Via city of Santa Monica press release. Read more Santa Monica Next coverage of this ordinance here.

Example of a rent-controlled apartment building
Dingbats like these are abundant in Santa Monica’s inventory of rent-controlled apartments. Photo by Sirinya Matute

On Tuesday, March 28, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved the second reading of a comprehensive seismic retrofit ordinance that will encompass 20 years of work to increase safety of earthquake-vulnerable buildings in the event of a large quake. Nearly 2,000 commercial and multi-family residential buildings made a list of sites that need to be assessed for possible structural improvement. Participation in the program is mandatory when the ordinance goes into effect in May 2017. These buildings are broken out into five categories:

Beginning in May, building owners will receive notices to complete a seismic assessment. Notices will roll out over a one-year period and the timeline for submitting the structural evaluation report and retrofit vary based on the complexity of work involved in each building type (see above). The building types are listed in order of noticing. For a proposed schedule with dates for noticing, visit smgov.net/seismic.

“Santa Monica is focused on being a resilient city and part of that is being prepared for an earthquake,” said Mayor Ted Winterer. “Our seismic retrofit program goes beyond what other cities have done because we want to do as much as we can to limit the loss of life and infrastructure, so in the event of a disaster, we bounce back strong.”

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A website has been created to share information on the seismic retrofit program. Addition tools and information will be added in the next month as we roll into implementation with the first round of noticing for unreinforced masonry buildings in May. To learn more and to stay up to date, visit smgov.net/seismic.