Earlier this year, the City of LA passed the country’s most stringent seismic retrofit ordinance,which mandates structural strengthening of vulnerable buildings in an effort to protect the city against losses in case of the next major earthquake. The ordinance targets the following buildings:
1. Wood framed - multifamily buildings that contain large areas of tuck under parking with a
stability weakness at the ground floor level -commonly known as a “soft-story” or “weak story”
condition. Affected buildings are those with five or more units built before 1978.
2. Non-ductile concrete buildings – these are structures with concrete floors and roofs supported on concrete columns and concrete walls – and this includes all concrete buildings built to codes prior to the 1976 Uniform Building Code. LA’s ordinance is the first to mandate compulsory retrofits of reinforced concrete buildings.
Courtesy Notices have been sent to affected building owners, with formal Order to Comply.
What are my Options?
If you receive an order to comply, you should:
1. Inspect. Have an engineer evaluate the building configuration and building plans to determine
whether it may be exempt from the ordinance, or if compliance can be achieved through limited
2. Consider Appealing. If it’s determined that there are grounds for appeal, your engineer can
perform design calculations and prepare the required documentation to make your case.
3. Comply. If it’s determined that the building is subject to the ordinance, your engineer can
recommend and design the most cost-effective improvements to achieve compliance and meet
specific performance objectives.
Fill out the short form below to check if your property is affected.