West Hollywood

Non-Ductile Concrete Structures

The city of West Hollywood does not currently have any mandate for the retrofit of wood-frame soft-story buildings or non-ductile concrete buildings. However, work is underway to identify existing vulnerable buildings and to develop a seismic retrofit program intended to reduce the risk of earthquake-related damage and ensure life safety in the city’s commercial and multifamily buildings.

The proposed ordinance which was presented to the West Hollywood City Council on August 15, 2016 can be found here. Finalization and adoption of the ordinance has been postponed to allow for further outreach and education to building owners. The West Hollywood staff recommended the ordinance should become effective in July 2017. See the links on this page for information on the program’s progress and key dates.


The city has developed a two-phase program intended to take a proactive approach to earthquake hazard mitigation. Phase One of the seismic program involved a comprehensive survey of existing buildings to identify vulnerable structures.

Phase Two of the program involves the development of a retrofit ordinance that is intended to lessen the potential for catastrophic damage to the buildings identified in Phase One. Phase Two of the program is underway and the City has developed a proposed ordinance to address four different building types as follows:

  1. Mandatory Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Existing Wood-Frame Buildings with Soft, Weak or Open Front Walls
  2. Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Cripple Walls and Sill Plate Anchorage in Existing Wood-Frame Buildings
  3. Mandatory Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Non-Ductile Concrete Structures
  4. Mandatory Seismic Strengthening Provisions for Pre-Northridge Steel Moment Frame Buildings

Santa Monica’s mandatory non-ductile concrete ordinance will apply to existing buildings that have the following characteristics:

  • Reinforced concrete construction
  • Built under building code standards enacted before 1979

The results of the seismic retrofit survey (Phase One of the program) indicate that there are an estimated 55 buildings in the City of West Hollywood that meet the requirements above and fall within the scope of the non-ductile concrete ordinance. 60 buildings have been classified as ‘undetermined’ building types and may be added to this category following further investigation.

Priority Designations

The West Hollywood wood-frame soft-story ordinance has been proposed to be carried out in phases. Upon adoption of the ordinance, the timeline for compliance for each unique structure begins following distribution of the Notice from the Building Official to Building Owners. Notices are expected to be issued according to the priority levels outlined below.



Priority I.

8 or more stories

Priority II. 3 to 7 stories
Priority III. 2 or less stories


The city of West Hollywood requires that non-ductile concrete building retrofits adhere to the timeline shown below. The timeline for each building type is initiated following service of the Notice to the Owner.


Service of the Notice to the Building Owner

3 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to submit engineering report and determine all deficiencies
5 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to submit retrofit plans for major deficiency mitigation
7 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to obtain building permit and commence construction
10 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to complete major deficiency mitigation construction
13 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to submit retrofit plans (non-major deficiency)
15 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to obtain permit and commence construction (non-major deficiency)
20 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to complete construction (non-major deficiency)


Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Phone: 626.696.4650
E-mail: seismicordinances@wje.com

West Hollywood Seismic Building Survey Project Manager
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: 323.848.6892
E-mail: SeismicProgram@weho.org