City of Santa Monica’s Seismic Retrofit Plan in Full SwingAug 19 2014 · 0 comments · Nishkian Chamberlain, Seismic ·0
Earlier this year we wrote about several cities across the state of California that were in the process of enacting new legislation regarding retrofit of certain types of older buildings. While San Francisco passed legislation specifically for soft-story structures, Los Angeles and Santa Monica have been working to put new legislation in place. Here we’ll discuss the latest progress in the City of Santa Monica.
On February 11th, 2014 the City of Santa Monica put their latest Seismic Retrofit Plan in motion. At this council meeting the Department of Planning and Community Development was allocated $105,000 to launch the first of three phases of a comprehensive seismic safety program that will address building vulnerabilities within the City of Santa Monica.
In the first phase, the City was to identify buildings that may not have been retrofitted following the City’s requirement to retrofit hazardous buildings in 1994. City workers would be identifying non-ductile concrete buildings, steel moment frame buildings and other types of buildings requiring retrofit, such as unreinforced masonry buildings, concrete wall tilt-up buildings, and soft-story structures.
In the second phase, city staff would re-assess the current seismic retrofit plan check and permit fee waiver that was instituted after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. This reassessment would focus on whether the fee waivers should be continued, as well as examine practices of seismic retrofit programs from other communities, such as the City and County of San Francisco. This information was presented with a recommendation for City Council consideration during the FY 2014-15 budget process. On May 27th, 2014, upon staff recommendation the City Council agreed to spend $91,000 and hire an engineering firm to implement the city assessment. The projects assessment work should take about two months and be complete near the middle to end of August 2014.
In phase three, recommendations will be made to City Council in the fall of 2014 to update the municipal code to incorporate the latest technical standards and timeframes for retrofit. This will be followed with notification to building owners of un-retrofitted structures and for full implementation of the program. (Source: City of Santa Monica)
The City of Santa Monica is also working with the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) to create standards for retrofitting buildings. After these standards are finalized, owners will be given time to explain how and when they will retrofit their buildings. (Source: Southern California Public Radio 89.3 KPCC)
Nishkian engineers are update-to-date with the latest information regarding retrofitting and new City legislation requirements. Contact any of our offices should you have questions regarding the new seismic retrofitting recommendations that are coming to Cities across our State.