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 became effective on April 1, 2018.


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 more than 700 buildings in the City of West Hollywood that fall within the scope of the soft-story ordinance. The list of properties subject to the West Hollywood Seismic Retrofit Ordinances is available to the public here.

Priority Designations

The West Hollywood wood-frame soft-story ordinance was 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 were issued according to the priority levels outlined below.

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



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.

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