City of Los Angeles Soft-Story and Non-Ductile Concrete Ordinance

Need to retrofit your building? We can help. 

The City of Los Angeles is currently implementing an ordinance, 183893, that will require seismic retrofits of all wood-frame soft story buildings constructed before 1978 as well as non-ductile concrete buildings from the same era.

Soft Story Buildings

Owners of soft story buildings have started receiving Order to Comply (OTC) letters that outline deadlines for compliance in the evaluation, permit, and construction of the necessary retrofits. The clock starts running for buildings to conform as these OTC letters are sent out by the City.

The chart below illustrates these City mandated deadlines:

Soft Story Retrofit Compliance Timeline


The OTC letters are being sent out following a priority system. Owners of buildings that fit into a higher priority category will receive a letter earlier than those that own a lower priority building:

Priority I

Buildings with 16 or more dwelling units

Priority II

Buildings with 3 or more stories

Priority III

Buildings not incorporated in I or II above.

Residential buildings with 3 or less units are exempt from the program.

Non-Ductile Concrete Buildings

The City of Los Angeles expects to have an inventory of buildings that will be subject to the ordinance ready in the latter half of 2016, after which OTC letters will start to be sent to owners.

Non-Ductile Concrete Compliance Timeline


KPFF has many years of experience in seismic retrofits of all types, extensive resources to help get projects completed in a timely manner and is uniquely qualified to help owners comply with City of Los Angeles requirement. This ordinance will ultimately make Los Angeles a more resilient city when the next major earthquake inevitably hits the region, allowing owners to maintain their income sources as well as protecting occupants of these buildings.

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