Seismic Retrofit Program

Earthquake preparedness is a part of life for Southern Californians. Damage to vulnerable buildings, physical injury, and even death are the most apparent threats from earthquakes. There can also be significant economic damage in their aftermath.

Recent earthquakes have shown that some older buildings may be at risk during future earthquakes because of construction standards at the time they were built. Strengthening our buildings by retrofitting is the best way to save lives and infrastructure during an earthquake.

On March 28, 2017, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved a comprehensive seismic retrofit ordinance that will encompass 20 years of work to increase safety of earthquake-vulnerable buildings in the event of a large quake. Nearly 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 on May 2017, with notices to affected building owners set to be mailed in phases.


Seismic Retrofit Notices

The City of Santa Monica's Seismic Retrofit Program has not yet commenced.  Starting in mid-August, notices are being mailed out to affected property owners informing them of the requirements of the Program with compliance deadlines and appeal procedures.  All notices for this program will be sent by the Building and Safety Division on City letterhead, in City envelopes, and will come from the Building Officer.  Any notices or advertisements sent by private companies are not sponsored by or representative of the City of Santa Monica.


Resources for Property Owners

Resources for Tenants



Potentially Vulnerable Buildings in Santa Monica

Inclusion of a building on this list is not confirmation that the building is structurally deficient, hazardous or unsafe.

These buildings display characteristics such as age, appearance, construction material, method of design and construction, and structural records that may indicate a need for strengthening in preparation for an earthquake.

Buildings appearing on this list will receive notice from the City of Santa Monica to complete a structural analysis. Buildings found to be non-compliant with established standards for earthquake resistance will be ordered to strengthen the building through a seismic retrofit.

Explore our searchable map.

Explore our Open Data site with a downloadable list of properties on our Seismic Retrofit Map.

Seismic Retrofit Map screenshot

Compliance Time Frame

The following table shows the five types of buildings and compliance time frames. These buildings exhibit characteristics that make them less resilient to earthquakes. Please note that compliance dates will be calculated from the date the owner receives notice from the Building Officer. See the proposed schedule for notifying owners.

Potentially Seismically Vulnerable Buildings Type Structural Evaluation Report Due Retrofit Must be Completed Within
Unreinforced Masonry Buildings 3 Months 2 Years
Concrete Tilt-Up Building 4 Months 3 Years
Soft-Story Buildings 2 Years 6 Years
Non-Ductile Concrete Buildings 3 Years 10 Years
Steel Moment Frame Buildings 3 Years 20 Years
Single Family Voluntary

Retrofit Funding

Looking for help with funding your seismic retrofit project?  Please see the Office of Sustainability and the Environment's page for the City's PACE program to get information about financing your project.