SANTA MONICA—According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, the City Council unanimously approved the second reading of a comprehensive seismic retrofit ordinance on Tuesday, March 28.

The ordinance will encompass 20 years of work to increase safety of earthquake-vulnerable buildings in the event of an earthquake.

Over 2,000 commercial and multi-family residential buildings made a list of sites that need to be assessed for possible structural improvement. Participation in the program is mandatory when the ordinance goes into effect in May 2017.

Potentially Seismically Vulnerable Buildings Type Structural Evaluation Reports Due Retrofit Must Be Completed Within (Years)



Unreinforced Masonry                3               2
Concrete Tilt-Up                4               3
Soft- Story                2 Years               6
Non-Ductile Concrete                3 Years              10
Steel Moment Frame                3 Years              20
Single Family                  –         Voluntary

Building owners will receive notices beginning in May to complete the seismic assessment. Notices will roll out over a one-year period and the timeline for submitting the structural evaluation report and retrofit will vary based on the complexity of work involved in each building type.

“Santa Monica is focused on being a resilient city and part of that is being prepared for an earthquake,” said Mayor Ted Winterer. “Our seismic retrofit program goes beyond what other cities have done because we want to do as much as we can to limit the loss of life and infrastructure, so in the event of a disaster, we bounce back strong.”

A website has been created to share information on the seismic retrofit program. Addition tools and information will be added in the next month as we roll into implementation with the first round of noticing for unreinforced masonry buildings in May. To learn more and to stay up to date, visit