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

(4 Months)

May 2018

(9 Months)

August 2020

(3 Years)


August 28, 2017


November 2017

(3 Months)

February 2018

(6 Months)

August 2019

(2 Years)

Soft Story - >2 Stories

and < 16 units

Sept 25, 2017


September 2019

(2 years)

September 2020

(3 years)

September 2023

(6 years)

Soft Story - 16 or more units

October 23, 2017


October 2019

(2 years)

October 2020

(3 years)

October 2023

(6 years)

Non-Ductile Concrete

October 23, 2017


October 2020

(3 Years)

April 2022

(4 Years, 6 Months)

October 2027

(10 Years)

Steel Moment Frame

October 23, 2017


October 2020

(3 Years)

October 2029

(12 Years)

October 2037

(20 Years)

Soft Story - 2 Stories, 7 to 15 Units

November 27, 2017


November 2019

(2 Years)

November 2020

(3 Years)

November 2023

(6 Years)

Soft Story - 2 Stories, <7 Units

February 19, 2018


February 2020

(2 Years)

February 2021

(3 Years)

February 2024

(6 Years)

May 7, 2018


May 2020

(2 Years)

May 2021

(3 Years)

May 2024

(6 Years)

July 30, 2018


July 2020

(2 Years)

July 2021

(3 Years)

July 2024

(6 Years)

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