West Hollywood

Wood-Frame Soft-Story Structures

The city of West Hollywood formally adopted a seismic retrofit program on April 17, 2017. The program is intended to reduce the risk of earthquake-related damage and ensure life safety in the city’s commercial and multifamily buildings. Ordinance 17-1004 establishes the mandatory provisions for strengthening existing wood-frame buildings with soft, weak, or open-front walls. The ordinance also contains provisions for cripple walls and sill plate anchorage in existing wood-frame buildings. The ordinance will become effective on April 1, 2018.

Scope

West Hollywood’s mandatory wood-frame soft-story ordinance will apply to existing buildings that have the following characteristics:

  • Wood-frame construction
  • Permit for construction was applied for prior to January 1, 1978 
  • Ground floor or basement contains parking or similar open floor space causing soft, weak, or open lines, or the majority of the ground floor or basement contains an open floor space, and there exists one or more stories above 

The city of West Hollywood conducted a seismic retrofit survey which indicated that there are an estimated 780 buildings in the City of West Hollywood that fall within the scope of the soft-story ordinance.

Priority Designations

The West Hollywood wood-frame soft-story ordinance will be carried out in phases. 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 LEVEL

BUILDING DESCRIPTION

Priority I.

16 or more dwelling units
Priority II. 3 or more stories with less than 16 dwelling units
Priority III. Buildings not falling within Priority I or Priority II

Timeline

The City of West Hollywood requires that wood-frame soft-story building retrofits adhere to the timeline shown below. The timeline for each building type is initiated following service of the Notice to the Owner. Notices will be delivered in phases according to the priority levels outlined above.

MILESTONE REQUIREMENT
BEGIN PROCESS Service of the Notice to the Building Owner
1 YEAR AFTER NOTICE Deadline to submit screening report
2 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to submit retrofit plans
4 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to obtain permit and commence construction
5 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to complete construction
 

Contacts

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