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42 buildings in Beverly Hills have not been seismically retrofitted

42 buildings in Beverly Hills have not been seismically retrofitted
42 buildings in Beverly Hills have not been seismically retrofitted


If you live or work in Beverly Hills and your building was constructed before 1978, it may need a seismic retrofit.

According to recently obtained data on 229 soft-storey buildings in the city, 42 of them have not yet been updated. These buildings are now included in the Times' searchable map tracking seismic retrofits in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena and West Hollywood.

Thirteen unmodified buildings are also located in liquefaction zones, areas where the ground can break during an earthquake.

Beverly Hills approved a retrofit program in December 2018 targeting soft-story buildings, typically low-rise apartments that can hold dozens of people and have a flimsy first floor devoted to parking. The city's program applies to wood-frame buildings built before January 1978 that have parking below the second floor of the building.

In all, about 6,000 buildings are likely in need of updating in Los Angeles County, according to city records analyzed by the Times. Retrofitting strengthens weak buildings to better withstand shaking from earthquakes, making them less likely to collapse or suffer damage. In December 2023, The Times published its searchable database of nearly 17,000 buildings to help readers determine the condition of the buildings in which they live or work.

Over the past six months, the Times has continued these tracking efforts by requesting public records, sifting through building permits and speaking with engineers and residents in Los Angeles.

The Times received updated data from West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Pasadena and added new data from Beverly Hills. Culver City provided the Times with data that will be added to the map at a later date.

Through ongoing reporting, the Times has learned that data provided by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety contains inconsistencies compared to its permitting website. This site contains detailed information on each permit attached to the building, including maintenance, safety complaints, and seismic retrofit history.

After interviews with building owners and residents, The Times found that the city's permit database and the Department of Building and Safety's update records did not match due to a technical issue. In response to our inquiries, city building officials are working to update the agency's databases. Once The Times receives the corrected data, we will update our map.

The Times requested progress reports from every city with a seismic modernization law. Since publishing the first version of our map, Pasadena building officials have made updates to their database, digitized paper permits and verified records from building owners.

As a result, an additional 38 buildings were classified as retrofitted. The total number of soft-storey buildings retrofitted in Pasadena is 98. An additional 404 buildings are in the process of being retrofitted.

Most of the buildings in Los Angeles awaiting improvements are apartments and condos with soft floors. Many of the deadlines for retrofitting the largest soft-storey buildings have passed, although some have been extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the South Bay, Torrance officials issued an ordinance in March 2023, but letters have not yet been sent to all building owners. Once officials identify the buildings, The Times will add those places to our map.




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