SANTA MONICA—State officials released new maps on Thursday, July 13, outlining the locations of earthquake fault lines running through a number of Los Angeles neighborhoods, including the Westside area.
The new draft maps from the California Geographical Survey show the Santa Monica Fault Line running through neighborhoods including Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Century City, Westwood, and West Los Angeles, according to reports. They also complete the western edge of the Hollywood fault, which goes through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and the northern edge of the Newport-Inglewood fault, which runs through Culver City, Mid-City, and Pico-Robertson.
The maps, which will undergo a 90-day review, are part of an effort by local governments to locate fault lines to prevent new buildings from being constructed on top of them. Once the maps are finalized and gain lawmakers’ approval, future development projects may be dramatically restricted under the 1972 Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act, which prohibits construction of structures, such as apartment or office buildings, on top of active fault lines. Developers looking to build near a fault zone would be required to hire a geologist to investigate the area and deem it safe for construction. Local building officials will have the final authority on ensuring new construction will not occur on the actual fault lines, state officials indicated.
According to Tim Dawson, senior engineering geologist for the California Geographical Survey, it is important to avoid building on faults, as foundations tend to break when the earth moves beneath them, leading to damaged structures. The cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica have passed laws requiring buildings at high risk of damage and collapse to be retrofitted in compliance with seismic standards.
The maps are subject to change as the California Geological Survey seeks public feedback. Comments may be submitted to the State Mining and Geology Board by October 11. A public hearing will be held near the end of the review period. For more information, visit the announcement of the preliminary review maps here.