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Napa Quake Serves As Wake-Up Call To Thousands Of Un-Screened Soft Story Buildings In San Francisco

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An inspection tag marking a structure as unsafe following the Loma Prieta Earthquake. (CBS)

An inspection tag marking a structure as unsafe following the Loma Prieta Earthquake. (CBS)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection is hoping that the Napa earthquake will be a wakeup call for owners of 2,000 soft story apartment buildings that have not been screened for seismic safety.  The city’s screening deadline is September 15th.

San Francisco has an estimated 6,000 soft-story buildings. These include apartments built over carports, garages, or open-commercial space.

The city’s Department of Building Inspection Director Tom Hui said if they haven’t been reinforced, they’re not safe.

Napa Quake Serves As Wake Up Call To Thousands Of Uninspected Soft Story Buildings In San Francisco

kcbs mic blue Napa Quake Serves As Wake Up Call To Thousands Of Un Screened Soft Story Buildings In San Francisco
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“[In the] ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake we saw lots of buildings collapse on the first floor,” he said.

Last year, Mayor Ed Lee signed a law requiring soft story building owners to get their properties screened by an engineer or architect and then to file a report with the city.

So far only 4,000 have complied but Hui is still waiting to hear from the other 2,000.

The city will levy penalties on those who don’t comply and signs will be posted on their buildings saying they aren’t seismically safe. Upgrades are required over the next several years.

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