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LA Has A Real Problem Figuring Out Where The Fault Lines Are

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New developments in Hollywood, like the stalled-out Millennium Hollywood and the under-construction Blvd6200, have been beset by claims that their developers are endangering lives by building too close to the Hollywood Fault; the problem is there's no exact map of where the fault actually lies (because of state budget cuts, natch). Is the city being as cautious as it could be about building in potentially-dangerous locations?, the LA Times wondered. So they did their own analysis and found that during the aughts, "Los Angeles and Santa Monica ... approved more than a dozen construction projects on or near two well-known faults without requiring seismic studies to determine if the buildings could be destroyed in an earthquake."

The city takes tons of precautions around fault lines, regularly performing tests on land that is within 500 feet of a fault line and prohibiting building within 50 feet of a fault, "[b]ut the state has not created fault zones for the neighborhoods around the Hollywood or Santa Monica faults," so even though everyone knows about the Hollywood Fault, it's not officially there. Because it's not there, no additional tests were required, says a rep for the LA Department of Building and Safety. Also troubling the Times was their discovery that "Los Angeles building records show that when officials approved projects, they used outdated information" (again) that put the Santa Monica and Hollywood Faults at a greater distance from the buildings than they appear on new, updated maps.
· LA, Santa Monica Buildings May Sit Atop Quake Faults [LA Times]