Meeting on Soft-Story Buildings Retrofit Ordinance in Pasadena

A building in the Marina District settled onto its buckled garage supports after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. – Courtesy photo / USGS

The Planning and Community Development Department will be hosting a meeting on Nov. 8 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Pasadena City Hall Council Chambers (second floor at 100 N. Garfield, Pasadena, CA 91101), to provide general information regarding a potential ordinance requiring the retrofitting of wood soft-story apartments and condominium buildings. The ordinance, if adopted, is estimated to go into effect in the spring of 2019. The city will make a presentation containing general information about the draft requirements and applicability of the ordinance. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and provide comments.

Wood soft-story buildings are wood-framed buildings with more than one story that typically have extensive ground story windows, garage doors, or open-air spaces (such as parking) with little or no solid walls. Soft-story buildings accounted for significant human loss in the La Prieta and Northridge earthquakes and so the city is looking to adopt a retrofit ordinance for these buildings. By the city’s own estimates there are 493 wood soft-story buildings that require evaluation and possible retrofit. According to the city’s website “the most effective tool available to reduce the risks associated with structural vulnerabilities is to adopt a local ordinance which mandates retrofits.”

For additional information and to stay informed on future updates related to the ordinance click here.

November 6, 2018

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