Carpinteria does not currently mandate the retrofit of wood-frame soft-story buildings; however, the City is working to develop a mandatory soft-story retrofit program. Proposed Ordinance No. 737 Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program for Existing Wood-Frame Buildings with Soft, Weak, or Open-Front Walls has been drafted but has not yet been adopted by the city.

Vulnerable Buildings Assessment and Policy Program

The City has an ongoing program to identify potential soft-story buildings, and to develop a soft-story ordinance. Work on the program had been put on hold during 2020 due to the pandemic. According to their 2021 progress report on the 2020 General Plan, the City is presently considering resumption of the program.

Proposed Scope

Carpinteria’s proposed wood-frame soft-story retrofit program applies to existing buildings that have the following characteristics:

  • Wood-frame construction
  • Five or more dwelling units
  • Construction permit was applied for prior January 1, 1991
  • Contains soft, weak, and/or open-front wall lines

If adopted, the program would not apply to single family residences or multiple-family residential parcels with four or fewer units. It is estimated that approximately 14 buildings within the City of Carpinteria will fall within the scope of this proposed ordinance.

Proposed Timeline

The following time periods for compliance have been proposed.


BEGIN PROCESS Service of the Notice to the Building Owner
6 MONTHS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to submit screening form (optional)
2 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to submit retrofit plans and obtain permit
5 YEARS AFTER NOTICE Deadline to complete construction