West Hollywood Soft Story Retrofit Program

Ordinance 17-1004  which was adopted on April 17, 2017, requires the mandatory retrofit of existing buildings of wood-frame construction where the ground floor contains parking or other similar open floor space that causes soft, weak or open-front wall lines with one or more stories above. These types of buildings performed poorly in past earthquakes because of the weakened open wall line which oftentimes leads to substantial building damage or building collapse causing loss of life, personal injury and substantial property damage. The Ordinance creates minimum standards intended to reduce the risk of collapse and improve the performance of these types of buildings in a significant seismic event.  Retrofit requirements will only apply to buildings where a permit for construction was applied for prior to January 1, 1978. 

The Ordinance went into effect April 1, 2018. Notices are being mailed out to affected property owners informing them of the requirements of the Ordinance, compliance deadlines and appeal procedures. 

Priority

Description

 Notice Issuance Date

Priority I

Buildings containing 16 or more dwelling units

April 2, 2019 

Priority II

3 stories or more containing fewer than 16 dwelling units

June 11, 2019*

Priority III

Buildings not falling within the description of Priority I or II.

 September 4, 2019*

A time period of 5 years (from the date of notification) will be given to comply with the requirements of the soft story ordinance. 

 

SOFT STORY RETROFIT MILESTONES

Required Action by Owner

Submit 
Screening
Report

Submit Retrofit Plans

Obtain Permit & Commence Construction

Complete Construction

Milestone

1 year from notice

2 years from notice

4 years from notice

5  years from notice

Residential apartment buildings required to comply with the ordinance will also be required to complete and submit  a Tenant Habitability Plan (THP) with their retrofit plans.