Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The Los Angeles City Council approved stricter standards Tuesday for the repair of newer buildings damaged during a major earthquake or other disaster.

The city had required that damaged buildings constructed after 2011 only needed to be repaired to meet at least 75 percent of the latest code requirements on the books. Under the changes approved Tuesday, repairs must meet 100 percent of the codes.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said the measure is the last to be adopted as a result of his earthquake preparedness plan, “Resilience by Design,” which was created with the input of seismologist Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The plan also resulted in mandatory retrofitting for older soft-story and concrete non-ductile buildings thought to be especially prone to collapsing during an earthquake.

“Los Angeles is making good on its promise to take action before ‘the Big One’ hits,” Garcetti said. “The Substantial Structural Damage Ordinance passed by the City Council today will further protect Angelenos from unsafe living conditions by requiring seismic retrofit, rather than mere repair, of buildings that experience major damage in an earthquake.”

Structural damage could come in the form of cracks, jammed windows or “bouncy” floors, according to Garcetti’s office.

Garcetti also pointed soft-story building owners to the Seismic Retrofit Resource Fair on April 7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and said those interested in attending should email resilience@lacity.org to register.

Jones, who is retiring from the USGS, will be recognized tomorrow morning by the Los Angeles City Council, which is declaring a day in her honor.

— Wire reports 

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