More than 800 West Hollywood buildings could collapse in a big quake

West Hollywood has identified more than 800 buildings that could be at risk of damage or collapse in a major earthquake, part of a comprehensive effort to inventory them and require retrofits.

About 90% of the 821 buildings on the list square measure thought to be wood-frame structures, like residences with carports on the bottom floor. the remainder square measure believed to be concrete or steel. officers stressed that properties on the list aren’t essentially unsafe, which more study are going to be needed to see whether or not retrofitting is required.

West Hollywood is one of several California cities attempting to strengthen buildings before the next major temblor, joining Santa Monica and Los Angeles among others. The Hollywood fault runs along the city’s famed Sunset Strip, and buildings listed as needing further study include landmark hotels like the Andaz West Hollywood, Mondrian, Standard and Sunset Tower.

City officials say the mandatory retrofit law is needed not only to protect those in West Hollywood’s apartments, offices and hotels, but also to keep rent-controlled affordable housing from being destroyed when the next earthquake strikes.

Affordable housing is central to the identity of West Hollywood, which became its own city in 1984 on promises to stabilize rents. About 78% of West Hollywood’s residents live in apartments, most of them rent controlled, said Mayor Pro Tempore John Duran.

“One smart shaker while not unstable reinforcements may bring several of these buildings into being red-tagged and having to be dismantled — so wiping out a decent portion of our reasonable housing stock,” Duran aforesaid. “To me, this can be regarding infrastructure repair and maintenance.

“We could see a massive overturn of many of our longtime residents if our buildings are not retrofitted,” Duran said.

The retrofit ordinance passed by the City Council last year was not without controversy. Condominium owners organized in opposition, and elected leaders eventually agreed to exempt concrete and steel condominiums from the mandatory retrofit law.