Los Angeles Seismic Retrofit Program Property Owner’s Guide


Soft-Story Building:

A structure that has a weaker first floor and is unable to carry the weight of the stories above during an earthquake. The first floor generally has large openings in the perimeter walls such as garages, tuck-under parking or even large windows.


An improvement to a building by altering or adding structural elements.

Tuck-Under Parking:

Parking that is beneath the second floor.

Soft-Story Program

What is this program about?

The purpose of this program is to reduce the risk of injury or loss of life that may result from the effects of earthquakes on wood frame soft-story buildings. In the Northridge Earthquake, many wood frame soft-story buildings caused loss of life, injury, and property damage. This program creates a guide for property owners to strengthen their buildings to improve performance during an earthquake.

Why is my building affected?

LADBS has determined that your building meets all the following criteria:

  • Two or more stories wood frame construction;
    Built under building code standards enacted before January 1, 1978,
    Contains ground floor parking or other similar open floor space that causes soft, weak or open wall lines.

Exception: The program does not apply to residential
buildings with 3 or less units.

Compliance Requirements
How soon do I have to comply?

2 years from the date of the Order, Submit:

  • Proof of previous retrofit, or
    Plans to retrofit, or
    Plans to demolish.

3.5 years from the date of the Order, Obtain:

  • permit to retrofit or demolish

7 years from the date of the Order:

  • Complete Construction and
  • Obtain Certificate of Compliance
By | 2018-02-07T23:35:54+00:00 February 7th, 2018|City of Los Angeles|