Newsom cuts red tape for shakes

In a common sense move that will surely be boasted about during his suspected run for state governor, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom introduced legislation to encourage earthquake retrofitting of private and commercial properties throughout the city through the following:

  • Expediting the review of retrofit permits for owners of soft-story buildings.

  • Waiving retrofit permit fees, which can cost up to $1000.

  • City departments would be directed to develop retrofit guidelines for high risk buildings.

  • An outreach campaign would be launched to inform the public of the need for seismic retrofitting, including a citywide emergency drill in October.

There is no indication the City of Los Angeles has a similar program. However, Mayor Villaraigosa has announced The Great Southern Californian Shakeout for November, which promises to be the largest ever earthquake drill.

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