Carpinteria Considers Mandatory Seismic Retrofitting Program

Posted February 20, 2020, under Blog

Following in Los Angeles’s footsteps, Carpinteria is considering a city-wide mandatory seismic retrofitting program in an effort to make the city safer.

The ordinance – which is currently under consideration – would mandate owners of soft story structures in the area to retrofit those buildings within five years.

It’s estimated there are 14 buildings in Carpinteria, with 300 unites, that would need seismic retrofitting. The ordinance would apply to existing wood-frame structures with a soft or weak first floor. Known as soft stories, these structures are typically characterized as apartment buildings with an open ground floor which is used for tuck under parking.

Like other regions throughout Southern and Northern California, Carpinteria is hoping these mandatory seismic retrofits will minimize the risk of death, injury and destruction in the face of a significant earthquake.

While seismic retrofits are not state mandated yet, the state legislature has authorized cities throughout the state to enact mandatory retrofits when and where they see fit.

The cost of retrofitting a soft story building ranges in from $5,000 to $15,000 per unit and $40,000 to $160,000 per building.

Homeowner Kathy Henry urged the city council to move forward with the ordinance. “This is a danger,” she said about the structural integrity of these vulnerable properties. “In the next five years there’s going to be an earthquake […] This is going to cost us money, but there are lives at stake.”

While the ordinance has yet to be approved, city council members did unanimously vote to approve changes to Carpinteria’s building codes.

If you live in California and own an older property or a soft story structure, seismic retrofitting is a necessary safeguard for protecting those who reside there and for maintaining the value of your property.

At Julian Construction, we’ll help you find the best solution for your seismic repairs. No matter what your foundation situation is, we’ll conduct a (free) inclusive home inspection, followed by a detailed consultation, and at the end of our discussion we’ll provide you with a quote for repair.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors, earthquake retrofitting, foundation repair and foundation replacement. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 30,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

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