seismic tremorWeHo Seismic Retrofit Program 

On May 18, 2015, the City Council directed staff to address the structural seismic safety issues of the City’s existing building stock and develop a framework for a seismic retrofit program.  After issuing a  request for proposals for a consulting firm to assist the City with a Seismic Retrofit Program, Degenkolb Engineers, a top structural engineering company specializing in seismic strengthening solutions, was selected to conduct a survey of the City’s entire existing building stock and assist with the development of a seismic retrofit plan and ordinance.

The data collected from the survey assisted with the development of a comprehensive ordinance that addresses strengthening provisions for four different building types as listed below:

  1. Mandatory Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Existing Wood-Frame Buildings with Soft, Weak or Open Front Walls
  2. Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Cripple Walls and Sill Plate Anchorage in Existing Wood-Frame Buildings
  3. Mandatory Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Non-Ductile Concrete Structures
  4. Mandatory Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Pre-Northridge Steel Moment Frame Buildings

On August 15, 2016, staff presented the proposed ordinance at the City Council meeting.  At this meeting, no action was taken, however staff was directed to provide supplemental information and statistics as well as perform additional outreach and return the item to the City Council by the end of 2016.

The Staff report presented to the City Council and the proposed ordinance can be found via the links below:

Events

Community Meetings and Events:

Presentations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a seismic retrofit?

It is the upgrade of an existing building to mitigate structural deficiencies that may potentially cause catastrophic damage to a building in the event of an earthquake. 

What are the benefits of performing a seismic upgrade?

While no building is absolutely earthquake-proof, the City is taking these precautionary measures to lessen the potential for catastrophic failure of our existing buildings. Retrofitting existing buildings will protect the safety of the people who live and work in West Hollywood, and lessen the economic impact following a major earthquake.

How is the City of West Hollywood developing the Seismic Retrofit Program?

The Seismic Program is comprised of the following phases:

  • The initial phase: includes surveying and categorizing of all buildings located in the City. 
  • The second phase: will utilize the information collected from the building survey to develop the seismic retrofit program and related ordinance to reduce the seismic risk to potentially vulnerable buildings. 
  • The third phase:  Adoption of the ordinance and implementation of the Seismic Retrofit Program.

How will I know if my building will be subject to the ordinance? 

The City is currently working with our consultant team to identify a full inventory of buildings that may fall under the ordinance when approved by City Council.  The inventory is incomplete and still under review at this time.  It will not be released until Council takes final action on an ordinance that specifies what buildings are subject to specific provisions and the inventory can be reconciled with the requirements of the ordinance.

How much does a Seismic Retrofit cost?

  • How much does it cost?
  • How much will owners and tenants be required to pay?

In June 2016, the City hired a consultant to research what other cities are doing in terms of financing options and potential for pass through provisions.  This effort is running parallel to the technical aspects of the ordinance and similar outreach programs will be occurring in the upcoming months.  Regular updates will be provided on this webpage.

Resources

  • Earthquake Brace + Bolt - Launched in 2014 by the California Earthquake Authority and California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, EBB is helping homeowners strengthen older homes.  Homes within City of West Hollywood are eligible to participate in this program.  Homeowner registration will be open January 25 through February 27, 2017.  For additional information and eligibility requirements click here.
  • Other resources

Additional Information

Additional information will be posted to this website and social media as it becomes available. 

To stay updated with the latest information regarding West Hollywood’s Seismic Retrofit Program sign up for West Hollywood’s Seismic Retrofit Program Email List! 

For additional information about the Seismic Retrofit Program, please contact SeismicProgram@weho.org or (323) 848-6848.  For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, please call TTY (323) 848-6496