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City of Oakland Soft Story Follow-Up Meeting

This week, at the invitation of the City of Oakland, I participated in a follow up meeting for the Level 1 Screening trained inspectors for the City’s Soft Story Program. The City was interested in feedback from inspectors who have submitted Level 1 Screenings. Inspectors suggested improvements to the Level 1 forms and for clarification of FAQs.

The meeting also clarified some questions about the intent Level 1 Screening. It appears that the City wants Level 1 Screening for all buildings whether or not a Level 2 Evaluation by an engineer is required. Level 2 Evaluation or even retrofit plans cannot be used in lieu of Level 1 Screening. ¬†Records from the survey of soft story buildings conducted several years ago were not utilized in the selection of buildings requiring Level 1 Screening. This may mean that a lot of buildings currently on notice to prepare the screening aren’t soft story buildings at all.

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