The city of Los Angeles Ordinance #183893 is effective as of November 22, 2015. The Los Angeles wood-frame soft-story ordinance can be found here: Article 1, Division 93: Mandatory Earthquake Hazard Reduction in Existing Wood-Frame Buildings with Soft, Weak, or Open Front Walls.

Changes to the ordinance, including updates to the time limits for compliance, were approved on February 12, 2016 under Ordinance #184081.


  • Los Angeles’ mandatory wood-frame soft-story program applies to existing buildings that have the following characteristics:
  • Wood-frame construction
  • Construction permit was applied for prior to January 1, 1978
  • Four 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 officials identified approximately 13,500 buildings in the city of Los Angeles that fell within the scope of this ordinance. As of April 2016, the preliminary inventory of wood-frame soft-story apartments (download the list) and condominiums (download the list) was made public by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS).

City of Los Angeles Priority Designations

The Los Angeles wood-frame soft-story ordinance was carried out in phases. The timeline for compliance for each unique structure began following service distribution of the order from the LADBS. Orders were issued according to the priority levels outlined below.

Priority I

16 or more dwelling units

3 or more stories

May 2, 2016

2 stories July 22, 2016
Priority II Three or more stories with fewer than 16 dwelling units All

October 17, 2016

Priority III Fewer than three stories and fewer than 16 dwelling units 9-15 units January 30, 2017
7-8 units

May 29, 2017

4-6 units August 14, 2017

October 30, 2017


The city of Los Angeles requires that wood-frame soft-story building retrofits adhere to the timeline shown below. An official Order was issued to owners of buildings that fall within the scope of the ordinance. Once the Order was received, the subsequent deadlines were initiated. Orders were delivered in the phases outlined above, according to the priority level of the structure.

milestone requirement
BEGIN PROCESS Order received by building owner
2 YEARS AFTER ORDER Submit one of the following:
1. Proof that structure meets ordinance requirements OR
2. Plans for retrofit OR
3. Plans for demolition
3.5 YEARS AFTER ORDER Obtain one of the following:
1. Permit for rehabilitation OR 
2. Permit for demolition
7 YEARS AFTER ORDER Complete one of the following:
1. Construction/retrofit OR
2. Demolition