From past earthquakes, multi-story buildings with weak and/or open front wall lines creating a “soft-story” (i.e. buildings with tuck-under-parking) performed poorly and collapsed. The goal of the mandatory retrofit program, under Ordinance 183893 and Ordinance 184081, is to reduce structural deficiencies by the most economical and feasible method. Without proper strengthening, these vulnerable buildings may be subjected to structural failure during and/or after an earthquake.
Buildings that are most vulnerable have been identified with the following criteria:
The program does not apply to residential buildings with 3 or less units.
To verify if your building is within the scope,Please refer to the Permit & Inspection Report (Property Activity Report).
To obtain the inventory list of buildings, please contactLADBS Custodian of Records(213) 482-6770LADBS.email@example.com
Each property owner of these buildings will be sent an order to comply. These orders will be sent accordingly based on the following priorities:
The property owner must comply with the ordinance within the following time limits:
From the receipt of the Order to Comply:
For more information, please contact:
Soft-Story Retrofit Unit201 N. Figueroa St, 8th floor, Suite 890(213) 482-SOFT (7638)(213) 202-9924Softfirstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that all plans and structural analysis must be submitted to the above office.
For more information about the tenant habitability plan and cost recovery guide, please contact HCIDLA:
Tenant Habitability Plan Unit(213) email@example.com
Cost Recovery Applications & RSO Information(866) 557- RENT (7368)HCIDLA.RSO@LACity.org
For more information on the Mayor’s Resilience by Design, please visit http://www.lamayor.org/resilience-design-building-stronger-los-angeles
For information regarding California Capital Access Program (possible financing loan) effective January 1, 2017, please visit the California State Treasurer Website
A soft-story building is a structure which has a weaker first floor and is unable to carry the weight of the stories above during an earthquake. The first floor generally would have large openings in the perimeter walls such as garages, tuck under parking or even large windows.
Retrofit is an improvement to your building by altering or adding any structural elements.
This type of parking is parking beneath the 2nd floor.
The purpose of this program is to reduce the risk of injury or loss of life that may result from the effects of earthquakes on wood frame soft-story buildings. In the Northridge Earthquake, many wood frame soft- story buildings caused loss of life, injury, and property damage. This program creates a guide for property owners on strengthening their building to improve performance during an earthquake.
This program applies to all existing buildings with the following criteria:
Exception: The program does not apply to residential buildings with 3 or less units.
Each property owner of these buildings will be sent an order to comply. These orders will be sent accordingly based on the following priority:
The property owner must hire an engineer or architect licensed in the state of California to evaluate the strength of the building. The engineer or architect must then develop plans for the building’s seismic strengthening in compliance with this program. The owner must notify tenants in writing per HCIDLA regulations.
Please visit the State of California’s Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists for information regarding licensed engineers: http://bpelsg.ca.gov.
Please visit the California Architects Board for information regarding licensed architects: http://cab.ca.gov
Please visit the Contractors State License Board for information regarding hiring a contractor and to verify if a contractor is licensed and insured: http://cslb.ca.gov.
Submit proof of previous retrofit, plans to retrofit, or plans to demolish to the Department of Building and Safety. Plans and calculations will be checked for compliance with the retrofit ordinance. LADBS will provide guidance for all necessary steps to obtain the retrofit permit, which includes obtaining clearances from all pertinent agencies.
Within two (2) years after the service date of the Order to Comply, a structural analysis and plans to either retrofit or demolish, or proof of previous retrofit shall be submitted to the Department for review if the building meets the minimum requirements of this ordinance.
Within three-and-a-half (3 ½) years after the service date of the Order to Comply, obtain all permits for retrofit or demolition of the building.
Within seven (7) years after the service date of the Order to Comply, complete construction or demolition work and finalize permits.
Begin construction and request inspections online using our Online Services.
The documents required for submittal are:
For more details see our Plan Submittal for Regular Plan Check page.
Plan check is a process of which the plans are reviewed for compliance to current codes. For this program, the plans will be reviewed for compliance to the mandatory retrofit ordinance 183983 and 184081. Once plans have been reviewed and approved, permit can be issued.
All construction work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by authorized inspectors. It is your responsibility to notify the inspector when the work is ready for inspection.
Work is generally inspected and approved in succession and no work may continue beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the inspector.
Common items to be inspected are foundation excavations, concrete work, wood framing, shear wall nailing, etc. When completed, there shall be a final inspection and approval of the completed project.
To request for inspection, please call (888) LA4Build or (213) 482-0008 or request for inspection online.