Friday, July 1, 2011

We Need Your Feedback! - Mandatory Soft Story Seismic Retrofit Ordinance

BOMA San Francisco Members:

When the next earthquake occurs, San Francisco's overall economic resiliency will depend on structurally safe housing for people to live in.  BOMA San Francisco members understand the small businesses in their commercial buildings can only operate when their employees have a seismically safe place to live.

You may recall that in March 2010 the City passed the Voluntary Soft Story Seismic Retrofit Ordinance that:
  • Waives Building and Planning Department Plan Review fees – saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars per project.
  • Expedites the processing, review and approval of permits for voluntary seismic retrofit upgrades of soft-story, wood-frame buildings – buildings identified as likely to collapse during the next major earthquake in a January 2009 study by the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS); and
  • Enables those who retrofit voluntarily now, and who meet the building performance standard established by the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) for these voluntary retrofits, to be exempt for 15 years from any requirements that may be adopted in the near future as mandatory retrofitting legislation is enacted.
Late last year, Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced the Mandatory Soft Story Seismic Retrofit Ordinance. Note that this measure may be discussed at a City Hall meeting in short-term.  

Please click here to review the proposal and send your feedback to Ken Cleaveland at or John Bozeman at

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