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Who Will Pay For LA's Retrofit Ordinance?

A proposed plan requiring mandatory retrofits of wood-frame and certain concrete buildings in LA...

...has been announced. It's an important step towards creating a more resilient city, but concerns have been raised about who should pay for this effort. Finding creative financing solutions will be critical to the success of LA's retrofit program. This week, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti formally proposed a plan to improve the City’s seismic safety and resilience by strengthening vulnerable buildings and infrastructure most at risk during a major earthquake. The proposal mandates retrofits of all buildings that the City has identified to be structurally weak, and also includes a recommendation to reinforce vulnerable telecommunications and water supply systems.

The plan, known as Resilience by Design, is LA's most ambitious step yet toward protecting the city against major losses in case of the next major earthquake. The plan targets two structurally weak building types: requiring retrofitting within 5 years for wood-frames, soft-story multifamily buildings built prior to 1980, and within 25 years for vulnerable non-ductile reinforced concrete buildings built before that date.

The City performed a comprehensive inventory of LA's soft-story buildings that identified close to 15,000 buildings that fall under the proposed ordinance. Upon approval of LA's Resilience by Design plan, owners of such buildings will be notified and required to engage an engineer to determine retrofit needs to improve structural safety in the applicable timeframe.

Continue reading the GlobeSt blog here.