Seismic safety worries city

More than seven years ago, Berkeley enacted the Soft Story Ordinance to mitigate the dangers of buildings with structurally unsupportive ground levels. Hundreds of Berkeley properties meet the city’s soft-story definition — a wood-frame structure with five or more units and a ground level containing large openings like storefronts, garages or tuck-under parking.
Read More…

Finding fault

BAY AREA AFFAIRS: Given the slew of recent earthquakes in Berkeley, the level of safety and awareness in the community is worrisome.

In the last few weeks, the ground has trembled beneath the feet of Berkeley community members about 20 times, shaking up not only our nerves but also our assurance that we would be safe should the “Big One” hit. It is our perception that if a catastrophic earthquake were to
Read More…

Shaky enforcement

CITY AFFAIRS: The city has dwelled too long on the issue of coercing owners into retrofitting their buildings. It is time to act.

The city’s dilemma of coaxing landlords into retrofitting their earthquake-vulnerable buildings has dragged on too long. According to a 2008 US Geological Survey study, there is a 63 percent chance that in about the next 30 years an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or greater will shake the Bay Area. According
Read More…