Santa Monica’s Building Retrofit Legislation

On March 28, 2017, the Santa Monica City Council approved a comprehensive seismic retrofit ordinance that will encompass work to increase safety of earthquake-vulnerable buildings in the event of a large quake. Nearly 2,000 commercial and multi-family residential buildings are to be assessed for possible structural improvement. Participation in the program is mandatory, but the retrofits will be required earlier for unreinforced masonry buildings (2 years), than for harder to retrofit steel frame buildings (20 years).

City officials estimate that a typical woodframe apartment building will cost between $5,000 to $10,000 per unit to retrofit and $50 to $100 per square foot for concrete and steel buildings. Retrofits of single-family homes is voluntary.