Los Angeles Soft Story Retrofit Program

From past earthquakes, multi-story buildings with weak and/or open front wall lines creating a “soft-story” (i.e. buildings with tuck-under-parking) performed poorly and collapsed.

The goal of the mandatory retrofit program, under Ordinance 183893 and Ordinance 184081, is to reduce structural deficiencies by the most economical and feasible method. Without proper strengthening, these vulnerable buildings may be subjected to structural failure during and/or after an earthquake.

Buildings that are most vulnerable have been identified with the following criteria:

  • Consist of 2 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

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

To verify if your building is within the scope,
Please refer to the Permit & Inspection Report (Property Activity Report).

To obtain the inventory list of buildings, please contact
LADBS Custodian of Records
(213) 482-6770

Each property owner of these buildings will be sent an order to comply. These orders will be sent accordingly based on the following priorities.

Priority Categories Start date of Sending Out Orders
I. Buildings with 16 or more dwelling units 3-story and above May 2, 2016
2-story July 22, 2016
II. Buildings with 3 or more stories with less than 16 units October 17, 2016
III. Buildings not falling within the definition of Priority I or II with 9-15 units July 24, 2017
with 7-8 units August 21, 2017
with 4-6 units September 25, 2017
Condos/Commercial November 6, 2017

The property owner must comply with the ordinance within the following time limits:

From the receipt of the Order to Comply:

  • 2 years: Submit proof of previous retrofit, or plans to retrofit or demolish
  • 3.5 years: Obtain permit to start construction or demolition
  • 7 years: Complete construction
Reference: LADBS Soft Story Retrofit Program

Finding a Soft Story Retrofit Engineer to Trust

As noted engineers of distinction and local to the Los Angeles/Southern California area; we recommend ourselves at JN Engineering as exemplary engineers and contractors able to cater to all of your structural needs, especially for all your Soft Story Engineering Needs. To see more information, please check out our Soft Story Services page.

Whether you choose to use our services or not, we would urge you to get your soft story retrofit project into motion soon.