Los Angeles is finally getting serious about prepping for an earthquake; in what's being called "the most aggressive action on earthquake safety in nearly three decades," the City Council has voted to have the Department of Building and Safety hire three new employees whose sole jobs will be to comb through LADBS records to find (and in some cases confirm) the exact number of "soft-story" wood-frame apartments (aka dingbats), some of the most potentially dangerous in the case on an earthquake, says the LA Times. It's estimated, based on an LADBS report submitted to the city this past November, that there are about 5,800 of these dingbats in LA, but there are also 11,690 buildings that will require inspections in order to determine whether they are soft-story or not. The three LADBS new-hires for this project will inspect about 30 buildings a day and work toward compiling the final report. The whole things is expected to be done in about 18 months.
The city's passed on compiling a list of these kinds of apartments in the past (though we do have a list of pre-1976 concrete buildings that could be unsafe in a 'quake). "This is something we should've done 20 years ago," said one councilmember who'd previously lobbied for earthquake safety measures.
Logically, the next step after cataloging the buildings would be a retrofit of unsafe buildings, but no one is quite sure of how to pay for that yet. Some landlords (and at least one city councilmember) want to pass some costs on to tenants; others are hoping for government help in covering the expense. Tax incentives and a state bond have been mentioned as possibilities, but so far, the city hasn't said what it will do with this list once it's done.
· L.A. to list structures that could be at risk in quake [LAT]
· http://la.curbed.com/tags/retrofits">LA's Signature Dingbat Apartments Very Bad News in a 'Quake [Curbed LA]