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Berkeley passes its own mandatory Soft Story ordinance

On December 3, 2013 City Council adopted Ordinance No. 7,318-N.S. amending Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 19.39 to require property owners of soft, weak or open front (“SWOF”) buildings with five or more dwelling units to retrofit their buildings within the next five years. Owners have three years to apply for a building permit and two years to complete the work after submitting their permit application. The law applies to buildings constructed prior to 1978 and takes effect January 4, 2014. This is the second phase of the Soft Story Program.
Under the first phase of the soft story program, since 2005, SWOF building owners have been required to submit an engineering evaluation report identifying their building’s weaknesses and ways to remedy those weaknesses, to post an earthquake warning sign and notify their tenants of the building’s potentially hazardous condition.
Here’s the link to the text of the ordinance: ordinance No. 7,318-N.S.

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