the ball rolling on seismic compliance ordinances. A City Council meeting took place on April 3rd, 2017 to discuss the seismic ordinance. An advisory group concluded that approximately 780 soft-story buildings would need to be retrofitted. City officials are extending their implementation of their ordinance for another year to step through more details and come to a final agreement on unresolved concerns.

At the meeting, the council decided with a 3-2 vote that the following chapters of the ordinance are passed:

  • Mandatory retrofit of wood-frame buildings with soft, weak, or open-front walls
  • Voluntary seismic strengthening for cripple walls and sill plate anchorage in existing wood-frame buildings

With this vote, they will revisit seismic retrofitting for non-ductile and unreinforced masonry buildings in 60 days. At that time, they will also revisit the cost-recovery program and available pass-through amounts for property owners.

Penhall’s in-house engineering team is ready to design low cost seismic solutions for West Hollywood residents and building owners. Contact us today to schedule a free on-site property assessment.

Seismic Retrofit Structure to decrease earthquake damage

Photo courtesy of Hardy Frame by MiTek

Proposed West Hollywood Seismic Policy

According to the latest city council meeting the proposed seismic policies and summaries have been presented and made public and for review. At-a-glance highlights and details of the proposed policies and seismic summaries can be found below courtesy of the city council presentation.

Time Period for Compliance

Required Action by OwnerSubmit Screening ReportSubmit Retrofit PlansObtain Permit & Commence ConstructionComplete Construction
Milestone1 year2 years4 years5 years
from notice to the Ownerfrom notice to the Ownerfrom notice to the Ownerfrom notice to the Owner

Priority Designation

Soft-story buildings will be categorized into three priorities with higher occupancy buildings being required to comply first. The breakdown is as follows:

PriorityDescription
Priority IBuildings containing 16 or more dwelling units
Priority II3 stories or more containing fewer than 16 dwelling units
Priority IIIBuildings not falling within the definition of Priority I or II

The latest information on the timelines and the full council meeting details including a copy of the presentation can be found on West Hollywood’s seismic retrofit program web page.


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