Santa Monica City Hall

Seismic Retrofit Program

Earthquake preparedness is a part of life in Southern California. Damage to vulnerable buildings, physical injury, and loss of life are the most apparent threats from earthquakes, as well as significant economic loss.

City Council adopted the seismic retrofit ordinance in March 2017, to implement the Seismic Retrofit Program (‘Program’). The Program acknowledges the reality that exists within our region and proactively seeks to strengthen existing older buildings and enhance the security and safety of their occupants.

Nearly 2,000 commercial and multi-family residential buildings in the City were identified as potentially seismically vulnerable in need of possible structural improvement and are required to comply with the Program.

Is Your Building on the List?

The following tools are available to determine whether a property contains any buildings subject to the Seismic Retrofit Program.

1.  Explore our searchable map; or

2.  View the City’s Open Data site for a listing of properties (available for download).

Why Is My Building on the List?

If a building is on the Program list it is not a final determination that the building is structurally deficient, hazardous, unsafe, or required to complete retrofit work. Buildings identified and placed on the list display characteristics such as age, appearance, construction material, method of design and construction, or lack of structural records that indicate strengthening may be necessary.

Property owners of buildings on the list will receive a notice from the City, per the notification schedule below, requiring the completion of a structural analysis by a licensed professional. A structural analysis that finds a building to be non-compliant with the established standards for earthquake resistance will be ordered to complete a seismic retrofit within the required timelines of the Program.

Compliance Timeframes

Five different building types were targeted as part of the Program. Each building type is subject to its own timeframe to achieve compliance, as detailed below. Compliance dates are calculated from the date of the Building Officer order to the property owner to complete the retrofit work. For more information, refer to the Retrofit Guide to Compliance

Building Type Categories


Notice Sent



Compliance Date - Evaluation Report Due

Compliance Date - Plans Submittal

Compliance Date - Retrofit Complete

Concrete Tilt Up*

August 14, 2017


December 2017

May 2018

August 2020


August 28, 2017


November 2017

February 2018

August 2019

Soft Story - >2 Stories

and < 16 units

Sept 25, 2017


September 2021

September 2022

September 2025

Soft Story - 16 or more units

October 23, 2017


October 2021

October 2022

October 2025

Non-Ductile Concrete*

October 23, 2017


October 2020

April 2022

October 2027

Steel Moment Frame*

October 23, 2017


October 2020

October 2029

October 2037

Soft Story - 2 Stories, 7 to 15 Units

November 27, 2017


November 2021

November 2022

November 2025

Soft Story - 2 Stories, <7 Units

February 19, 2018


February 2022

February 2023

February 2026

May 7, 2018


May 2022

May 2023

May 2026

July 30, 2018


July 2022

July 2023

July 2026

*Projects with a pending application as of March 13, 2020, or submitted between March 13, 2020 and the expiration of COVID-19 emergency are entitled to a two-year extension to all applicable compliance dates.

For questions about the Program and compliance timeframes, please call 310-458-8355, or email

Seismic Retrofit Program Community Meetings

The City organized three community meetings to communicate helpful information to the public about seismic retrofits. The meetings were held on 11/13/17, 3/8/18, and 8/22/18.

At each community meeting, professional engineers from the non-profit organization Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) provided technical information and general examples of seismic retrofit work, and supplied helpful tips on finding an engineer and/or contractor to assist with completing the required retrofit work. City staff's presentation focused directly on the specifics of the City’s ordinance, its purpose, and provided information on how to comply with the Program.

The slideshows presented at the community meetings can be viewed using the links below.

Presentation 1 - SEAOSC 

Presentation 2 - City of Santa Monica

New Structural Evaluation Review Process

New Process

The Building and Safety Division is implementing a new process for taking in and reviewing the Structural Evaluation Reports we receive in response to the City’s Seismic Retrofit Program.  From now on, these reports must be submitted via the City’s Electronic Plan Review (EPR) system, just as a set of construction plans would be.

Submitting a Report

If you have a completed report, please send an E-mail to: letting us know that the report is ready for submittal.  The E-mail should include the submitting engineer’s name, mailing address, phone number, and E-mail address (if different from the sender’s address).  Staff will then initiate a case in our system, generating an automated E-mail to the applicant inviting them to upload files to the EPR system.


Any questions pertaining to the ERP uploading or review process can be addressed on our ERP website.