The city of Fremont adopted a wood-frame soft-story program on May 1, 2007, under Ordinance 10-2007, Soft-Story Residential Buildings Retrofit. Ordinance compliance is mandatory for apartment buildings that fall within the scope outlined below. The ordinance is voluntary for buildings defined as condominiums.


Fremont’s mandatory wood-frame soft-story program applies to existing buildings that have the following characteristics:

  • Wood-frame construction
  • Constructed prior to January 1, 1978
  • Apartment building with three or more dwelling units
  • Ground floor containing parking or similar open floor or basement space causing soft, weak, or open lines where there exists at least one or more levels above

Building Classification

Fremont has established building classifications to prioritize retrofits based on the number of apartments and the number of stories in a building. This classification (Group I or Group II) determines the timeline for conformance as shown below.

Group I Apartment buildings with more than 10 units or more than two stories
Group II Apartment buildings with 10 or fewer units and fewer than three stories



The timeline for the owners of wood-frame soft-story apartment buildings to comply with the ordinance is dependent upon the building’s classification as detailed above. 

May 1, 2007 Ordinance passed

Notice of Determination received

24 MONTHS Deadline to submit retrofit plans and issuance of building permit (Group I)
36 MONTHS Deadline to submit retrofit plans and issuance of building permit (Group II)
48 MONTHS Deadline to complete retrofit (Group I)
60 MONTHS Deadline to complete retrofit (Group II)