Council to Consider New ‘Soft Story’ Ordinance on Earthquake Retrofitting

The City Council is considering a new seismic strengthening ordinance to address “Soft Story” buildings in Culver City – “Soft-Story Seismic Retrofit Ordinance”. Soft Story buildings are wood  construction that have soft, weak, open walls (SWOF) at the ground floor that are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes.

soft story building is a multi-story building in which one or more floors have windows, wide doors, large unobstructed commercial spaces, or other openings in places where a shear wall would normally be required for stability as a matter of earthquake engineering design. A typical soft story building is an apartment building of three or more stories located over a ground level with large openings, such as a parking garage or series of retail businesses with large windows.

Buildings are classified as having a soft story if that level is less than 70% as stiff as the floor immediately above it, or less than 80% as stiff as the average stiffness of the three floors above it. Soft story buildings are vulnerable to collapse in a moderate to severe earthquake in a phenomenon known as soft story collapse.The inadequately-braced level is relatively less resistant than surrounding floors to lateral earthquake motion, so a disproportionate amount of the building’s overall side-to-side drift is focused on that floor. Subject to disproportionate lateral stress, and less able to withstand the stress, the floor becomes a weak point that may suffer structural damage or complete failure, which in turn results in the collapse of the entire building.

The council meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 03, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Persons who are unable to attend the meeting but wish to submit written comments may do so before 12:00 PM on Tuesday, November 03, 2020, and/or may attend the follow up meetings scheduled on November 10 and 19, 2020.

Persons may submit comments BEFORE 12:00 PM on the day of the hearing by LETTER to the Culver City Community Development Department, Building Safety Division, Culver City City Hall, 9770 Culver Blvd., 2nd Floor, Culver City, CA 90232, E-MAIL to [email protected], or Phone at (310) 253-5802.
The Special Meeting will take place via video conference. To combat the spread of COVID-19, the City issued a “Safer at Home” emergency order on March 20, 2020.
How to Attend the Meeting Remotely: All attendees must Register to Attend on Webex, after which you will receive an email with directions and a link to join the meeting, once it has begun. Watch a video tutorial on how to register on Webex. No Internet or computer? Please call (310) 253-5700 to request call-in information, no earlier than two days before the meeting.

NEW: For those who wish to speak during the meeting: please join the Webex meeting and use the Q&A function to indicate if you wish to make a comment/ask a question. You will “raise your hand”, when appropriate; you will be called to make your comment/ask a question.

More information on the City of Culver City response to coronavirus is available online.

City of Culver City

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